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A Vitality for Life Becomes a Lifetime Gift

Franklin Estes (right) golfs with his grandson Shaun Kelley.

Shriner makes giving part of his legacy

Each spring, Franklin Estes plants nearly 75 salvia plants in his yard. He still lives in his own home and drives his car. Last year, he bought a new car. Not long ago, he flew across the country on his own to see his granddaughter. His get-up-and-go amazes those who are half his age. 

Estes is 105. He became a Mason in 1946 and a Shriner in 1957. Perhaps it’s his cherished Shriner memories that motivate him to continue to get the most out of life – and create a meaningful legacy with his estate gift. 

“I had good, close friends,” he said of his Shriner days. He’s proud of the work he did as a member of Melha Shriners in Springfield, Massachusetts, especially as a drummer and secretary in the band. 

Estes speaks fondly of his younger days and of his mother, who encouraged him to become a Mason. 

Decades after making the decision, he still gets emotional when talking about the gift he made in his will to support Shriners Children’s New England. He made it in honor of his mother and for his time as a Shriner – and because of the work they do for children. 

“I want to be sure that we can continue to enhance the life-changing care we provide for them,” said Estes. 

A gift like Estes’ can make a positive impact on generations of kids at Shriners Children’s.

To learn more, contact the Planned and Major Giving Office at 866-954-1576 or