Douglas W. Franchot Jr., a retired lawyer and father of Maryland Comptroller Peter W. Franchot, died Thursday morning of cardiovascular failure at his Riderwood Village retirement community home in Silver Spring.
“I just wanted to let everyone know that my father, Douglas Franchot, died peacefully this morning at the age of 97,” the comptroller wrote on Facebook. “I’m grateful and relieved that he was alert, in good spirits, and free of pain in the days leading up to his death.”
He described his father as being “an exceptionally loving and supportive father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.”
Douglas Warner Franchot Jr., the son of Douglas W. Franchot Sr. and his wife, Constance Lippincott Franchot, was born in Tulsa, Okla.
After the death of his father in 1928, Mr. Franchot’s mother married, moved to Baltimore and married Englishman Capt. Harold Money, a well-known marksman.
Mr. Franchot enrolled in Gilman School in 1930, and after his stepfather’s death in 1937, his mother moved into the Warrenton Apartments on North Charles Street in Guilford.
Mr. Franchot began taking flying lessons in Lake Placid, N.Y., in 1937 and graduated in 1941 from St. Paul’s School in Concord, N.H.
He began his college studies at Yale University and in 1942 joined the Navy V-5 Program, where he eventually was trained to fly B-24 Liberator heavy bombers.
Mr. Franchot receives his pilot’s wings in 1944 and was assigned to the South Pacific, where he flew B-24s.
After World War II ended, he returned to Yale where he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1946 and his law degree in 1949.
He was married in 1944 to the former Janet “Jenny” Kerr, and moved with his wife and then two young sons to Providence, R.I., where he began his law career.
In 1962, Mr. Franchot moved to Grosse Point, Mich., when he joined Ford Motor Co., where he handled legal matters for its tractor division. After moving to New York in 1966, he became vice president and general counsel for Bristol-Myers Co., and was also vice president for development of the Drackett Co.
Mr. Franchot and his first wife were divorced in 1972.
He was named general counsel of Republic Steel Co. in 1975 in Cleveland, a position he held for a decade, until being appointed general counsel of University Hospitals, also in Cleveland, from which he retired in 1998.
“For all of his accomplishments, I still shake my head in wonder, that right up to the end, he was preoccupied with the future,” Mr. Franchot wrote on Facebook of his father. “We would spend hours discussing the disruptive industries that are changing the American economy, political trends across the world , and the possibility of scientific innovations that could make life better tomorrow than it is today.”
Mr. Franchot, who lived in Cleveland, moved to Riderwood Village in 2015.
He was predeceased by his second wife, Maryann Franchot, in 2015.
A private memorial service is being planned.
In addition to Mr. Franchot, who lives in Takoma Park, the elder Franchot is survived by two other sons, Douglas W. Franchot III of International Falls, Minn., and Michael L. Franchot of Atlanta; nine grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. A daughter, Jenny Franchot, died in 1998.