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October 9, 2023
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Arlene Harris Franklin, 81, of Lincoln Park, NJ passed away on October 9th in Bridgewater, NJ surrounded by her family. Born November 2, 1941 in Hackensack, NJ to Walter and Lillian (Burgess) Harris. Arlene was the youngest of three daughters.
During her early years, she would dress up in her Hopalong Cassidy outfit- hat, boots and with a pistol in each hand. She enjoyed spending time with her older sisters Ruth and Dorothy. They spent summers in upstate NY swimming in the “kill” and staying at the cabin her father had built in the late 1920s on a couple of acres from his family’s farm.
She made lifelong friends while growing up in Fair Lawn, NJ. She met her future husband William (Bill) Franklin when she was 11. In January 1960, Arlene and Bill were married and had two children, Glenn and Denise. They parted ways in the late 1960s. Arlene met her second husband, Larry Brock when he was in NJ on business and she was working as a hostess at the Rib Sirloin in Paramus, NJ. They were married in June 1972 and settled in Illinois where their son, Vance was born. From there they lived in Missouri, Florida and finally Arkansas. After 10 years together, Arlene and Larry parted ways and she moved back to NJ and reunited with her first love, Bill. They married again in March 1984 and were together for 32 years until his death in 2016.
Arlene worked as a hostess, waitress, at the JC Penney catalog desk, and before her retirement in 2001, as a personal lines claims adjuster for insurance.
She had many interests - she bowled on a league most of her life, went on cruises with Bill, was an artist (selling her birdhouses at craft fairs and painting furniture that Bill built), was a long time member of Wayne United Methodist Church, and participated in many car shows and cruise nights with Bill and his 1960 Dodge Phoenix.
She loved eating at diners, hot fudge sundaes with wet walnuts, hot dogs “all the way”, and a glass of wine (with ice).
Most of all, Arlene loved her family and was affectionately known as “Mojo” and “Nana”. She looked forward to spending holidays with the family. When her granddaughters were younger, she enjoyed bringing them to pumpkin patches for hayrides and helping them paint the pumpkins. She lived long enough to meet her new great granddaughter Luna, the two of them looking into each other’s eyes, a loving connection made, this past week as they lay next to each other.
She was predeceased by her parents, sister Ruth Casler and husband Bill.
She is survived by her sister Dorothy (Armand) Sella, sons Glenn and Vance (Doreen), daughter Denise (Roger), grandchildren Shannon (Stephen) Smith, Lauren, Morgan, Madi, Jackson and Glenn, Jr., her great grandchildren Carson and Luna Smith and many nieces and nephews.
We’ll miss our “tour director” but are comforted to know she’s in Heaven reunited with Bill and other loved ones.
Visiting hours will be held from 4-6PM on Sunday, October15, 2023 at the Bridgewater Funeral Home, 707 East Main Street, Bridgewater, NJ 08807.