11/10/05 — Wayne business, community leader E.T. Franklin dies

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Wayne business, community leader E.T. Franklin dies

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on November 10, 2005 1:49 PM

E.T. Franklin, who built a small baking company into a leading industry in Wayne County, died today at home.

He was 91.

Franklin came to Goldsboro in 1945 from Durham and bought a small bakery with only a handful of bread-truck routes. Today, Franklin Baking is a multi-million-dollar business that makes and distributes bread and bakery items across eastern North Carolina and Tidewater Virginia. The company, which has nearly 400 employees, merged with Flowers Food in 1998.

"I knew him as a gentleman and a very pleasant man and very dedicated to his work. He was respected by everyone in the business community," said Ollie Toomey, a former executive with the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce.

Ralph Gable, a family friend, said Franklin was "a very astute and honest business man who built an empire with Made-Rite-Sunbeam. There was nothing in the business that he did not know about, whether dealing with sales people or working on a machine."

Funeral arrangements are incomplete at Seymour Funeral Home.