AMerican Veteran 10

John Franklin Ogletree

March 25, 1946 ~ August 22, 2023 (age 77) 77 Years Old
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OGLETREE, John “Frank” Franklin – 77, of Mechanicsville, VA gained his angel wings on Tuesday, August 22, 2023. He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert Benjamin and Milbry Walker Ogletree, his brother, Charles Robert Ogletree, and mother-in-law, Emma Lee Bailey. He is survived by his loving and faithful wife of 48 years, Irene B. Ogletree; daughter, Michelle; grandchildren, Zach and Lexi; sister, Annette Hudgens; nephews Barry Ogletree and Cary (Lania) Ogletree; and many more loving family members.

Frank was born on March 25, 1946, in Griffin, GA. He graduated from Griffin High School in the class of 1964. He received an Associate’s Degree in Electronics Technology from Griffin Technical College. He went on to serve in the U.S. Army from March 31, 1969 to January 25, 1971, where he served in Vietnam. He received a Bronze Star Medal for his achievements and bravery throughout this time. He was a true example of what integrity looks like. Frank was a member of the Pioneer Club through his employer, GTE (Verizon), where he worked for 30 years, retiring in 2003.  Coworkers considered him a mentor and friend, always a go-to for advice and opinions. Frank and Irene celebrated both of their retirements with a trip to Hawaii in 2004. One of his favorite pastimes was to find a quiet spot to read whatever he was interested in at the time. Visiting his hometown in Georgia was a road trip he, Irene, and Michelle would take, paired with country music and childhood stories. He and his wife also gifted each other a boat in celebration of their wedding, which was often taken to Lake Gaston with friends and family. He loved vacations to the Outer Banks, where he and his wife celebrated their honeymoon. Later on, he would enjoy swimming in the ocean and roasting marshmallows with his grandkids here, while also taking them to his favorite spot, Tale of the Whale. He had a love for old cars, always showing his family photos of what he owned and the immaculate condition they stayed in, especially his prized Porsche. He practiced many hobbies over the years, one being his string art, where he handcrafted several ship replicas. He later moved on to woodworking, where a block of wood would transform into a lifelike Mallard duck. In his later days, crocheting became his favorite due to doctor’s orders to keep him busy. He created beautiful afghans gifted to friends and family; gifts that will be cherished forever.

Frank wore his title of PawPaw proudly after welcoming his first and only grandson, Zach. The two were inseparable, and as Zach grew up, he began to learn from his PawPaw what it meant to be a man. Frank was also a proud Hokie Grandpa, cheering on Virginia Tech while his granddaughter, Lexi attended. Frank never missed a family event - holidays, birthdays, sports games, and school events alike. He loved to cook for his family. He used generational recipes while also cheffing up his own little creations. Thanksgiving and Christmas held a special place in his heart, and surprise gifts were his famous trademark.

Though a man of few words, his facial expressions said all you needed to know. His acts of service showed the love and gratitude he shared. He was a loving, patient, supportive, faithful, generous, and overall kind man; he was the epitome of a true southern gentleman! Family was the most important thing to him, giving them unwavering love and support. He was the most amazing dad to Michelle, taking care of her and guiding her through life; he never let her down. He set the bar high in so many aspects of his life. He was an outstanding PawPaw to Zach and Lexi, always enjoying talks and visits, and being there for them no matter what. He was a devoted caretaker of Irene in her time following a car accident in 2011, fervently praying for her recovery. Irene dedicated her time to taking care of Frank through 5 years of dialysis, which he never complained about. He never asked, “Why me?” nor did he back down.

While navigating through this world will never be the same, we will love and miss you forever. We will see you again. Rest up soldier, your fight is over.

A private family service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the American Kidney Association.

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