Franklyn H. Rollins
COOPERSTOWN — Franklyn H. Rollins, a retired Cooperstown Central School music teacher, who was equally, if not more well-known for his excellence in the field of photography, "reached the end of the road" on Monday evening, Dec. 2, 2013, at Otsego Manor. A former resident of Linden Avenue and more recently the Clara Welch Thanksgiving Home, Frank was 96.
Born in Syracuse on Nov. 13, 1917, Frank was a son of Karl B. and Goldie (Holt) Rollins. Proud of a great-grandfather who served in the Civil War, Frank was fond of a photograph he possessed taken when he was a year old that featured five generations of his family. Raised in the University section of Syracuse, he lived there until the sixth grade when his mother and younger brothers — Eugene, who they called "Doc" and Tom — moved to Earlville to be closer to his maternal relatives in 1931.
At Earlville, Frank became interested in music and started informal musical groups at the school before the first band director was hired. When that director was hired, while Frank was still in high school, he lived at the Rollins' house. Frank once stated, "Three of the band directors stayed at my house. My mom used to take in teachers to make some extra money,” illustrating a custom of hosting teachers that has ceased in present generations.
Frank took his interest in music to college and graduated from the Crane School of Music at the Potsdam Normal School — now SUNY Potsdam — in 1941, majoring in percussion. He received his master’s degree from the Columbia Teachers College by taking summer sessions for three years to finish his degree in 1947. For 33 years, Frank taught band and choir at Oakfield, Cobleskill and Cooperstown schools before he retired from Cooperstown Central School in 1974.
In addition to his musical interests, Frank had a talent for photography that developed at an early age. It was in Syracuse at the age of 10 that Frank got his first taste of photography when he took a filled grocery store punch card and redeemed it for a camera and a roll of film at the local super market. After his grocery store camera Frank moved on to his mother's boxed Brownie, a classic camera he used on and off for years.