FRANKLIN — Bob Fernald “truly was a man about Franklin.”
That’s how longtime friend Bruce Carter described the well-regarded former Franklin town clerk, who passed away last month.
Fernald came from an old Franklin family, and for more than 60 years a Fernald served as Franklin town clerk. Bob’s father, Lloyd, served in the role from 1943 to 1980, his mother Dorothy from 1980 to 1993, at which point Bob took over.
“He really did a lot for this town,” said former Selectman Robert Cossette. “If someone couldn’t afford to license their dog, he’d pay it for them.”
Fernald conducted town business from his house, starting at 7 a.m. every morning.
“He would help you any time of day,” said Carter. “And with a tremendous sense of humor.”
In addition to serving as town clerk, Fernald was a strong supporter of institutions such as the Franklin Historical Society and the East Franklin Cemetery Association. In 2017, he was named the town’s Citizen of the Year.
Carter described Fernald’s affinity for flower and yard sales around town, saying there was never one that Fernald wouldn’t visit.
“He was a teacher in Sedgwick and Brooklin, and he loved helping people and families,” said Carter. “He’d have an Easter egg hunt every year and people would come from miles around for it.”
Bob Fernald passed away at his home in Franklin on July 24.