Dennis Franks: A Celebration Of Life

Dennis Franks, beloved Executive Vice President of Market America | SHOP.COM since 1992

Photo Credit: Market America | SHOP.COM

Beloved family man and American success story, Dennis Franks, 68, passed away unexpectedly in Cornelius, North Carolina on October 16, 2021. He is predeceased by his parents, Donald and Inge Franks. He is survived by his wife, Nancy; daughters Lauren [Eddie] Ifft and Katie [Daniel] Rowland; grandchildren, Izzy, William and Cruz; and siblings Claudia Lambing and Donald Franks. Dennis lived a full life and left a massive legacy as the Executive Vice President at Market America | SHOP.COM, where he worked since 1992.

From humble beginnings in Pittsburgh, PA, the son of a steelworker and a German figure skating champion, Dennis achieved greatness. A graduate of Bethel Park High School, Dennis was recruited by more than 100 colleges to play football or pursue track and field. He accepted a football scholarship at the University of Michigan, where he majored in economics. Dennis started three years as offensive center for the Wolverines and was awarded First Team All-Big Ten and Second Team All-American Honors, in his senior year.

He played five years in the NFL, first, for the Philadelphia Eagles under the leadership of Dick Vermeil, then for the Detroit Lions. He was captain of special teams and it has been said that his enthusiasm might have been his largest asset throughout his professional career. He played a key role in setting the Philadelphia Eagles up for their first Super Bowl appearance in 1981. Dennis finished his career with the Detroit Lions, where he helped build the Lions back to a playoff contender.

Vince Papale, Mark Wahlberg and Dennis Franks

Photo Credit: Market America | SHOP.COM

Dennis married the love of his life, Nancy Haslett, on March 20, 1982. Greensboro, North Carolina served as their primary home during the years they raised Lauren and Katie. Their three grandchildren lovingly call them Diesel and Mia. Dennis’ success in life was fueled by his deep love for his family.

Dennis followed his NFL career applying his infectious energy, team building talents and communication skills to mentor and motivate entrepreneurs in 10 countries for over 30 years. Alongside his wife, Nancy, Dennis has built multi-million-dollar businesses in business service centers, health and weight management consulting as well as network marketing.

Since 1992, Dennis served as Executive Vice President of Market America | SHOP.COM, a global internet-based, product brokerage and one to one marketing company headquartered in Greensboro. He is part owner of SHOP.COM, an internet shopping site, ranked among the top 100 online retailers worldwide. He has helped tens of thousands of entrepreneurs create their own path to financial freedom. He not only earned the respect of those he mentored and motivated, but he also earned their love.

Dennis Franks and Nancy Haslett

Photo Credit: Market America | SHOP.COM

“The unexpected passing of Dennis Franks, ‘Mr. Energy,’ and my best friend and partner of nearly 30 years, leaves us in shock,” said JR Ridinger, Founder and CEO of Market America | SHOP.COM. “He believed 100% in our mission and the Unfranchise™ model, from the beginning, when there was nothing but a concept or idea. He gave up everything to join me in making Market America a success. He immediately moved to Greensboro to help start. He was my ‘other half’ and confidant. He was the ultimate Unfranchise owner and executive and led by example. His boundless love and belief in people resulted in positively influencing tens of thousands of people and thousands of success stories. It has been the greatest honor of my life to have this great man join and follow me for 30 years. He is irreplaceable! Nancy, Katie and Lauren have always been our family and we grieve with them.”

Dennis was also a talented musician. He was a guitarist and vocalist with the Greensboro-based Honey James Band. The band’s grand finale was performed to an enthusiastic crowd gathered for Market America | SHOP.COM International Convention in August 2021.

He co-authored The Last Laugh: Vision to Victory with friend and fellow Philadelphia Eagle, Vince Papale. There, they unpacked the wisdom gained in sports, business, and in life. The book’s title derives from a Hall of Fame photo of Dennis and Vince as they have “the last laugh,” celebrating the win that paved the way to Super Bowl XV. The image depicts not only the emotion felt after winning a game, but the joy that comes from any accomplishment against the odds, in the face of naysayers and doubters.

Dennis fought hard for everything he achieved. His larger-than-life personality inspired greatness in everyone he met. He leaves a huge void, but his beautiful legacy lives on through his family and the many lives he touched.

There will be a celebration of life for Dennis Franks held on November 7th. You can join the service via Facebook Live!

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to the Dennis Franks Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Dennis Franks

Photo Credit: Market America | SHOP.COM