Posted by Cathy Gowdy on Tuesday, April 11, 2006 at 08:25:17 :
San Francisco Chronicle
Thursday, October 11, 2001
FRANSON, Justice Donald R. -- Donald Ross Franson passed away on September 23, 2001, from complications related to Parkinson's Disease. He was 75 years old. Don was born in Riverside, California on March 31, 1926, the only child of Harold A. Franson and Bessie H. Franson, who had come to California from Wahoo, Nebraska. Don's family moved to Oakland where he attended Oakland High School and served as Student Body President. After graduating in 1943, Don entered the University of California, Berkeley, where he met his future wife, Inma Hollins, when he asked to borrow some ink for his pen when both were studying at the main library. Don graduated with a degree in Business in 1947 and, after their marriage on August 7, 1948, he and Irma moved to San Francisco to attend the University of California, Hastings College of Law. Upon his graduation in 1951, Don and Irma moved to Fresno, Irma's home town, where they raised five children, Vickie, Donald, Steve, Tom and Susan, and was later active with his 15 grandchildren. Following several years as a Deputy District Attorney for Fresno County, Don entered private practice, where he later became a partner with the firm of Miles, Sears and Franson, from 1955 through 1965. As a young attorney, Don was active in many civic and political organizations. He was appointed Bankruptcy Judge for the United States Bankruptcy Court in 1965, and in 1967 was appointed by Governor Reagan to the Fresno County Superior Court. He was later appointed to the Fifth District Court of Appeal in 1972, and was named Presiding Justice of that Court in 1987. While on the Court of Appeal, Franson authored over 300 published opinions in the civil and criminal law areas. Following his formal retirement from the court in 1990, Don continued to work at his old courts, leaving time for reading history, travel and golf. He is survived by his wife, Irma Hollins Franson; his five children and each of their spouses; and his 15 grandchildren, Annie, Catherine, Robert Hagbom of Mill Valley, Amy, Donald III, Elizabeth and Samuel Franson of Fresno, Erik and Evan Franson of Fresno, Tyler, Cole and Miles Franson of Sacramento, and Conner, Trevor and Victoria Edwards of Tiburon. He is also survived by his niece and nephew, Bill and Holly Zamzow of Massachusetts.
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