Newport This Week

Roberta A. Franklin

Roberta A. Franklin, 92, a native Newporter, passed away on May 1, 2022, in Newport Hospital. She was the loving wife of the late QMCM Byron E. Franklin, USN, (Ret.), for 63 years.

Roberta was born in Newport, to the late Einar and Agnes (Hume) Johnsen. She grew up in Newport and was a lifelong parishioner of Emmanuel Church.

She was a devoted Navy wife; she raised her three children while her husband was away for months at a time serving in the U.S. Navy. She worked as a telephone operator for New England Telephone, where she was a Pioneer member. She leaves many friends from the telephone company. In her retirement she enjoyed traveling with her husband Byron; together they would vacation to Disney in Florida every year, and frequently visit family in California.

Roberta is survived by her children; Richard (Cheryl) Franklin, of Middletown, Deborah (Stephen) DeAscentis, of Middletown, Patricia (John Raiola) Franklin, of Newport, her siblings; Irene (Barry) Sloane, of Framingham, Mass., Jackie (Michael) Breen, of Middletown, Carole Poitras, of Phoenix, Ariz., grandchildren; Richard (Eliza Reed) Franklin, Rachel (Timothy) Gomes, Scott and Michael DeAscentis, Rebecca Killian, and great-grandchild; Emeline Franklin. She additionally leaves a sister-in-law, Betty Lou Johnsen, of El Cajon, Calif., many nieces and nephews, and great-nieces and nephews.

Roberta was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, Byron E. Franklin; her brothers, James and William Johnsen; her nephew, Christopher O’Neil Shea; and her brother-in-law, Jim Poitras.

Visiting hours will be held on Friday, May 27, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Memorial Funeral Home, 375 Broadway, Newport.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 28, at 10 a.m. in Emmanuel Church, 42 Dearborn St., Newport.

Memorial donations may be made in her name to Emmanuel Church, 42 Dearborn St., Newport RI 02840.

Additional information at

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