Franklin Andrew Venable, 81, of Eastpoint, peacefully passed away on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, in Mandeville, Louisiana, with his daughter D. Winn Venable at his side.
Born in LaGrange, Georgia on Sept. 18, 1936, son of his loving parents George McKoy Venable and Josephine Franklin Venable, the family moved to Columbus, Georgia in 1944 where Frank attended St. Elmo for grade school, graduating from Columbus High School in 1954 and from Auburn in 1958.
Upon graduation, Frank married his high school sweetheart, Mary Fleming Winn of Columbus, daughter of the late Dr. John Harvey Winn, Jr. and Dorothy Clason Winn, entered the U.S. Army (Armored Division) as a commissioned officer this same year, and was recalled to active duty in 1962 due to the Berlin Crisis.
Frank's professional career began in the employee benefit field with his father's agency, Venable & Associates, later moving full-time into life insurance sales where he became a lifetime qualifying member of the Million Dollar Round Table for 30 consecutive years and developed an expertise in complicated corporate business insurance and personal estate planning. Frank and his company, Financial Planning for Corporations and Estates, Inc., represented clients throughout the Southeast who appreciated his knowledge, professionalism, and keen business insights.
Always a patriot and a man of great faith, Frank believed strongly in the importance of giving back to the communities in which he lived. He and his family were faithful congregants of the First Presbyterian Church while residing in Columbus. His civic achievements included serving as president of Ducks Unlimited for two years and a 25-year board membership and president of the Boy's Club of South Columbus.
In 1978 Frank was asked to join the board of the Georgia Council on Economic Education, a position he held until 1999. While on that board, he was an active member of the finance and executive committees, serving as secretary-treasurer, and was recognized for originating the GCEE's first endowment fund, which attained assets of $1.4 million by 2010.
An avid wild turkey hunter, fisherman, and explorer from his early years, Frank fished and hunted throughout the United States as well as Canada and Mexico, and walked the Serengeti before climbing Africa's Kilimanjaro Mountain in 1988. While Frank retired to Eastpoint, in 1996 where he became active in local politics and cultivating prize camellias, holding the first camellia show in Apalachicola at his home, Frank remained close to his many longtime friends and associates in Columbus, relationships which he treasured.
With an entrepreneurial spirit both in business and adventure, Frank embodied the spirit of a Southern gentleman, one known to entertain with stories and also well-known for his beautiful singing voice and ability to whistle almost any tune.
Frank was predeceased by his wife, Fleming, as well as his brother George McKoy Venable, Jr. He is survived by his sister, Josephine Margaret "Peggy" Venable Hoagland (Wesley Hoagland), of Scottsdale, Arizona; his sister-in-law, Maria Schmied Venable; his loving daughter, Dorothy Winn Venable and her husband, Ernest A. Burguieres III, of Mandeville, Louisiana, Josephine Fleming Venable, Tallahassee, Claire Venable Koon, Columbus, grandchildren William Andrew DesPortes, Eleanor Fleming White, and Robert McCoy Koon, and one great-grandson, Beau Lowther DesPortes, in addition to his many nieces and nephews and their extended families who cherished the time they were able to spend with their Uncle Frank.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend the gravesite service Monday, Oct. 23 at 1 p.m. at Parkhill Cemetery, Columbus, Georgia.