Obituary: Newell A. Franks

STURGIS, Mich. - Newell A. Franks, owner and founder of Burr Oak Tool Inc., passed away Oct. 30, 2007, in his home. He was 98. On Dec. 15, 1928, he married Grace A. Disler, who preceded him in death Oct. 9, 2002.

Franks’ first jobs ranged from janitorial to appliance sales for the Michigan Gas Company in Sturgis. He worked for Laughlin Tool and Die (later named Sutton Tool) in 1942. In 1944, Franks and two other partners started Burr Oak Tool in Burr Oak, Mich., and moved the company to Sturgis in 1946. He worked actively in the business until he was 95, and remained on the board after that.

Franks made time to speak to high school students, and served as a member and president of the Sturgis Board of Education.

Franks is survived by two sons, Richard N. Franks and Lawrence A. (Susan) Franks; a daughter-in-law, Joyce Franks; grandchildren Deborah A. Sulcs, Linda J. Franks, Janet M. Franks, Michael W. (Rita) Franks, Newell A. (Kelley) Franks II, David L. (Joan) Franks, Lee Ann (Brian) McConnell, Willis P. Franks, and Jeffrey (Rebecca) Franks; great-grandchildren Athena (Randall) Lafferty, Diedra (Nick) Fox, Matthew Sulcs, Michelle Franks, Melissa Franks, Lucas Franks, Vincent Franks, Elizabeth (James) Whitehead, Emily (Jason) Halling, Nathan Franks, Erin Franks, Elise Franks, Erica Franks, Nicholas Franks, Noah Franks, Brennan McConnell, Corey Franks, Zachary Franks, Emma Franks, Sarah (Kyle) Klooster, Ryan Franks, Jessica Franks, and Laura Franks; great-great-grandchildren Autumn Lafferty, Zachary Lafferty, Alex Fox, Brooke Fox, Aiden Whitehead, Lauren Whitehead, and Veronica Sulcs; brother-in-law Kenneth Eugene Disler; sister-in-law Edna Belle (Dale) Augenstine; niece Virginia (Lewis) Franks Rawles; and nephew, Jack (Terryl) Franks.

In addition to his wife and parents, he was preceded in death by son, Tom Franks, grandchildren Emily Lorie Franks and Richard N. Franks, great-grandson Christopher Franks, daughters-in-law Patricia Franks and Jean Franks, and brother William Franks.

The family has requested that memorial donations be made to the First United Methodist Church, 200 Pleasant Ave., Sturgis Mich. 49091; to the Newell A. and Grace A. Franks Fund; to the Sturgis-Young Auditorium Fund; to the Sturgis Hospital Endowment Fund; or to the Kiwanis Club of Sturgis, all in care of the Sturgis Foundation, 310 N. Franks Ave., Sturgis, Mich. 49091.

Publication date: 11/19/2007

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

2014 World Energy Engineering Congress

Scenes from the 2014 World Energy Engineering Congress in Washington, D.C.


NEWSMakers: Howard Weiss
Howard Weiss, executive vice president, HVAC Excellence stopped by The NEWS’ booth at the AHR Expo to discuss HVAC Excellence’s upcoming conference, networking opportunities at large expo’s, and much more. Posted on Feb. 27.
More Podcasts


NEWS 02-23-15 cover

2015 February 23

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

HVAC Trends

The NEWS regularly reports on HVAC industry trends in our weekly issues. What trends do you see?
View Results Poll Archive


2015 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research


Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Magazine image
Register today for complete access to Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.


facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con