Franklin S. Nelson M.D.
Franklin S. Nelson M.D.
Franklin Nelson was an incredible man who led a life filled with love, joy and the occasional pun. He had a long distinguished career as a Surgeon and a Navy officer, and a significant involvement in figure skating. Above all he was a loving husband, father and grandfather.
Franklin grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he pursued many lifelong passions including sailing, figure skating, tennis, music and photography. After graduating from Harvard University in 1955 Franklin entered the Navy for the first of his two tours of duty. Following two years in the Navy, Franklin was accepted to Harvard Medical School and upon graduation in 1961 he married the love of his life, Polly Reid. After completing his surgical residency in Boston and the birth of their first child, Reid, Franklin and Polly moved to his hometown of Tulsa where his second child, Whitney Anne, was born.
In Tulsa Franklin had a successful general surgery practice, specializing in the treatment of burns, for nearly 25 years. He then decided to re-enlist in the Navy which was actively recruiting seasoned surgeons. As a result, Franklin and Polly left civilian life and headed to Oakland, CA where he began practicing and teaching at the Naval Hospital Oakland. This assignment as interrupted, however, by the first Persian Gulf War (Desert Shield/Desert Storm) and Franklin was deployed to the hospital ship USNS Mercy which headed to the Persian Gulf to serve the wounded. After 6 years in the San Francisco Bay area, Franklin and Polly moved to Groton, CT to finish out his Navy career.
Retiring from the Navy in 1998, he and Polly moved back to the west coast to Bainbridge Island, WA, in Puget Sound, near Seattle. They thoroughly enjoyed all the offerings of both the island life and the city life. Franklin enthusiastically got to do more sailing and gardening.
In 2007 Franklin and Polly decided it was time to move back east to be close to family and to enjoy their grandchildren, Tanner and Remy. Settling in Ambler, PA they quickly became embedded in the neighborhood and all its offerings. Because of Alzheimer’s disease Franklin was a resident of Ft. Washington Estates for 3 years where he received incredible care from all the staff.
Franklin’s significant passion in life was figure skating. His long and distinguished dedication to figure skating spanned well over 50 years, from competing to being an international referee, a world judge, a team leader, and a world medical adviser, all at the highest levels in the sport – Nationals, Worlds and Olympics. He also served the United States Figure Skating organization in various capacities, including President. Franklin’s grandchildren were very impressed to learn that their grandfather had his own Wikipedia page. While that page provides a summary of his skating career, Franklin’s participation left a significant footprint on the sport.
A celebration of his life reception will be held at a date to be determined. In lieu of flowers, a contribution in his name to the Alzheimer’s Association, or to your preferred charity, would be appreciated.