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Mrs. Cleon Nancy Willis Franklin

Mrs. Cleon Nancy Willis Franklin, 89, of Ft. Myers, FL. passed away peacefully at her Tennessee home on Monday, September 12, 2022. She was born on March 4th, 1933, in Lenox, GA, to Cleo E. Willis, Sr. and Fannie Walker Willis Wilkes. She lived in Plant City, FL, when she met her husband of 63 years, Orion Lee Franklin.

They later relocated to Ft. Myers, FL, where she spent most of her life before retiring to Mountain City, TN.

She is preceded in death by her husband in 2013. She is survived by daughters, Virginia “Ginger” Milsap and husband Douglas of Tennessee, Frenda Franklin Powers and husband Gary of Georgia, and Linda Anderson of Alabama; granddaughters, Tammie Cossairt Landers, Michelle Milsap Ramsey, Heather Anderson, and Rachel Ward Begg. She had eight great-grandchildren. She is also survived by two brothers, Cleo Willis, Jr. and John Wilkes, and four sisters, Sylvia Youmans, Betty Ashley, Carol Christie, and Faye Baldwin.

Cleon was a vibrant, ambitious, hard-working, and caring individual who began a career as a hairdresser after studying under Vidal Sasson and operating her own hair salons in the Ft. Myers area. She later turned her interests to owning and operating the Tropical Sun Nursery before retiring. She was a devout Christian who held strongly to her spiritual beliefs. She was also a great cook and provided many meals for family gatherings and for her congregation at their Sunday services.

She will be held at the Hux-Lipford Funeral Home in Mountain City, TN, until being transferred to the Albritton-Beaumont Funeral Home in Tifton, GA.

Flowers should be sent to Albritton-Beaumont Funeral Home, 1020 Tift Ave. Tifton, GA 31794.

Cleon will be laid to rest beside her loving husband at the Smith Family Cemetery located at 2675-2685 Whiddon Mill Road in Tifton, Ga. Graveside services will be held at 10:00 am on Saturday, September 17, 2022.

Online condolences may be sent to the family through our website


Hux & Lipford is honored to be serving the Franklin family.