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Franklin A. Golden, Jr.

8/20/1936 - 11/28/2018

PEKIN ~ Franklin Albert “Frank” Golden, Jr., 82, of Pekin, passed away and entered eternal rest at 10:42 a.m. Wednesday, November 28, 2018 at his Pekin home.

Born August 20, 1936 in Spring Lake Township, Tazewell County to Franklin Albert and Helen (Taylor) Golden, Sr., he married N. Jean (Harness) Cunningham on July 17, 1982 in Pekin.

Surviving are his wife, Jean; one daughter, Deborah (Jeff) Kaye of Excelsior, Minnesota; one granddaughter, Autumn Kaye of Excelsior, Minnesota; four stepchildren, Todd Cunningham of Green Valley, Brian Cunningham of Pekin; Kim (Kendall) Courtright of Geneseo and Danette (Drew) Morgan of Coal Valley; six step grandchildren and five step-great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers, Roger Golden, Larry Dean Golden and Roy Golden and two sisters, Nora Hilst and Judy Meyer.

He grew up on a farm where he learned all about things farming and working hard.  He was a graduate of Forman High School, where he was active in sports, 4H and FFA.  In 1954 he was presented the Illinois 4H Key Club award.  He was 1 of 2 recipients of the 1955 4H Danforth Scholarship.  He also received in 1954 the degree of FFA’s Illinois State Farmer.  In 1956 he was awarded FFA’s First American Farmer, the highest degree bestowed nationally in the FFA organization.  In 1956 Frank represented the rural farmers of Illinois at President Eisenhower’s safety conference in Washington, D.C., the first time a man under 21 years had represented the state.  At Forman, he also was a member of the basketball team that beat Pekin High for the 1954 Regional Championship and also was a member of the baseball and track teams.  He went on to earn two Associate’s Degrees from Illinois Central College, two Bachelor’s Degrees from Illinois State University and a Doctorate in Philosophy from Waldon University.

Frank kept in shape by running the basketball court for 51 years officiating games for the Illinois High School Association and also officiated baseball, football and softball.  He coached baseball for the Pekin Palomino and Colt Leagues as well.

Frank worked at Caterpillar, Inc. for 29 years.  After retirement in 2003, Frank and Jean made a home in rural Damascus, Arkansas, where he enjoyed a large yard, abundant wildlife and special friendships.

He never had time for a pet until a big white cat named, Bubbles, stole his heart.  She preceded him in death.

He was of the Christian faith.

His visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, December 3, 2018 at Preston-Hanley Funeral Homes & Crematory in Pekin.  A funeral service will then be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday in the chapel at Glendale Memorial Gardens in Pekin. Chaplain Carole Hoke will officiate. Burial will follow services.

During Frank’s lengthy illness, many hands helped minister to his care.  They are too numerous to mention.  May God bless all of you.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 530 Northeast Glen Oak Avenue, Peoria, Illinois 61637, Peoria Rescue Ministries, P.O. Box 837, Peoria, Illinois 61652 or to a charity of the donor’s choice.

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