By 6 a.m., District 43 state Rep. Bobby Franklin, R-Marietta, would be at the state Capitol studying legislation.
“He graded bills like a teacher,” said District 24 state Rep. Mike Dudgeon, R-Cumming, who sat next to Franklin during session. “He had a red pen. He read them all and he would mark up things he had issues with.”
Franklin, who attended Chalcedon Presbyterian Church in Cumming, died in his Marietta home July 26. A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Monday at Cumming Baptist Church, 115 Church St.
Though they didn’t always agree with the strong-willed Franklin, Forsyth delegates said they will most miss his dedication to serving as a state legislator.
“He read all the bills thoroughly and … he made his own decisions. He didn’t let discussions of others sway him,” said District 9 state Rep. Amos Amerson, R-Dah–lonega. “If he thought there was a loophole in a bill, you could not talk him out of it, no matter what.
“He was a very dedicated person and it’s hard not to like somebody like that.”
Franklin was known for often voting against bills, largely if they didn’t adhere to the Constitution, Amerson said.
“He was a very strict constitutionalist, and if it wasn’t in the constitution, he didn’t think we ought to have it,” Amerson said. “Where he and I diverged was after the Republicans became the majority. When you’re in the majority you have to lead, and that means compromising. Bobby was not very good at compromising … but I liked him very much as a person.”
Amerson joked the two would often disagree and try to sway the other, but to no avail.
“We’re both pretty bull-headed.”
But even if he disagreed with an opinion or a bill, “he always had a smile on his face,” said District 23 state Rep. Mark Hamilton, R-Cumming.
“Bobby was a very independent thinker that always worked hard on any issue before him,” he said. “There is no doubt that he took his job very seriously and he was always familiar with the details of the legislation being debated and voted on.
“We didn’t always agree, but he was always a gentleman in his efforts. He will be missed by many in the House.”
A first-term state representative, Dudgeon said he will feel the impact of Franklin’s loss.
“He turned out to be extremely friendly and a true gentleman,” Dudgeon said. “He was a great guy to sit and chat with and … I’ll miss him. It will be sad sitting next to an empty chair.”
Dudgeon said he will attend the memorial service, which is open to the public.