Former Prairie Village Mayor William E. Franklin dies at age 82

Dan Blom - May 20, 2016 4:34 pm
William Franklin and his wife, Margaret, at the groundbreaking for the Franklin Park improvements in May 2010.
William Franklin and his wife, Margaret, at the groundbreaking for the Franklin Park improvements in May 2010.

Former Prairie Village Mayor William Franklin and the namesake for Franklin Park, has died in Denver, Colo.

Franklin served as the city’s mayor from 1973 to 1979. He also was on the board of commissioners for Johnson County. His complete obituary follows:

William E. Franklin, 82, of Denver, CO., passed away on May 15, 2016, after a long battle following several strokes. Born April 1, 1934 in Topeka, KS, he was the son of the late Charles and Louise Franklin. Bill earned a B.S. degree in Geological Engineering from the University of Kansas in 1957. He also held an M.S. in Industrial Administration from Purdue University.
During his time at KU he was the Theta Tau professional engineering fraternity Regent (president). He was also a member of the Sigma Tau engineering honor society and the Omicron Delta Kappa honor society. He served on the Engineering Student Council as president and The Kansas Engineer student publication as editor. In 2004 he was inducted into the Theta Tau Hall of Fame for his outstanding contributions to his profession and to Theta Tau.

At MRI he gained national recognition in the fields of solid waste management and Life Cycle Assessment, a methodology which he co-developed. This methodology quantifies the environmental and energy effects of product development, use, and disposal – “cradle to grave.” The methodology has been used by both private companies and government agencies to compare and improve product performance.
Also at MRI, Bill participated in some of the first published national studies of markets for recovered materials, starting with the Public Health Service, then the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency when it was organized in 1970. He also helped the U.S. EPA develop a methodology for estimating municipal solid waste generation in the U.S. This methodology was further developed at Franklin Associates and the results have been published annually by EPA for many years.

In addition to the EPA, Bill consulted in solid waste management and recycling for many state and local agencies (including several in Kansas), and many corporations and industry associations.

Bill served the community in many ways including as Prairie Village City Council; Mayor of Prairie Village; Johnson County Council of Mayors; President Johnson County Board of County Commissioners; Johnson County County Commissioner Chairman; Johnson County Charter Commission member.

He gave freely of his time to many other organizations including: 
United States Commissioner on the Kansas-Oklahoma Arkansas River Commission (Presidential appointment – ex officio chairman of the Commission, 2003 – 2008); Kingswood Retirement Community (Kansas City, MO) Board of Directors – Chairman (past) Foundation Board; Pioneer Spirit Award Johnson County Library Foundation Board of Directors, President; 2005-2007; Asbury Children’s Center Board Chair (past)
 Asbury United Methodist Church, Prairie Village; Editor, The Gear of Theta Tau, 1961-1969; Theta Tau professional engineering fraternity, Alumni Hall of Fame 2004; 
American Center for Life Cycle Assessment, Recognition for Leadership and Lifelong Service, Achievement in the Field of Life Cycle Assessment, 2008.

Bill was devoted to his family and is survived by his son, Mark; Mark’s wife, Elizabeth; his daughter, Janice; his brother, Bob; 4 grandchildren, Barbara, Charles, James and Doug; and 5 great-grandchildren, Cayden, Bethany, Andrew, Ryland and Millicent.
A celebration of Bill’s life is being held in Denver, CO at the First Unitarian Church (1400 Lafayette, Denver) on Saturday, June 4, 2016 at 10:30 AM. A second celebration of his life is being planned in Prairie Village later this summer.

Memorial donations can be made directly to the KU Endowment Association (PO Box 928, Lawrence, KS 66044) in honor of William E. Franklin, designated for the Marjorie A. and William E. Franklin Women in Engineering Scholarship.

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