Helen Louise Franks

Birth Date: 
Thursday, April 29, 1920
Date of Passing: 
Friday, August 28, 2020

WOOSTER – Helen L. Franks, 100, of Wooster passed away on Friday, August 28, 2020 at The Avenue of Wooster.

She was born April 29, 1920 in Moreland, the daughter of Stewart and Mabel Lehman Giffen.   Helen grew up at the top of Madison Hill where Giffen Road is now located.   She married her high school sweetheart, Chester “Chet” W. Franks on December 25, 1938.  He preceded her in death on June 1, 2002 after 65 years of marriage.  During World War II, while Chet served in the Navy, Helen contributed to the war effort by being a “Rosie the Riveter” making parts for land mines.

Helen had been a buyer for the former Freedlander’s Department Store for over 30 years.  Helen had met and worked with some great people during her time with Freedlander’s.  She was an 87 year member of the Wooster United Methodist Church (joining in 1933) and thanked the Lord every night for each and every day whether good or bad.  After retirement she was an active volunteer with the Red Cross and Wooster Community Hospital.  Helen loved spending time in her flower beds, crocheting, playing in card clubs, attended Widows and Widowers and Friends gatherings and loved going on day bus trips.  She was a very active member of the Eastern Star.

Surviving is a daughter Janet (John) Harbaugh of Mt. Gilead; daughter-in-law Lola Franks of Wooster; grandsons John (Peggy) Harbaugh of Caledonia and Jeffrey (Lisa) Harbaugh of Marion; great-grandchildren Jessica, John David, Eric and Rachael Harbaugh; nieces and nephews Martha Jane "Janie"  Kain, Carolyn Wellmen, Kathie (Tom) Kisor and David (Dianna) Giffen and her dear friend and caregiver Sally Cormell.

Along with her husband, Chet, Helen was preceded in death by her parents; son Mike; sister Evelyn (Gene) Whitcomb and brother Ralph (Leona) Giffen; nephews-in-law Charles "Chuck" Kain, Clarence Wellmen.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, September 5. 2020 at 11:00 AM at McIntire, Bradham & Sleek Funeral Home, 216 E. Larwill St., Wooster with Rev. Jim Cooper officiating.  Interment will follow in Wooster Cemetery.  Masks will be required and social distancing will be observed. 

Friends will be received one hour prior to the service on Saturday.

Contributions may be directed to Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare, 1900 Akron Rd., Wooster, Ohio 44691.

Online condolences may be left for the family at www.mcintirebradhamsleek.com


Memorial Contributions: 

Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare, 1900 Akron Rd., Wooster, Ohio 44691


One hour prior to the service on Saturday


Saturday, September 5. 2020 at 11:00 AM at the funeral home  Masks will be required and social distancing will be observed.  


I always enjoyed Mrs Franks be it at Freedlander where my Father worked! I always marveled at the fact she knew names so well! God Bless her family,but think how blessed we all that knew her!

Helen was the consummate professional at our store. I worked in the Ladies Sportswear Department for two years after I graduated from college. Helen was an excellent buyer and taught me a great deal when I assisted her in various capacities. It served me well after I became a buyer for Freedlander’s. My dad, Harold Freedlander, Helen, and I went on buying trips to New York. Although we all had different agendas we often shared business and personal stories at the end of the day. Helen was intelligent, funny, kind and a wonderful employee. I stayed in touch with her for some time. I will miss her.

Loved working with this lady at Freedlander's. Always a kind word and always smiling.

I sure will miss this beautiful lady. We had many good visits. I was glad that she made it to 100 with a drive in party out in front of the Avenue.

Our sympathy to the entire family. Her laugh, her jokes, her storytelling were always great when we saw her, usually with Sandy's mother, Nina Yarnell. May you cherish the memories. She was beautiful and funny all the way to 100!

Family of Helen Franks, Remembering with you...a life so important to so many. In sympathy and shared feelings on the loss of Helen

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