Tribute to our Mom: Ann Kathryn Franklin
Aged 85 years old: November 17, 1934 - June 2, 2019
Ann Kathryn was born in Springfield, Mass. on November 17, 1934 to Paul Ivan and Mary (McQuaid) Yakovlev. Her father was a neuropathologist and the family moved within New England as he worked and conducted his research on the brain at state institutions. As a child, Ann lived in Waverly, MA, Middleton, CT, and finally in Brookline, MA. Her fondest memories were of the summers her family spent at their rustic cottage on Bare Hill Pond in Harvard.
An intelligent girl when women were not encouraged to pursue careers, Ann spent a few years at Northfield Academy but returned to graduate from Brookline High. She studied nursing at Skidmore and Children’s hospital, leaving to marry David Noel Franklin in 1956. Years later, she earned her B. A. in Psychology from Southern Connecticut State College.
In 1958, Ann and David had their first child, Elisabeth (Lisa), followed the next year by David (Barry) who was born while David was posted at the Air Force base in Tachikawa, Japan. After returning to the States, Kathryn (Katie) was born in 1964. Ann treasured her memories of time spent in Japan and brought home cultural knowledge and modern artifacts which she enjoyed for the rest of her life.
Described by friends and relatives as “gay and cheerful” in her teens and 20s, Ann rode horses, skied and won a medal for sharp shooting.
Always able to think creatively, she made a good manager and worked for the Southwestern Connecticut Girl Scout Council as a troop leader and later as a regional administrator. In the 70’s she was hired as one of the few saleswomen at IBM.
Ann was a strong believer in family, providing guidance and advice to her younger sisters Mary Ellen (eight years younger) and Tasha (12 years younger). A formidable advocate for her own children, she worked with their teachers and doctors for what she felt was best for them, sometimes unasked but always because she cared. This extended later her life too; she loved her 3 granddaughters dearly, when they were young, always ready to read “the Gingerbread Man” storybook (with accompanying cookies!) on their visits, and later, giving advice and reveling in their successes.
Ann stuck to her principles. After Vatican II, her parish priest continued with anti-semitic sermons, and she stopped going to Mass, not wanting her children to be “raised to hate their father’s family," as she put it. This was very difficult for her, as she had been raised with deep Roman Catholic beliefs. She remained her own person with a unique style and values, even in difficult circumstances. Ann excelled at the homemaking skills expected from housewives at that time. She had learned to cook authentic Chinese food from Chinese nuns in a Japanese convent, and restaurant specialties were common weeknight meals in her house, as well as centerpieces of her dinner parties. She baked for the bridge club, made dresses for her daughters and nieces, tailored clothes for dolls, plus knit and embroidered. She made a 5-foot afghan for each child (6 foot for her tall son) and created amazing Halloween costumes.
She loved puzzles of many kinds and was often working on a jigsaw puzzle of one kind or another; She could also finish the New York Times crossword in a single Sunday afternoon. She enjoyed reading “whodunit” novels and watching mysteries on TV. In her later years, she enjoyed Sudoku puzzles.
Her taste in music was equally eclectic. She could play the piano, was introduced to gospel at Northfield, loved country music, Broadway musicals, and delighted her teen niece and nephew by listening to rock and roll – Elvis, the Beatles, the Mamas and the Papas, and doo-wop. She crooned her babies to sleep with selections from Peter, Paul and Mary. In the 70s she listened to Joan Baez, Johnny Cash, and the “new style” of country music.
Ann was a complex, multi-dimensioned individual and each person who knew her remembers different strengths. Few of us will ever forget her.
A family burial service will be held for Ann on Saturday, June 15. Her remains will be interred at Bellevue Cemetery, in Harvard, MA, the town of the childhood summer cottage she loved. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts- Camp Scholarship Fund, 265 Beaver St, Waltham, MA 02452 or the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Breast Oncology Program, 450 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215. Memorial page actonfuneralhome.com