On Thursday, February 23, 1995, Melvin Franklin joined former groupmates, Paul Williams, David Ruffin, and Eddie Kendricks, at the big Hitsville in the sky, when he became the fourth member of the classic Temptations line-up to die. He had been a member of the group for over three decades. His funeral was held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 25th, at Forest Lawn Church of the Hills in Hollywood Hills, California.
Momma Rose Franklin cherished some of the remarks made at Melvin's funeral. Berry Gordy had said:"You could travel all over the world, stop at any door and ask about Melvin Franklin. You couldn't find anyone to say anything bad about him. He was the type of person that when he walked into a room, if it was dark, it would light up, and if it was lit up, it would become brighter."
The world, and Detroit in particular, will remember Melvin Franklin for the amazing things he could do with his incredible voice. There should be no doubt that among bass singers, few could match, and none could surpass Melvin Franklin.
In a statement made the day of Franklin's death, Otis Williams said that Franklin "will be in my heart as long as I live. He will always be my partner, and in his name, the Temptations will continue on." Friends say that Melvin would have wanted it that way.
Melvin is survived by his wife Kimberly; mother, Rose Franklin, five children, David English Jr., Davette Engish, Felicia Johnson, and Niquos and LaRissa Douglas; two brothers, Willard (Jiggs) and Michael Franklin; and two sisters, Beverly Miller and Audrey Franklin.
After the news of his death was announced, numerous anonymous tributes of flowers appeared on the Temptations' star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in Los Angeles.
Watching a peaceful death of a human being
reminds us of a falling star;
one of a million lights in a vast
sky that flares up for a brief moment
only to disappear into the endless night forever.
~ ~ Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross, "On Death and Dying," 1969