Pamela Franklin

Obituary of Pamela Jean Franklin


Pam Franklin was born and raised on the west side of Chicago. She attended the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, as one of the 500 students of color who were admitted to that school as a result of student demonstrations the preceding year.

Upon graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work, Pam took a job with the University of Minnesota Extension Service, where she taught principles of nutrition to food stamp recipients. Later she took a job with Opportunity Workshop, where she taught nutrition skills to people with developmental disabilities, as part of their training for independent living.

Around 1990, Pam was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). That, along with a series of surgeries on her knees, forced her to take a disability retirement in 1999. But that did not stop her from playing an active role in the community. She volunteered to serve on the Minneapolis Police Community Relations Board, where she investigated complaints of police brutality and made recommendations for discipline of guilty officers.

Later she took classes in improvisational comedy at Brave New Workshop, after which she became a regular performer with Huge Improv Theater. She was best known at Huge for her dead-pan delivery of nonsensical lines which frequently brought the house down with laughter.

In 2003 she and her long-time friend Linda Gill launched an organization called People of Color with MS. At that time MS was considered to be a condition affecting only white people, and Pam’s group provided badly needed support for people of color who were often not recognized by the medical community as having MS. The organization continues to be active to this day, providing both advice and support to its members while helping them to become involved with arts and theatrical experiences.

Pam Franklin died on February 23, 2024. She is survived by her mother, Hazel Franklin of Chicago, and by David Weisberg, her long-time companion; his daughters, Maya Brown and Heather Tubwon; and grandchildren Jordan, David and Isaiah Brown.

A celebration of Pam’s life is scheduled for Sunday, March 17, 12:00 noon, at Huge Improv Theater, 2728 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis MN

A Memorial Tree was planted for Pamela
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Cremation Society of Minnesota
Share Your Memory of