While being treated for various ailments in an Atlanta hospital for eight days, Cynthia Franz died of a massive heart attack, on December 29, 2013.
Below is a tribute to both Cynthia and her late husband Raymond.
Raymond Victor Franz Cynthia Marie Franz
Born: May 8, 1922 Born: August 15, 1935
Died: June 2, 2010 Died: December 29, 2013
Cynthia Marie Badame was born in 1935 into a large, loving, Sicilian Italian family in the middle of the Great Depression. She was influenced in her faith by her father, and learned the joy of cooking and showing hospitality from her mother.
Cynthia graduated from the 28th class of Gilead, a missionary school for Jehovah’s Witnesses, in 1956. Her first assignment was in Puerto Rico. While a missionary, Cynthia met her future husband Raymond Franz in 1957. Raymond had graduated from the 3rd class of Gilead in 1945 and had been in Puerto Rico since 1946. In 1959, Cynthia and Raymond Franz were married.
Together they continued their missionary work from 1959 to 1965, in Puerto Rico, the British Virgin Islands, and the Dominican Republic.
Both Cynthia and Raymond loved the islands; however when they were invited to join the staff at the Watchtower Organization’s world headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, they accepted. They served there from 1965 to 1980. In 1971 Raymond became one of the Governing Body members. As Raymond learned the inner workings of the Governing Body, he became deeply concerned that the focus was more on preserving the image of the Organization rather than on sound Biblically based decisions. His disappointment lead to his sharing with Cynthia all that he was troubled with concerning the Governing Body. Cynthia agreed with Raymond and together the two of them decided to leave the world headquarters in 1980.
After leaving the world headquarters, they moved to Alabama. One of their dear friends was a business owner and offered Raymond and Cynthia employment. This friend was Peter Gregerson. It was in Alabama that they hoped to embrace a new life for themselves, along with the hope of having children. It turned into a more turbulent time than they had imagined.
Peter Gregerson decided after much study and prayer to disassociate himself from Jehovah’s Witnesses. Because Peter continued to employ both Raymond and Cynthia, they did not hesitate to accept an invitation to have a meal together at a local restaurant. That meal lead to Raymond’s expulsion (disfellowshipped) from Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1981. (All of these events are chronicled in the book Crisis of Conscience by Raymond Franz.)
Since Raymond’s expulsion (disfellowshipped) from Jehovah’s Witnesses both he and Cynthia eventually built a new life in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. Together they received numerous Jehovah’s Witnesses and former Jehovah’s Witnesses in their home from many countries all over the world. People were deeply troubled by what they saw happening among Jehovah’s Witnesses, along with questions about their doctrine. They sought Raymond and Cynthia and they were received with warmth and encouragement. Cynthia cooked and showed great hospitality, while Raymond shared his understanding of the Bible. Together they made an extraordinary team as they ministered to the brokenhearted.
On June 2, 2010, Raymond died at 88 years of age. Cynthia grieved him deeply. It was especially hard as they never were able to have children. From the time Raymond died until Cynthia died on December 29, 2013, her grieving of her beloved Raymond remained constant. Both Raymond and Cynthia loved God, were without malice, loyal, kind and wanted to contribute to the well being of others. The world is a better place for having had them in it. They will both be dearly missed by many.
Note: The above brief historical information came from Cynthia Franz herself. In honor of Raymond & Cynthia Franz, the present copyright owner of Crisis of Conscious and In Search of Christian Freedom is committed to further distribution of these publications. More details will be forthcoming.