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James William FranksMarch 12, 1922 ~ November 19, 2019 (age 97)
James William Franks, Jr. passed away on November 19, 2019, in Renton, WA at the age of 97. He was born March 12, 1922 in Sitka, Kansas to James William Franks and Kitty Kipp. He was 9 of 16 children.
He attended high school in Ashland and Mineola, Kansas. He earned a Master’s Degree in Range Management, Wildlife Management, and Soils and Plant Ecology. Post graduate work was at the University of Montana and Boise State University. His intent was to return to Kansas to help farmers make better use of their land after the dust bowl.
Jim enlisted and served in the Navy during World War II. He eventually worked in Range Conservation with the Bureau of Land Management, then later the Department of the Interior. He worked in several states including Montana, Wyoming, and Washington, D.C. He also spent several years in Alaska as Regional Administrative Officer for Alaska. While in Alaska he helped develop and initiate a program to control wild land fires using cloud seeding to induce rain.
In 1949 he married his first wife Lola Somers. In 1960 they adopted 2 brothers and their sister while living in the Shoshone, ID area. He and Lola were divorced in 1967. Jim married Dorothy Steneck Bartholdi in 1970. She had two daughters. Jim retired to Boise, Idaho, where he started a 2nd career in real estate sales and management. He and Dee moved to the Seattle area in 2000.
Jim is survived by his daughter Phyllis (Louie) Jarrett of Falling Waters, West, VA; son Randy (Dianne) Franks of Underwood, WA; stepdaughter Anita (John) Ledbetter of Renton, WA.; sister Rita Spradlin (Joe) of Lawrence, KS; sister Shirley (Oley) Goodnight of Meade, KS; and sister Lee Mae Inlow of Neodesha, KS; multiple nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by wife Dorothy, 12 siblings, son Mike of Anchorage, AK, stepdaughter Linda Thompson, and his parents.
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