Jamie Issac Franks was born in Jackson, Tennessee on March 1, 1982, the son of Tim Lynn and Rhonda Lynn Walker Franks. He graduated from high school in Hardin County and eventually began working for Chris Jones Logging. His passion for his work led him to become certified as a Master Logger which then allowed him to become a member of the Tennessee Master Loggers Association. A great deal of Jamie’s free time was still spent in the woods but for the purpose of hunting anything that moved (and was in season, although deer and turkey were his preferred game). That hobby led to his lifetime membership in the North American Hunting Club. A member of the Turkey Creek Baptist Church, Jamie’s love for his family was second only to his love for his Lord. He was a devoted husband, father, son and brother who loved his children more than words could ever express and always enjoyed spending time with them. You almost always found him with a smile on his face and you never heard him complaining about anything. Believing there was nothing in life that could not be overcome with a little hard work and love, his favorite sayings were “It’ll be alright” and “Git ‘er done”—attitudes that led his brother to describe him as the toughest person he’d ever known—and his daughter Haylee to describe him as extremely stubborn, a trait the rest of the family assures us she shares.
Robyn West Franks
Robyn Aleena West was slightly older than Jamie, having been born in McNairy County, Tennessee on Jan. 8, 1981, to Craig and Lisa Rinks West. When Jamie met Robyn, the two hit it off immediately. That wasn’t hard to understand if you knew Robyn. She had a heart of gold—a servant’s heart—that often found her leaving lunch money at school in case some child was without or sending extra funds for field trips in case some child couldn’t afford to go. It was a part of her character that had been instilled in her since childhood and reinforced by her worshipping at The Church on the Rock in Savannah. Robyn was a great people person and her amazing (and slightly twisted) sense of humor kept everyone around her either laughing or scratching their heads. She loved her children and, when she and Jamie married on April 13, 2012, she extended that love to his children as though they were her own. Her mother-in-law talked about how blessed their family was by Robyn’s presence, referring to her as her daughter-in-love. Everything Robyn touched benefited from her creativity, especially in the kitchen. She would take a recipe and make it her own, delighting her family with the results, but especially with her versions of potato salad, tater tot casserole, and pasta salad. When your father-in-law says it’s the best he’s ever had, you know it’s got to be good. But her creativity wasn’t confined to the kitchen. Robyn ran her own on-line boutique which she named Olive and Orinn Boutique after her two children, as well as Robyn Franks Photography. She loved to take pictures and she was wonderful at it, photographing everything, but especially her children. Her choice of collectibles—Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake, Rainbow Brite, and items from The Nightmare Before Christmas—provided a stark contrast to her favorite music by heavy metal bands such as Smashing Pumpkins, A Perfect Circle, Disturbed, Marilyn Manson, AC/DC, Kiss, Korn, and Rob Zombie, although a little country did, on occasion, slip in.
When Robyn and Jamie married, Jamie became an instant dad to her son, Brody Orinn Bodean West. Brody had been born in Hardin County on Dec. 1, 2008, so he was three at the time and one of the happiest little boys you could ever hope to find. Even as a third grader at the age of nine he still loved everyone he met and everyone he met loved him. That affection for everyone was only exceeded by his love for Jesus and his family, for Ms. Tina Rich who was his Sunday school teacher at Church on the Rock where he attended when he wasn’t at Turkey Creek Baptist, and for his little girlfriend, Madison Andrews. He had his mother’s heart—her servant heart—and was always trying to help someone. The size of his heart was rivaled only by the size of his imagination . . . and his memory. No matter how long ago he heard something, he could repeat it back to you when needed. Brody’s family described him as an old soul, a good brother who stuck to your side 24/7, someone who enjoyed hunting and fishing, and someone who was a constant ray of sunshine for everyone around him.
On Sept. 12, 2014, their little princess, Josie Olive Franks, joined the family. By the time she reached the age of three she pretty much ruled the roost. Saturdays would find her waking up her brother Caidan so he could make his world-famous pancakes for her. Her Mamaw Rhonda’s dog Pepper would wait at the door every day for her to arrive, a natural reaction since they were best buddies—and she loved to play with Mamaw Lisa’s dog, Ringo. As a matter of fact, hanging out with her family was her favorite way to spend her time. It gave her the chance to help her Mamaw Rhonda cook and wash the dishes afterwards and allowed for watching Tom and Jerry and Scooby-Do before heading off to bed. And it was Josie that gifted her paternal grandfather with the nickname Papaw Tater Butt, the result of her kicking a bag of potatoes everywhere and him threatening a spanking if she didn’t quit. Josie was a beautiful little girl who loved everyone she met—but especially everyone at Wal-Mart and The Toll House where her mother Robyn worked as a waitress, and “Miss” Jeannie at The Golden Dragon restaurant. In a true testimony to how special Josie was, her big sister Haylee described her as her best friend. Being the outgoing, loving child that she was, she had already picked out her future husband and would quickly tell you she was waiting for her ring from Myles Meek.
Jamie, Robyn, Brody, and Josie left this world as a family in the early morning hours of Sunday, Jan. 14.
Left to mourn their passing are Robyn’s parents, Craig Wilson and Lisa Kay Rinks West, and Jamie’s parents, Tim Lynn and Rhonda Lynn Walker Franks, Jamie’s son, Caidan Hunter Issac Franks and his daughter, Haylee Jane Franks; Robyn’s brothers, Rodney Craig West and his wife Rachel, and Raymond Jeff West, all of Savannah, and Jamie’s brothers, Jason D. Franks and his wife Casey L. Franks of Smiths Grove, Kentucky, and Justin “Scoot” Franks and his wife Katie, of Savannah; Jamie’s grandmothers, Nancy Weaver of Savannah and Joan Bohannan of Houston, Alabama, and Robyn’s Nanny Sandra and Uncle Junior White and her godmother, Fay Stanfill. Other family members include Jamie and Robyn’s nieces, Erin Kate and Aleena Paige West, and Madison and MacKenzie Franks, and their nephews, Micah Franks and Kemper Case Franks. Brody is survived by his biological father, Gary “Koty” Stricklin of the Walnut Grove community in Tennessee; his grandparents, Cheryl Petty of Lexington, Tennessee and Gary “Bud” Stricklin and his wife Amy Woods of the Walnut Grove community; his aunts, Amy Stricklin of Lutts, Kelli Broadway and her husband Kenny of Lexington, Tennessee, and Lila Stricklin of the Walnut Grove community; and his cousins Kasi, Kelsi and Kameron Broadway. Brody is also survived by his future wife, Madison Andrews.
They were preceded in death by Jamie’s brother, Jerry Lynn Franks, his grandparents, Gabby and Diane Franks and Kenneth Bohannan and his step-grandfather, Don Weaver, as well as his great-grandparents, Jamie and Willie Franks. Robyn was preceded in death by her grandparents, Wallace and Mildred West, Edgar and Earline (aka Mamaw Bean—a Brody original) Rinks, and Geraldean Morton West, as well as her great-grandparents, Homer and Lula West and Wilson and Jennie Mae Morton, and a very special aunt, Devena Alexander.
Services were held on Wednesday, Jan. 24, at 11 a.m., at Savannah Church of Christ in Savannah with Wade Holbrook and Larry Paul Rich officiating. Burial followed in Franks Cemetery at Savannah.