July 18, 1924 — November 3, 2018
Paul Franklin was born in Dallas, Oregon, to Karl and Margaret Franklin. He grew up in multiple communities, mostly in the Valley Junction area in the foothills of the Oregon Coast Range and graduated from Willamina High School in 1942. During high school he participated in both track and field and basketball. He played E♭ alto clarinet and saxophone in a dance band. Before graduation from high school, he started his career, working at and operating a Chevron gas station, which he eventually owned.
He was drafted into the Army during World War II at age 18. Paul and his unit were the first troops to be shipped directly from the United States to Europe, landing at Utah Beach after the Normandy invasion. They worked their way through Europe liberating towns through Belgium, Holland and Germany. They hit Aachen, the first town to fall to the western allies in Germany, and were one of the first groups to meet up with the Russians. This operation liberated the labor camps at Nordhausen, where the V2 rockets were assembled.
After returning to the states, he married Ina May Sorensen, and was stationed in San Luis Obispo, California, for training for the Pacific Theater. He was scheduled to be shipped off to the Pacific, but the bombing in Japan changed his course.
After his stint in the Army, Paul operated Standard and Chevron service stations on 3rd and Monroe and later at 4th and Jefferson in Corvallis. He thoroughly enjoyed his relationships with his customers and they in turn, appreciated the service they received.
His contribution to his community continued through his life. He took joy in giving over 19 gallons of blood to the American Red Cross.
After retirement, he drove Dial-a-Bus for 18 years. He was also an active volunteer for the Lion’s Club, flipping burgers and various other volunteer projects, earning him the Lion of the Year Award.
Paul enjoyed many social and recreational activities. He loved taking his fishing boat out on Foster Lake and up the Willamette River. He and Ina May were avid square dancers with Corvallis Squares for over 50 years. He was a member of Benton Bowman and the Sylvan Archers. He even made his own arrows.
Paul and Ina May enjoyed traveling including a trip to Europe during the 50th anniversary of the ending of World War II, retracing the 104th Division’s liberation of Europe, several trips to Puerto Rico, and cruises to Alaska and through the Panama Canal. After their retirement, they reunited with the 104th Division, the “Timberwolves,” through conventions around the country.
Paul was preceded in death by his wife, Ina May.
He is survived by his six children; Mike (Elaine), Tim (Phyllis), John (Kathy), Melinda Paz (Jim), Ginny Ryan (Gary), Glenn (Colisse); eight grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
Paul spent his last three years at the Oregon Veterans’ Home in Lebanon, where he was treated with love, respect, and attentive care. The family is very grateful for the exceptional, compassionate staff.
Paul’s service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 10, at McHenry Funeral Home in Corvallis. He will be interred at Willamette National Cemetery.
Donations in memory of Paul, may be sent to the Alzheimer’s Association or the Oregon VA Home in Lebanon.