D’Vita L. (Peterson) Franklin, 68, of Xenia, passed away peacefully Friday, June 4, 2021, in the care of Hospice of Dayton. D’Vita was born November 6, 1952, in Yellow Springs, Ohio, the daughter of Robert Peterson and Shirley Peterson (House) Turner. D’Vita was a 1971 graduate of Yellow Springs High School. After high school, she had various jobs including a short stint with Morris Bean Company. Those closest to her knew her passion was for the Standardbred horse racing business. Shortly after leaving Morris Bean, she devoted her career to owning, training and care-taking Standardbred horses. Over the years she worked closely with her dad (Robert Peterson), uncle (Michael Peterson), friend and associate Sam “Chip” Noble, and last but not least her husband of 37 years Jack Franklin. D’Vita had many accomplishments including (but not limited to) setting the Greene County Fair track record driving her own horse, Raceway Time, caretaker for Hambletonian qualifier Vaporizer, Little Brown Jug elimination winner Metropolis and nationally known stallion Nobleland Sam. She was a well-known and respected member of the United States Trotting Association, Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association, as well as a lifetime and active member of St. Paul AME Church, Cedarville, OH. D’Vita loved her family and was a devoted friend. D’Vita was a foster parent to several teens and infants. She loved spending her spare time around horses. D’Vita was an avid fan of the Little Brown Jug, she loved reading a good novel, watching her westerns, and her horse racing on TV. D’Vita impacted a multitude of lives both personally and professionally and while she will forever be deeply missed, her impact will never cease. D’Vita is survived by her husband of 37 years, Jack Franklin, her daughter, Jayona Franklin (granddaughter Zylla), stepson Aaron Cosby, a special nephew Phillip Collett, that she raised as her own, her mother Shirley Turner, stepmother Ruth Miner Peterson, her sister Robin Walker, her brothers Marshall and Tyron Peterson, as well as a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews. She is preceded in death by her father, Robert Peterson, stepmother Mary Peterson, her brother Erwin Peterson, grandparents, and several aunts and uncles. Cremation rites have been accorded. A celebration of life service will be held Monday, June 21, 2021, at 2:00 PM in the dining hall of the Greene County Fairgrounds 120 Fairground Rd, Xenia, Ohio. Arrangements entrusted to Porter-Qualls-Freeman Funeral Home.
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