Cover photo for Franklin Conley's Obituary
Franklin Conley Profile Photo
1933 Franklin 2015

Franklin Conley

December 17, 1933 — October 16, 2015

Born in Hager Hill, KY on December 17, 1933 Departed on October 16, 2015 and resided in Gallatin, TN Life Celebration: Crestview Funeral Home Room: ChapelThursday October 22, 2015 7:00pm to 8:00pmVisitation: Crestview Funeral Home Room: ChapelThursday October 22, 2015 5:00pm to 7:00pm

Franklin Dpassed peacefully Friday evening, October 16, 2015, surrounded by family and friends in the home he had envisioned and built overlooking Old Hickory Lake in Gallatin. He was a loving father, husband, brother, uncle and Paw Paw. He lived a full, dedicated life with a servant heart and loved the challenges as well as the blessings. He was so loved by so many.
Frank was born December 17, 1933, the son of a coal miner at Hager Hill in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky and in the midst of the Great Depression. Due to rheumatic fever as a child, he was tutored at home in the early years, first attended public school at 14 and excelled as a student. He was elected class president and Youth Governor for the State of Kentucky. He graduated Prestonsburg High School, and became the first in his family to attend college. He earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky, and a Master's in Divinity from Southern Seminary in Louisville. As a seminary student, he began his pastorate in Owenton, Kentucky, going on to pastor Vine Run Baptist in Dry Ridge, Kentucky, and Mount Vernon Baptist in Versailles, Kentucky. He later served twice as interim pastor of First Baptist Church in Smithville, Tennessee. After moving from Kentucky to Tennessee, he completed an Educational Specialist degree at Peabody College, attended Vanderbilt University and Tennessee State University, and maintained a life-long love for learning as well as teaching and service.
He taught at Belmont College where he served as Chaplain and Director of the Baptist Student Union and coached the debate team. He joined the staff at Volunteer State Community College in 1971 when the college first opened its doors and served as full time professor of psychology for 26 years and then continued to teach as emeritus and adjunct to the age of 80.
Having tragically suffered the loss of a son who was just 17, Frank became a pioneer in the field of grief therapy developing and teaching one of the first college courses offered in the country on Death and Dying. He developed a passion for hospice services and served as Bereavement Coordinator for Sumner Regional Hospice as well as a Chaplain for Sumner Regional Medical Center. As a Licensed Professional Counselor with certification in Marriage and Family Therapy, he founded The Center for Christian Counseling in Madison, Tennessee, where he counseled and served individuals and families through difficult life issues. He also served as a counselor with Cumberland Mental Health.
Anyone who knew Franklin Conley understood that he loved and enjoyed people and drew his energy and enthusiasm for life from ministry and service and from being with his family, his many friends, and his students. He engaged enthusiastically in community activities including directing two plays at Theater by the Lake in Hendersonville. He wrote, directed, and starred in a one-man show of President Andrew Jackson's life and times which he performed in venues across the state. For many years, he provided the historical voice of President Jackson in films at The Hermitage. He wrote a monthly column in the Gallatin Examiner entitled Growing Up and Growing Older. He also was a building contractor who built and remodeled homes.
Frank is survived by his wife Judy Neagle Conley; sons Robert Conley of Los Angeles and David Conley of Orlando; stepson Mark Dillard of Lebanon; stepdaughter Amy Dillard Earhart (Chris) of Houston; his grandchildren Michael Dillard, Ava Earhart, and Silas Earhart; his sister Rebecca Sue Yaun (Luther) of Greensboro, North Carolina; and three nephews and their families. He was predeceased by his eldest son, Frank Jr., and his elder brother, Earl Conley, as well as his parents Frank and Malinda.
A Life Celebration will be held at Crestview Funeral Home and Gardens in Gallatin on Thursday, October 22. Visitation will be held from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. with a Celebration Service beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Chapel. In lieu of flowers, donations to a hospice agency, church, or favorite charity are requested.

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