Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

July 17, 2013

Franklin M. Walls

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PRINCETON — Franklin M. Walls, 81, of Honaker Avenue, Princeton, died Monday, July 15, 2013, in his home with his daughter Judith and his brother Robert at his side. His son Michael had also spent months by his father's side this year. Frank had struggled courageously to recover from extensive back surgery since January 17, having the over-riding desire to walk again unaided. Frank had suffered many, many years with extensive back pain and disability, and decided to have the surgery. He had often told family that in his dreams he was able to walk again.

Frank and his family moved to Princeton from Welch in 1968. In 1970, Frank left U.S. Steel, where he served as maintenance foreman of the Gary operations and became a federal electrical inspector for MSHA (Mine Safety and Health Administration) from the Princeton offices. He spent 30 years serving MSHA, until 2000, when his disability became too great to continue working. Largely self-educated, he shared his knowledge and taught his work skills at the MSHA Academy in Beckley.

His job in retirement became caring for his wife Clara until her death December 27, 2009, and was, always, a loving and loyal man. He was known to all as a man of integrity, dedication and compassion. Together Frank and Clara raised two children and a grandchild, and were long-time members of the First Baptist Church of Princeton.

Born March 13, 1932, in Welch, he was the son of the late James C. Walls and Laura Lockhart Walls of Roderfield, W.Va. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by four of his seven siblings, Ralph Walls, John Walls, Wanda Walls Moses and Linda Walls Canup.

Survivors include son Michael D. Walls and his wife Willa and grandson Mitchell of Louisville, Ky.; one daughter Judith L. Walls of Jeffersonville, Vt.; granddaughter Kristen R. Walls Dubowski and her husband John and their children John Paul Dubowski IV (JP) and Alexandrea Brynn of St. Clairsville, Ohio. Surviving siblings are James B. Walls of Max Meadows, Va., and Robert D. Walls of Roderfield, and Elizabeth Hanshaw of Big Sandy, W.Va.

Funeral services will be held 2:00 p.m. Friday, July 19, 2013 from the First Baptist Church in Princeton with Dr. David Dockery officiating. Burial will follow in Roselawn Memorial Gardens in Princeton, with a brief graveside service.

Friends may visit with the family Thursday evening July 18, from 6 until 8 p.m. at the Memorial Funeral Directory on the Athens Road in Princeton and one hour prior to services at the church.

Online condolences may be shared via

Serving as pallbearers will be Milburn Blankenship, Earl Davis, Chris Stanley, John Fox, Bill Brown and Jim Hanshaw.

Honorary pallbearers will be Ray MaHaffey, Bob Crowder, Harold Pruett, Dee Stanley and Bill Winfrey.

The Walls family is being served by the Memorial Funeral Directory & Cremation Center on the Athens Road in Princeton.