REXVILLE: Ilse Helene Franklin of Rexville, N.Y. passed away on December 18, 2016 at the age of 90. She was born in Bavaria, Germany in 1926 and grew up as an only child. Ilse attended college in Nuremberg during WWII, studying business and languages. She met Walter DeWitt Franklin while he was serving in the US Army Airforce in Germany. After they married, they moved to the US and she became a US citizen in 1954.
Ilse embraced life and people and looked for a reason to celebrate as often as possible. She was a choir director, musical director, starred in musicals, hosted international gourmet dinners, and staged vintage fashion shows. Her passion was educating people on the importance of cultural preservation.
Ilse worked in the psychology department at Alfred University and always had a sympathetic ear for students. Upon retiring from Alfred, she and Walt purchased Greenwood Building Supply which soon added Old Homestead Antiques. After selling those businesses, she and daughter Barbara opened Antiques on Broadway and Franklin Auction Service.
Ilse was a founding member of the Hartsville Museum, along with Richard Call, and was also a Canisteo Rotary member.
Ilse was predeceased by parents Max and Gunda Wurzweiler and, in 2009, her husband Walter DeWitt Franklin. Survivors include daughter Barbara (John) Lyng of Hornell, sons Walter (Leighanne) Franklin of Greenwood and Peter (Susan Kowalczyk) Franklin of Rexville, grandchildren Alyssa Franklin of Fredriksted, St. Croix, Brent (Catherine) Franklin of Arlington, VA, Rebecca Bush of Acworth, GA, and Daniel (Deanne) Lyng of Hornell, and great grandchildren Joshua and Nicholas Bush of GA and Carter and Madison Lyng of Hornell, and cousin Hartmut (Ulrike) Spang of Germany and several nieces and nephews.
A memorial celebration of Ilse’s life will be held Thursday, December 29 from 6-8 pm at the H.P. Smith & Son, Inc. Funeral Home, 29 East Main St., Canisteo, N.Y.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Ilse Franklin’s name may be made to either the Hornell Humane Society, 7649 Industrial Park Rd. Hornell, N.Y. 14843 or to the Greenwood Vol. Fire Dept. c/o Melissa Waters, 751 Andover St. Greenwood, N.Y. 14839.
Online condolences and memories may be made through the H.P. Smith & Son Funeral Home.