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Michael Gregory Franklin

June 5, 1940 September 17, 2019
Michael  Gregory  Franklin
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Obituary for Michael Gregory Franklin
Michael Franklin of Sunny Isles Beach, FL, died September 17th at age 79, after a long battle with myelodysplastic syndrome that turned into acute leukemia.

Michael Franklin (nee Mikhail Frenklakh) was born in Mozyr, a city on the Gomel region of Belarus, part of the former Soviet Union, on June 5, 1940. He lost his father in WWII and he grew up during a tumultuous time in European history. A Hidden Child during the Holocaust, he learned to face adversity at an early age and it helped shape him as a person of strength and character. Known to all who loved him as a Renaissance man and a bon vivant, he had a passion from a young age for acting. Late in life he founded a Russian theater troupe Miami that was a source of great pride for him. He passed peacefully in his sleep at Kindred Hospital in Hollywood, FL and he would be happy to know he ended up in Hollywood, where he felt he always belonged! He leaves his family with a great sense of pride for the man he was, the life he lived and the legacy he leaves behind.

Anyone else fighting such a terrible illness would have gone quietly into the night, but Michael had a passion for life and was known for his larger than life personality. His loved ones are sure that he regaled every doctor and nurse he came into contact with in his final days with incredible stories and an unflappable spirt.

In 1979, he emigrated his family of four to the United States and settled in Essex County, NJ later moving his family to New York City, on the Lower East Side in 1983. He embraced and embodied the immigrant experience and was proud to learn more about his heritage and Jewish roots. He and his wife moved to Florida in 2000 and he became quite a fixture in the South Florida Russian community.

His career resume spanned positions as a mechanical engineer, a maintenance mechanic, a school caretaker, a real estate agent and an actor. In addition to his Russian-language theatre, he wrote poetry, MC’d events at his apartment complex, enjoyed concerts, argued politics, told dirty jokes and could talk the ears off of anyone he came into contact with. All of these things fueled his passion for living.

He had big appetites for food, art, culture, family and friends. He liked his coffee black, with a twist of lemon, “as the Europeans drink it!” His 79 calendar years felt like a thousand lifetimes as he attacked life and swung it around the dance floor. He had a true joie de vivre and a firm understanding of what was important — the simplicity of living a life with those you love and of cherishing every moment. He was loud, he was boisterous, he made his presence known and he took up space.

His most enduring relationship was with his wife of 55 years, Laura, who lovingly supported him during his final months together. He is survived by her, his children Gary and Ella, his grandchildren Brian, Jordan, Sasha and Zack, and his great-granddaughter Izzy, his sister Galina and numerous friends and relatives. He will be sorely missed, but his memory will be a blessing for all those that know him.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, September 20th at 10 AM at Zion Memorial Chapel on Mamaroneck, NY. In lieu of flowers and charitable donations, he would want you to “charge your glasses, and live everyday as if it were your last, and every night as if it were your first” and to be very conscious about eating tomatoes only when they are perfectly in season.
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10:00 AM 9/20/2019 10:00:00 AM
Zion Memorial Chapel

785 E. Boston Post Road
Mamaroneck, NY 10543

Zion Memorial Chapel
785 E. Boston Post Road Mamaroneck 10543 NY
United States

Cemetery Details


Mount Pleasant Cemetery Final Resting Place

80 Commerce Street
Hawthorne, NY 10532

80 Commerce Street Hawthorne 10532 NY
United States

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