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Henry Franks

Henry J. Franks Jr.

January 2, 1930 - September 13, 2020
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Obituary

On Sunday, September 13, 2020, Henry J. Franks, Jr., loving husband and father, passed away at the age of 90.

Henry was born on January 2nd, 1930 in New York City to Henry and Margaret (Waters) Franks. Henry attended St. Francis de Sales grade school and Cardinal Hayes High School. He received his degree in Electrical Engineering from Manhattan College and moved to Washington, D.C. to work for the Naval Research Lab.

While at NRL, Henry worked on Project Vanguard, which was the second satellite successfully placed in Earth’s orbit by the United States and the first solar-powered satellite. In October, 1958, Henry, along with the rest of the Vanguard team, was transferred to the new National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Henry spent 29 years at NASA working primarily in the development of satellite tracking systems. Henry retired from NASA in 1987.

On June 15th, 1957, Henry married Jacqueline Watkins and moved to Cheverly, Maryland where they lived until 1997.They raised one son, Henry Wade.

Henry was a long-time member of the Knights of Columbus and volunteered as an usher at both St. Ambrose parish in Cheverly and Holy Name of Jesus parish in Indian Harbour Beach, Florida.
Henry and Jackie retired to Indian Harbour Beach, Florida and enjoyed many years of global travel and visits from their grandchildren. Henry enjoyed swimming and watching all of the launches at Cape Canaveral.

Henry was preceded in death by his sisters Margaret and Dorothy. He is survived by his wife, Jacqueline, his son Wade, his daughter-in-law Tracy, his grandchildren Mary Katherine, Patrick, and Matthew, his brother Francis, and his sister Joan.

A private graveside service will be held on Wednesday, September 16th, 2020 at Resurrection Cemetery in Clinton, Maryland.
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