September 5, 1928 ~ February 20, 2022

Born in: Buncombe Co., NC
Resided in: Leicester, NC

It is with great sadness that the family announces the passing of Kathleen Mae Franklin, 93, affectionately known as “ Kat”, on February 20, 2022 .

She was predeceased by her parents, Eva and Lawrence Freeman, her husband, Gordon, her son, Gordon Jan Anthony (“Tony”) Franklin , her sister, Wanda Spivey, and her brothers, Don and George Freeman.

Leaving to mourn are her granddaughter, Danielle Franklin, her loving and devoted sister, Betty Sealey, and nephews Bill and Edward and their families.

Kat delighted in her vocation as a school bus driver for over 35 years, and the children loved her back. She lived a full life, with a sweet and gentle nature and a wonderful sense of humor. We will miss her greatly.

The family would especially like to thank Doctor Sissel Topple, and the staff of the WNC Baptist home who treated her with dedication and respect in her final days.

There will be a family only service and burial.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St Jude’s Hospital for Children or a charity of your choice.


Funeral Home Assisting The Family:

Groce Funeral Home - Patton Ave.
1401 Patton Ave.
Asheville, NC 28806


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  1. Betty, Bill, Edward and family, I am saddened to learn of Kathleen’s passing. Have many fond memories of spending time with Kathleen, Gordon and Tony many years ago. She was my Sunday School teacher when I was young. Know you are in my thoughts as you grieve her death. Condolences, sympathy and peace. Janet Boyd Webb

  2. I have such fond memories of my Aunt Kat. When we would visit in the summer from NJ she was always so gracious & kind. As I grew up and realized she drove a school bus around those mountains I was sooo impressed!! I still have the local news article they ran about her and her many years of safely transporting the kids that she loved.
    She laughed when I told her I was so afraid to look down when we would drive back into the “country” to go to Mt Pleasant church, that my Daddy, her brother, (George) would tell me to hide my head & he would let me know when we were there…LOL!
    I know because of her faith in our Lord Jesus Christ that she is enjoying heaven for all eternity. I also know how much Aunt Betty Jean will miss her. She was a faithful, loving sister to the end & God is smiling. As I visit for the services to hug my Aunt Betty Jean & family it is with a grateful heart that I will thank our Lord for her & her kindness to me. ❤️
    Ava Freeman

  3. My great aunt Kat was an incredible woman. A true southern Belle. Kat was a very important part of my life and there for each of my four children. She loved me and my children so much. I’m so grateful and blessed and thankful that she was the most wonderful great aunt a girl could have for 47 years. I will miss her terribly.

    Michelle Sealey

  4. Kathleen was my special friend for many years. We spent some wonderful years on school field trips, eating out and just laughing and making such great memories. She will be greatly missed!❤️

  5. Kathleen, Gordon, and Tony are a treasured part of our lives. They were powerful illustrations of Jesus’ command to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” May the “God of all comfort” give His comfort and His peace to the family.

  6. She was a very sweet person when my son was little he rode her bus she thought the world of him he will be 40 in October


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