Franklin Gray Talley


Franklin Gray Talley, 94, died Wednesday May 29, 2019, in Shawnee, Oklahoma, with family at his bedside.

Born to William Franklin and Verdie Cook Talley on Dec. 11, 1924, in Pearson, Oklahoma, Franklin was raised in Tecumseh, Oklahoma, and attended school there until his senior year in 1942 when he was selected to be a U.S. House of Representatives page boy and finished high school in 1943 in Washington D.C. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt presented him with his diploma.

Shortly after graduation, he joined the Army Air Corps and was a radio-gunner in a B-26 Marauder during WWII. Following discharge he attended the University of Oklahoma where he joined the ROTC and served as editor of OU's Oklahoma Daily newspaper and yearbook editor.

Following graduation, in 1950, he was commissioned as an Air Force officer and served in the Korean Conflict as an information officer. He served in Vietnam prior to retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel, after 28 years of military service.

Following retirement he returned to his home town of Tecumseh, where he was active in American Legion, Masonic Lodge, Odd Fellows, and Tecumseh Alumni Association.

He served as a city councilman, school board member, and Tecumseh high school teacher. He also worked as a realtor and wrote The Frankly Speaking Column for the Tecumseh Countywide News, and later the Shawnee News Star.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Robert Talley, and sisters Ethel Bruce and Estelline Collins.

Survivors include his wife, Shirley Talley of the home; children Debbie and John Coskey of New Jersey, Jeff and Liz Talley of Minnesota, Tama and Doug Pudvah of Nebraska, Cindy and John Young of Lone Grove, Danny Terry of P.V. Mexico, and Cheryl and Lee Ashcraft of Tecumseh; 13 grandchildren, Sam, Joe, Willie, Annie, Casey, Matt, Brant, Tyler, Johnathan, Misty, Tray, Justin and Jesse; 9 great-grandchildren, Logan, Ekatarina, Alex, Kynse, Maddox, Tara, Brooklyn, Allison and Peyden; one brother and sister-in-law, Raymond and Myrna Talley of Stillwater; sister-in-law Margaret Talley of Shawnee; and numerous nieces, nephews and other extended family and friends.

Services were held June 5 at Cooper Funeral Home Chapel with Reverend Keith Cole officiating. Burial followed at Tecumseh Cemetery under the direction of Cooper Funeral Home of Tecumseh.

Family has requested in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Franklin G. Talley scholarship fund through the Tecumseh Alumni Association, PO Box 304; Tecumseh, Oklahoma 74873.


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