April 23, 2022 ~ 22 Nisan 5782
Barbara Helene Franklin was born in Buffalo, N.Y., on December 25, 1946, during a snow storm. Her parents, Samuel E. Franklin and Deborah Grossman Franklin took her home and presented Barbara to her older sister, Amelia, as a Hanukkah gift (12/25/1946), the last day of the holiday.
The Franklin family left Buffalo and moved around the Midwest, finally landing in Louisville when Bobbie was 14-years old. She enrolled in Seneca High School, where she was introduced to real basketball. Bobbie graduated from Seneca in 1964 and then enrolled at the University of Kentucky and graduated from the University of Louisville. After graduation, she traveled around Europe with friends. Upon returning to Louisville, she began teaching Special Education for the Jefferson County Public Schools.
She took a job as a nanny for a family in Denmark, making life-long friends with her Danish family. Bobbie finally gave in to the wanderlust: learning about different cultures; Middle Eastern, Australian, Chinese, Japanese, and Mediterranean. While in Greece, she was evacuated by the State Department of the United States to Alexandria, Egypt, after a revolution. After safely returning to Louisville, she joined the Peace Corps. She learned and became fluent in Spanish and was assigned to Nicaragua. For the second time, she was evacuated by the Peace Corps after Somoza was overthrown. Bobbie finished her service with the Peace Corps in Guatemala. She invited her niece, Jennifer Adams, to visit her in Guatemala, which was a wonderful time for both Jennifer and her Aunt Bobbie. One of Bobbie’s most memorable trips was to Russia, where she spent Christmas Eve on a train from Moscow to St. Petersburg during a heavy snowstorm. What a great way to spend her birthday.
Bobbie began to transfer her talents to the USO and was assigned to the Marine Corps. During her tenure with the USO, she lived in Okinawa, where her father was stationed during World War II. After that, Bobbie spent time in Korea and finally at Manilla, and worked at Subic Bay in the Philippines. While in the USO, she organized entertainment for children and young adults and organized celebrity tours and shopping tours for children.
She received many Awards and Grants, including recognition from the Kentucky Arts Council Individual Artists Project, Kentucky Foundation for Women, Louisville Board of Alderman Grant, NEA Project Grant, PTA Cultural Arts Grant, Kansas City Playwriting Award, and Military-Civilian Awards. In addition, she was a member of the Dramatist Guild, Theater Arts Committed, JCC CenterStage, and Performing Arts League of Louisville.
Bobbie returned to Louisville and began working with various theater groups, including Actor’s Theater. She also worked with JCPS creating Writing Enrichment Programs and multiple non-profits and public elementary schools. She was able to return to visit her Danish family after she retired from teaching. After a bombing in Israel, she traveled to help rebuild what needed rebuilding.
Bobbie was fiercely independent, even after the diagnosis of Vascular dementia, and was able to continue volunteer work with the National Council of Jewish Women and Adath Jeshurun, the synagogue which meant so much to her. Her neighbors and friends helped so much during these trying times. When it became time, Bobbie entered Nazareth Home, where she received excellent care from a superb and empathetic staff.
Upon her death on April 23, 2022, left to cherish her memory are her sister Amelia “Mikki” Adams; her cousin, Joann Grossman (Stuart Morden); her niece, Jennifer Adams; her great-nephew Noah Mancuso; her great-nieces, Asher Mancuso, and Emily Morden, Jo’s daughter. Barbara’s family thanks her friends who helped her through her final illness. With their care and love, Barbara’s last days were meaningful. Rabbi Slosberg and Cantor Lipp eased her passing .
In lieu of flowers, Barbara’s family would appreciate donations to the Jewish Family and Career Service Food Pantry, the Humane Society from where Barbara’s pets were adopted, the National Council of Jewish Women Nearly New Shop, and Adath Jeshurun.
On Wednesday, April 27th, Barbara’s funeral will be held at Herman Meyer and Son, Inc., 1338 Ellison, Louisville, KY, at 2:00 p.m., with visitation beginning at 1:00 p.m. Her burial will follow at Adath Jeshurun Cemetery.