November 26, 2021

Thelma Franklin


Thelma Franklin, 95, of Afton, died Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021, at EveryStep Hospice House in Creston. A Celebration of Life service will be 11 a.m. Dec. 4, 2021, at Afton Assembly of God Church. Pastor William Richardson will officiate. Burial will be private.

Visitation with family receiving friends will be from 10 to 11 a.m. before the service. Memorials are to be determined. Online condolences may be given on the tribute wall at

Thelma Mae Franklin, daughter of Francis N. Vanderhoof and Myrtle Jane (Bailey) Vanderhoof, was born August 28, 1926, in Des Moines. She graduated from East High School in 1944.

On Jan. 19, 1946, Thelma married John Lowry Franklin in Des Moines. They settled and worked in the Des Moines area. Thelma was primarily a homemaker to her husband and eight children. In the 1960s, she worked at the Palmer Glass Company in Des Moines. She also did office work for John Hancock Insurance in Cedar Rapids from 1977 to 1982.

She and John moved to Afton in 1982. Thelma was an avid reader, seamstress and loved her pets. She was a member of the Assembly of God Church of Afton.

Survivors include four sons, John (Judy) Franklin of Des Moines, Steven (Gina) Franklin of Marion, Michael (Linda) Franklin of Lancaster, Calif., Jerry (Jennifer) Franklin of DePere, Wisc.; three daughters, Jaynee (Duwaine) Wolfe of Lincoln, Neb., Patricia (Jon) Sheldon of Shellsburg and Amy (Randy) Ehm of Arispe; a daughter-in-law, Carol Franklin of Palo; 20 grandchildren: Troy Franklin, Brenda (Craig) Poss, Julia Zornes, Jason (Chera) Wolfe, Andy (Sara) Wolfe, Kyle Franklin, Amber (Nate) Holmes, Tyler (Bonnie) Franklin, Heidi Franklin, Dan Franklin, Jarrid (Nicole) Hohensee, Melissa (Kent) Kiburz, Andrea (Eric) Buckley, Heather (Zach) Marshall, Jessica (Jonathan) Chester, Alex (Beth) Franklin, Sam Franklin, Cooper (fiancée Jasmin Morales) Franklin, Elizabeth (Jake) Emmons and Keith (Allie) Kiburz; 26 great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren; and many other extended family.

Thelma was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, John in 2015; two sons, David Franklin in 2017 and Kenneth Dale Franklin at birth; daughter-in-law, Marsha Franklin and a son-in-law, Kurt Kiburz.