AUGUSTA, Ga. - Entered into rest May 14, 2002, at the residence, Judge Franklin Hankinson Pierce, 85, of Augusta, husband of the late Mrs. Hilda Evans Pierce. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, today, May 17, 2002, at Trinity on the Hill United Methodist Church with the Reverend Stephen M. Dodson officiating. Private interment will be held at Westover Memorial Park. Serving as honorary pallbearers will be the Civil, State and Superior Courts Judges , the Augusta Bar Association, and the Richmond County Sheriffs Department. He is survived by his loving daughters and their husbands, Mariam Pierce Brown and John G. Brown of Augusta and Melissa Pierce Beaver and Kim A. Beaver of Hilton Head Island, S.C.; his sister, Mrs. Mariam Pierce Walker of Evans and his two adored granddaughters, Helen Amanda Brown of Boulder, Colo. and Mariam Leslie Brown of Augusta. A native and lifelong resident of Augusta, the son of the late Benjamin E. Pierce Sr. and the late Esse Hankinson Pierce and one of eight children, Judge Pierce was a graduate of Richmond Academy and a 1936 graduate of the then Junior College of Augusta where this year he received the Augusta State University Distinguished Alumnus Award for 2002. Following in his fathers footsteps, he studied law with his father and was admitted to the Georgia Bar in 1937 and began his practice of Law in Augusta. He was also a graduate of the Augusta Law School and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law degree. In 1941 Judge Pierce enlisted in the Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet and later went to pre-flight school and Bombardier training. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in 1942 at Deming Air Force Base in Deming, New Mexico. There he remained as an instructor until the war ended in 1945 and was discharged with the rank of First Lieutenant. He returned to Augusta and resumed his law practice and became active in politics. He served as the first president of the Independent League for Good Government. In 1947 he was named County Attorney for Richmond County. He was re-appointed for the following 26 years, during which time he served as attorney for the County Board of Education and attorney for the Richmond County Board of Health. Judge Pierces name appears on more Richmond County buildings than any other living individual in the Augusta area. Over forty of them were built during his tenure as County Attorney. In 1972, Franklin H. Pierce resigned as County Attorney to run for Judge of the Superior Courts of the Augusta Judicial Circuit. He was elected in 1972 without opposition. He has been Judge since January 1, 1973 and has been re-elected four times without opposition. Judge Pierce was appointed Senior Judge of the Superior Courts of Georgia in October 13, 1991 on his 75th Birthday. He was a member of Trinity on the Hill United Methodist Church where he served on the Board of Stewards and for many years as the Trior of Appeals. Judge Pierce was also a member of the Augusta Country Club and the Pinetucky Skeet and Trap Club, Inc. He was also an Elk, Mason and Shriner. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to Trinity on the Hill United Methodist Church, 1330 Monte Sano Avenue, Augusta, GA 30904 or to the Alzheimers Association of Augusta, 1899 Central Avenue, Augusta, GA 30904. The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 7 to 9 p.m., tonight, Thursday, at Platts Funeral Home, 721 Crawford Avenue, Augusta, 733-3636.
The Augusta Chronicle May 17, 2002