Mr. Franklin’s marriage to Nancy Creevan ended in divorce. He married Lynn Scheidhauer in 1988. In addition to his wife, his survivors include two daughters, Catherine Franklin Abzug and Teresa June Franklin, from his first marriage.
Among his other books is “The Wolf in the Parlor: The Eternal Connection Between Humans and Dogs” (2000), in which he describes how the Franklins’ pet poodle, Sam, woke the family when their house caught fire.
For a writer whose own surgical experience only went so far as having his thumb reattached after it was severed in a fall on the sidewalk, Mr. Franklin’s story on “the monster” aneurysm pressing on Edna Kelly’s brain was rich with detail and accessible imagery. The growing pressure on the arterial wall, he wrote, was like “a tire about to blow out, a balloon ready to burst, a time-bomb the size of a pea.”
Mrs. Kelly was willing to die rather than live with the monster. Her story was not about a miracle. But it begins and ends by invoking sustenance, without which life, and miracles, cannot exist:
Waffles for breakfast made by the wife of Dr. Thomas Barbee Ducker, chief brain surgeon at the University of Maryland Hospital. No coffee. It makes his hands shake, Mr. Franklin wrote. When the surgery is over, what awaits Dr. Ducker are more medical challenges and a peanut butter sandwich his wife had packed in a brown bag with Fig Newtons and a banana.
“Mrs. Kelly is dying,” Mr. Franklin wrote.
“The clock on the wall, near where Dr. Ducker sits, says 1:43, and it’s over.