I am deeply sad to write that my good friend, Howard G Franklin, passed away, surrounded by close family in Portland (US), on the evening of September 11, 2016. I first met him in person in March 2012 when he visited Hangzhou (China) while he was touring the country with his wife, Linda, who I have known as a writer way back from 2008 when I published my first book on China through FirstBooks and Inkwater Press. We kept in touch ever since as good mates. Such is the sad fact of life that we are all busy in our day-to-day lives and distance makes it challenging to meet each other often than we hope for. I was hoping to go and meet him in Portland one day (a city I have never been to and I had hoped that I would visit).
Linda confirmed that he was diagnosed with metastatic cancer at the beginning of April. He had three very good months, sailing through chemo, continuing to play singles tennis and walk three miles a day. Following a genetic test that indicated it was 90% likely bladder cancer, he had immunotherapy, but developed pneumonitis throughout July. By August, it had metastasized very widely with 11 new brain lesions, which robbed him of all balance and stability, and invasion of heart lining, lungs, GI tract, etc. His last six weeks were a very rapid decline, from walking with Linda's assistance, to a walker, to a wheelchair and finally to being bedridden. With his whole family by his side, he left our world at 9.19pm local time, holding Linda’s hand. They had over nine wonderful years’ together, way too short but as Linda says, they did so much and he was able to leave a legacy behind, which was so important to him.
Outside of personal life, his work as a distinguished author and attorney in the US will always be remembered by the many who he was able to bring inspiration and joy to with his lifelong experiences. Here is a link to an article I wrote last year about Howard’s work, and below is a screen shot of an obituary that was published in his local newspaper in Portland.
May god bless Howard G. Franklin and may his soul rest in peace. Great man.
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