- The Washington Times - Friday, January 4, 2008

Veronica Franklin, 88, artist, homemaker

Veronica Bernadette Franklin, an artist and homemaker, died Nov. 24 of natural causes in Santa Barbara, Calif. She was 88.

Mrs. Franklin was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. In 1941, she married Elmer Sherwood “Frank” Franklin, a renowned aeronautical engineer who worked at the Applied Physics Lab in Laurel and later at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Mr. Franklin died in an auto accident in 1964. Mrs. Franklin miraculously survived the accident and went on to raise their three children alone. She was the first person who ever walked after a cervical fusion of C1-C2, her family said.

Mrs. Franklin, known as Ronnie, attended St. John’s University in New York and later obtained a bachelor’s degree from the Santa Barbara Art Institute of the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1975. She also attended Cal Poly State University graduate school in art and was a member of the Santa Barbara Art Association. She painted beautiful watercolors and oils.

Mrs. Franklin and her husband took their children on trips throughout Europe, Mexico, Canada and the United States. As a widow, she took her children to Africa, Japan, Jamaica and Europe. She lived life to the fullest, her children said, and was never afraid to experience something new. She found courage in her strong Catholic faith. She was a member of St. Bernadette’s Catholic Church in Silver Spring while living in Maryland, when her husband worked at the Applied Physics Lab, and of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Santa Barbara, where the family moved in 1959.

Survivors include a son, Frank Franklin, of Portland, Ore.; two daughters, Mary Carniglia of Montara, Calif., and Dr. Bonnie Franklin-Braastad of Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez, Calif.; seven grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by two brothers, John Lawton and Dr. Jim Lawton; and three sisters, Kay Martin, Ann Mullin and Margie McManus.

Victor Navarra, 55, N.Y. firefighter

NEW YORK (AP) — Victor Navarra, a longtime firefighter who coordinated the start of the New York City Marathon for a quarter-century, died Sunday of cancer in his head and neck. He was 55.

Mr. Navarra suspected the cancer was caused by his volunteer work at the World Trade Center after the September 11 attacks, his family said.

Mr. Navarra earned praise for handling the daunting logistical task of staging the marathon as it grew into an event with nearly 40,000 runners.

A fire lieutenant and avid runner, he first volunteered for the marathon in 1981 and became coordinator in 1983, family spokeswoman and friend Terry Raskyn said.

He and his wife, Joanne, eventually started a race-consulting firm that would take them around the world. Despite his illness, he attended last year’s marathon, with his wife coordinating the start.

Rhoda Pritzker, 93, philanthropist

CHICAGO (AP) — Rhoda Pritzker, whose husband was a founder of the Hyatt hotel chain and a namesake of the world’s most prestigious architecture prize, died Dec. 23 at her winter home in Casey Key, Fla., after a long illness. She was 93.

She was married to Chicago businessman and lawyer Jack Pritzker, who died in 1979. He and his brother Abram Nicholas Pritzker were original builders of the Pritzker empire, which includes the Hyatt hotel chain.

Mrs. Pritzker was born in Manchester, England, and worked as a journalist for news outlets including the British Broadcasting Corp. She moved to the United States and continued working as a journalist.

She later became a philanthropist and served on many boards including the Theater School at DePaul University in Chicago, the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota Bay, Fla., and the New College of Florida.

The Pritzker family is responsible for the Pritzker Prize, considered architecture’s most prestigious honor, which has been awarded to such designers as I.M. Pei, Frank Gehry and Rem Koolhaas.

Charles E. Martin, 91, Coast Guard officer

Charles Edgar Martin, a lawyer and retired Coast Guard lieutenant commander, died of cancer Dec. 26 at his Northern Virginia home. He was 91.

Born in Honolulu, he received his juris doctor, master of law and juris doctor with honors degrees from George Washington University. He received an associate degree in psychology from Northern Virginia Community College in 2004 and at the time of his death was enrolled in the graduate program in biopsychology at George Mason University.

He was a member of the Springfield United Methodist Church, where he served in the Methodist Men’s Ministry and the Boy Scout Ministry, and as an usher since 1964. He was active in Scouting for more than 45 years and received the prestigious Silver Beaver Award at the National Court of Honor in 1970. He was a member of Mensa International, a Dale Carnegie instructor, a Coast Guard Auxiliary officer and a chief election judge. Additionally, he was a member of the Virginia and Nebraska bars.

Cmdr. Martin served 27 years in the armed forces, including three years as a cadet at West Point and four years at the Coast Guard Academy, from which he graduated in 1951. He was the chief of the 5th Coast Guard District Office of Law Enforcement in Portsmouth, Va., from 1960 to 1964 and a lawyer at Coast Guard headquarters in the District from 1964 to 1972. He retired from the Coast Guard on Feb. 29, 1972.

Survivors include his former wife, Ruth Miller Adams; and their four sons, Charles Martin Jr., Douglas Martin, Paul Martin and Eric Martin; a sister, Betty Donoghue; two brothers, Paul L. Martin Jr. and Robert F. Martin; and five grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife of 18 years, Barbara Martin.

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