Franklin Sexton

Hamilton County

Franklin Christopher Sexton, Sr., 87, died peacefully Friday, Oct. 7, 2011. He lived a life honoring God and his family. He was a remarkable man who came from humble beginnings and worked at everything he did. He was born in Helena, Ark., Aug. 24, 1924, the son of Ernest and Mary Sexton.He joined the Marines at age 16, and fought for his country in the South Pacific including Guadalcanal. He was 1st Marine Division, 11th Regiment, 4th Battalion, M Battery. At 17, he became the youngest sergeant in the USMC.He hadnt finished the 10th grade, but after WWII, graduated from Memphis State College. There he met his bride on the library steps and with nine other vets, started the Veterans Cab Company.He and Hilda made Chattanooga their home the last three years. They attended Woodland Park Baptist Church. Other places they called home include Memphis, Dallas and St. Louis.Most of his career was spent as an executive with Chrysler Corporation, including Regional Manager and VP of the Chrysler subsidiary, Vanpool Services. Frank was preceded in death by one son, Jeffrey Clark Sexton; his parents and siblings Mary Ernestine Esgro, Gene Sexton, Faye Fazzee, James Goodwin, Barbara Ann Alves and Douglas Goodwin.He is survived by his wife of 63 years Hilda Milstead Sexton; son, Franklin (Norma) Christopher Jr., daughter Cindy (Gil) Sexton Gilbert and grandchildren, Nathan Sexton and Caleb Sexton, of Austin, TX, Lesley Sexton, of Missouri and Gracie Gilbert, of Chattanooga; several nieces and nephews; and brother, Ron Goodwin, of California. He was a tender grandfather who could sing every verse of "Froggie went a Courtin " For 17 years he brought businessmen together for a nondenominational weekly luncheon with a Christian message of hope and healing at his church in West St. Louis County. He loved taking mission trips to Mexico. He was devoted to Teen Challenge, Gideons International and Bethel Bible Village. He would want any memorials to be made to those organizations. Frank loved to laugh and spend family time together. He would have loved seeing the Cardinals in the NLCS and the Texas-OU game on Saturday. He loved golf and played 112 holes in one day at the age of 81 for Teen Challenge, egged on by his friend Tony Long.He inspired his children to be life-long learners. He was the first in the family to own a computer and always embraced new challenges. As a child he couldnt afford to be a Boy Scout, but he checked out the manual from the library and read it cover to cover. We, his family, will always miss him, but are eternally grateful for his love and indelible imprint on each of us.We would like to thank the people at Morning Pointe and LifeCare for their compassion.The family will receive friends on Wednesday from 4- 7 p.m. at the Chattanooga Funeral Home East Brainerd Chapel and on Thursday from 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. at the East Brainerd Chapel.Funeral services will be held on Thursday at 1 p.m. at the East Brainerd Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home.Committal service will be held on Thursday at Chattanooga National Cemetery.Burial will be in Harmony Cemetery in Walnut, Miss. on Friday.Honorary pallbearers will be Roger Fitch, Gil Gilbert, Richard Kemp, Charlie Nappier, Caleb Sexton, Chris Sexton, Nathan Sexton, Fred Walpole and Mark Walpole. Arrangements are by the East Brainerd Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home Crematory and Florist, 8214 East Brainerd Road, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37421.Please share your thoughts and memories at

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »


Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.