FRANKLIN, Roy L.
Roy L. Franklin, 96, of La Crosse, Wis., died Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, La Crosse, Wis. He was known as ‘Happy’ by friends. Roy was born on September 6, 1921, in La Crosse, Wis., to John E. and Bertha (Yohe) Franklin.
Roy grew up in the La Crosse area. His father worked as an engineer at the Stoddard Hotel and Tri State Ice Cream Company. In 1930 his father died in a car crash and his mother was severely injured. Roy and his sisters spent two years at the La Crosse Children’s Home.
At the age of 12 he began working in a garage repairing cars. It was the start of a long career in the car business. After attending Central High School, he was drafted into the Army Air Force in 1942. Based on his knowledge of radios, he was sent to Scott AFB, IL. training air plane radio communication. He served as Communications Chief in the air offensives of Japan, China, Bermuda, and India, working on B-29 Bomber radios. He was on Tinian Island in the Pacific where the Enola Gay took off and landed after delivering the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima. After being discharged in 1945, he opened Happy’s One Stop Garage on South Avenue which was formally Pure Oil Station.
In 1947, he married Juniata Gentzkow and they had three children. They were later divorced and he remained a lifelong eligible bachelor. In 1948, he moved his business to its present location at 2700 State Road and it has been open since.
Over his long life he was a lover of antique cars, Ford trucks, Plymouth cars, and a collector of32-34 Ford car parts. He was involved in the early years of dirt track racing in La Crosse at the North and South side racetracks.
He is survived by one son Robert (Nora) of La Crosse; two daughters, Barbara (Mark) Kolter, of Winona, Minn., and Bonnie Lazor of Richland, WA. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Andy (Nicole) Meyer, of Holmen, Wis., Jill Anderson, of Aruda Co., and Lord Martinson, of Winona, Minn.; one sister Iola Hanson, of Onalaska; great-grandchildren Sarah, Ethan, Corbin, and Jackson. He is also survived by many lifelong friends, especially Gary Jiracek.
He was preceded in death by his sister Edna Yatalese and half-brother Don Johnson.
We will miss you Dad and Grampa Hap.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 AM, Friday September 15, 2017, at Blaschke & Schneider Funeral Home, 1501 West Ave. South, La Crosse, Wis. Rev. Ted Dewald will officiate with burial to be held in Mormon Coulee Memorial Park Cemetery. Military Honors will be performed by the Roy L. Vingers American Legion Post No. 52. Visitation will be held from 5 to 7:00 PM, Thursday, September 14, 2017, at Blaschke & Schneider Funeral Home, and from 9:00 AM until the time of services at the Funeral Home.