Lou Ada Watkins Franklin, 89

Taken by Mark Stephenson
Taken by Mark Stephenson

Lou Ada Rose Watkins Franklin passed away on Saturday, March 10, 2012, at the age of 89. After a brief illness, she died peacefully at the Scott and White Santa Fe Center hospice facility in Temple, Texas.

Lou Ada was born December 4, 1922, in Knox County, Texas, to John Peyton and Ella Mae (Gray) Rose.  She was the fifth of six children.  While Lou Ada was an infant, her family moved to Red River County, Texas, where she grew up. Lou Ada graduated from Clarksville High School in 1941 as Salutatorian of her class. She attended Paris Junior College and worked at a law office in Clarksville. Later, she was employed as a teller at First National Bank of Clarksville.  Lou Ada’s life took a different turn when she met Allen Watkins at a square dance in 1950.  They were married November 18 of that year and resided on his family’s dairy farm in Rosalie where Lou Ada enjoyed the life of a farmer’s wife.  They had four children – Keith, Cindy, Casey, and Shan. After the tragic loss of her son Keith in 1966 and Allen in 1967. Lou Ada moved her daughters to Bogata to begin a new chapter in their lives. Lou Ada worked as a teacher’s aide and secretary at Bogata Junior High School and later in the Clarksville School District. With summers free, Lou Ada took her daughters on amazing vacations all over the United States from Hawaii to Maine. In 1984, having secured all her children a college education, Lou Ada retired from the Bogata school district. Then in 1988, she married Raymond Franklin, a gentleman she had grown up with in Clarksville decades earlier.   Raymond and Lou Ada enjoyed travelling, visiting family in Montana, the Dakotas, Tennessee, Colorado, Georgia, and throughout Texas. On one of their trips, they adopted Bullet, a retired Greyhound racer, who enriched their lives and the lives of others as Lou Ada often took Bullet to visit folks at the Bogata nursing home. In May 2004, Raymond passed away, and soon after, Lou Ada moved to Bismarck, North Dakota, to live with her daughter Cindy Golden.  She made a final move in 2008 to an assisted living facility near her daughter Casey Moore in Killeen, Texas, where she resided until her death.

With strong Christian faith and a straightforward style, Lou Ada enjoyed life.  She loved to talk, to laugh, to travel, and to play games. She shared her love of games by teaching many a teenager to play Forty-Two and hosting impromptu domino tournaments in her home.  She was an active member of the First Baptist Church of Bogata for over forty years, serving as church clerk, Sunday school teacher, and ardent supporter of her pastor throughout that time.  Lou Ada was a prolific letter writer. Most of the letters she wrote contained encouragement for family, friends and sometimes strangers who were experiencing difficulty in their lives.  She kept a list of even the smallest kindnesses she observed and never ceased to marvel at the capacity of the human heart to care for others. Although she had Alzheimer’s Disease in her later years, Lou Ada never lost her sense of humor.

Lou Ada Franklin was preceded in death by her husband Allen Watkins (November 1967); and her 2nd husband Raymond Franklin (May 2004); her son Keith Ed Watkins (April 1966); parents Peyton and Ella Rose; her sisters Pauline Alsobrook, Opal Abercrombie, and Helen Rose; and her brother Pat Rose.

She is survived by her daughters: Cindy Golden and husband Garvon of Rapid City, SD; Casey Moore and husband Phil of Killeen, TX; and Shan Watkins and husband David Norwood of Eaton, CO. Her grandchildren: Anna and Nathan Bergman of Bismarck, ND; Thomas and Sarah Golden of Miller, SD; Lydia and Jonathan Dunn of Rapid City, SD; Samuel Golden of Williston, ND; Audrey  and Jason Mayo of Killeen, TX; Kathryn Zaggle of Greeley, CO; and Richard Zaggle of Eaton, CO.  Great-grand children are Payton, Adam, and Rachel Bergman of Bismarck, ND; Garvon, William, and Eliza Golden of Miller, SD Jase and Sydney Mayo of Killeen, TX; and Hailey Zaggle of Greeley, CO.

Visitation will be from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Wood Funeral Home in Bogata on Thursday, March 15.  On March 16, a graveside service will be held at Smith Cemetery in Rosalie at 10:30 a.m. prior to the memorial service at First Baptist Church of Bogata at 11:00 a.m.

Memorials can be made to the Bogata Cemetery or Smith Cemetery in Rosalie. Online Condolences can be sent to www.woodfuneralhomes.com




  1. Mary Joplin Holleyhead says:

    I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Lou Ada! I have many memories of Lou Ada when I grew up in Bogata and after being grown. I know that you girls have many memories of the fun times with her and may these memories bring you much comfort in the coming months. You girls were very fortunate to have Lou Ada!

  2. Deborah Scott Lightfoot says:

    Cindy, Casey, and Shan:
    I just wanted to send you and your families my condolences on the loss of your sweet mother. I have such fond memories of Lou Ada. To me, she was such a strong woman. I remember how she could keep all those unruly boys settled down in study hall in junior high. It was nice having another mom there with us. Knowing all of you has meant a great deal to me. Take care, and remember that you have another angel on your shoulders now.
    Deborah Scott Lightfoot

  3. Patti (Thomas) Jenkins says:

    Cindy, Casey & Shan — So sad to hear of the loss of sweet Ms. Lou Ada. But I wanted you to know how kind, accepting, and encouraging she was to me (and Janie and Eddie) when we first entered school at Bogata in 1969. She had a radiant smile that could change the energy in any room! I am thankful to have known her if even for a short while!

    Blessings on you all!

    Patti (Thomas) Jenkins, SPSandW@verizon.net

    • Casey Watkins Moore says:

      Patti, thanks for your kind words about Mother. She enjoyed her job working at school and, from what we have heard, really ministered there to the kids. She lived a long, good life, and we are so blessed to have had her with us for such a long time. Would love to hear from you about your family and your life. I guess I haven’t heard anything about your family since Eddie’s death. Again, thanks for contacting us. Casey

Send a Condolence