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Mrs. Lucille Niles Franklin of Tampa, Florida passed away on Saturday, October 21, 2023. Funeral Service will be conducted Saturday, November 4, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, 4025 W. Palmetto Street, Tampa, Florida 33607, Reverend Anthony W. Greene, Pastor with Elder Walter Niles, Officiating. Interment will follow in Rest Haven Memorial Park Cemetery, 4615 E. Hanna Avenue, Tampa, Florida 33610.
Lucille Niles Franklin was the fifth and youngest child of the late Edna Niles Duncan and late Willie Niles. Although Lucille was the baby, she wanted to keep up with her brothers and sisters. Oftentimes, she tagged along with her brother Freddie “Teco” when he played basketball.
Lucille had a lifelong commitment to education that carried her through her career field and beyond. She attended Hillsborough County public schools and was a graduate of Middleton Senior High School class of 1953. Her ambition to be a college graduate was achieved when she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. While matriculating at FAMU, she became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. In 1979, she attained a master’s degree in education from the University of Tampa.
From the start of her career as an exemplary educator, Lucille was a trailblazer. She was the first faculty member hired at Progress Village Elementary School. During her time at Tinker Elementary School, she served as Head Teacher of the Summer School Program. She was the recipient of the Teacher of the Year Award and the Distinguished Ida S. Baker Award.
Although she retired in 1991 wrapping up her teaching career at Sulphur Springs Elementary School, Lucille had only begun her exceptional works in educational – oriented activities. In 2000, she founded and served as Chairperson of the HOPE (Help Open Pathways to Education) Scholarship Program for First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens. Encouraging and supporting education was always a cornerstone for Lucille.
She was an inspiration in the classroom and in life. She relied on courage, faith, and hope as she battled breast cancer, and was a 22-year breast cancer survivor.
Her community involvement was extensive because she wanted to make a difference by helping others. Just to name a few of her affiliations, she was a Life Member of all the following organizations: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, National Council of Negro Women and FAMU Alumni Association.
Lucille is preceded in death by: two brothers, Dan Williams, and Freddie “Teco” Niles; and two sisters, Catherine Cooper, and Dorothy Niles.
Lucille was a devoted mother and grandmother. She leaves to cherish her loving memories: her son, Gilbert Franklin; granddaughter, Andrea (Tyrone) Mitchell; grandson, Andre Franklin; great-granddaughter, Andrea “Precious” Franklin; great-grandsons, Marquis Perry Sr., Javaris Jackson, Andre Franklin Jr., and Tydre Mitchell; great-great-grandsons, Jeremy Tims Jr., Marquis Perry Jr., and Jimmie Perry Jr.; great-great-granddaughter, Janay Perry; godsons, Cassius Crawford, and Antonio Greene; goddaughters, Fontaine Marion, and Miranda Wheatly; sister-in-law, Geneva Niles, Houston, Texas; nephews, Fredrick (Sherlie) Niles, Wilbert Niles, Wilbert Niles Jr., Ronald (Sandra) Niles, Jalen Niles, Walter (Vivian) Niles, Gerald (Rosa) Niles, Walter (Vanessa) Niles II, Rodney Rhoden Jr., Shannon Edwards, Caiden Edwards, Dwuan Molton Jr., Greg (Brendolyn) Currington, Greg (Sabina) Currington Jr., Carlton Cooper Jr., Maurice Moore, Freddie (Tonesha) Dean, Khyree Dean, Khyle Dean, and Michael Davis Jr.; nieces, Phyllis Niles, Chelsea Niles, Ronishia Niles, Cne’ Niles, Ciara Niles, Nichole Rhoden, Karen Cooper, Karla Moore, Bria Moore, Nyah Moore, Anika (Michael) Davis, Alexis Currington, Aliyah Currington, Linda Williams, Atlanta, Georgia, Khadajah Dean, Khylah Dean, Alresa Thigpen, Geraldlyn (Joe) Butler, Shawnte Niles, and Kyera Niles; special friends, Powell, Murray, Bolton, Bell-Washington, Anderson, Maxfield, Pressley, and Tucker Families, First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Gamma Theta Omega Chapter, FAMU Tampa Alumni Chapter, Middleton Class of 1953, and NCNW Tampa Chapter; and a host of other relatives, neighbors, and friends.
A visitation will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Friday, November 3, 2023, at Ray Williams Funeral Home, 301 N. Howard Avenue, Tampa, Florida 33606.
Arrangements entrusted to RAY WILLIAMS FUNERAL HOME, Rhodes & Northern, Owners.