Dr. Donald Franklin's Story
Dr. Donald Franklin (Don) Flatt, age 80, of Parkersburg, WV, formerly of Morehead, minister, historian, and retired MSU professor of history, passed away Monday, December 4, 2017, at Camden Clark Medical Center in Parkersburg.
Born February 5, 1937, in Bloomington Springs, TN, he was the son of Benton and Cleo Way Flatt. Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Leamon and Dowell Flatt.
Don's devoted wife of 54 years, Carolyn P. Stephens Flatt, passed away November 9, 2010.
He is survived by two children, Dr. Missy Spivy and her husband Joe of Vienna, WV and Judge David Flatt and his wife Kathy of Grayson; 11 grandchildren, Amanda (Bryan) Wood, Kelly Flatt, Leah (Cory) Delbaugh, David (Rosa) Flatt, J. T. Spivy, Bronson Flatt, Samuel (Lakin) Flatt, Anna Carolyn (Jake) Keefer, Shanna (Jimmy) Keith, Coty Stephens, and Cameron Flatt; and 12 great grandchildren, Alexis Wireman, Alan Wireman, Brayden Flatt, Brody Flatt, Parker Delbaugh, Ezra Delbaugh, Carter McCleese, Annie Flatt, Avery Keith, Caden Flatt, Eden Flatt, and Samuel Flatt.
Other survivors include five brothers and sisters, Rose Fox of Georgia, Bill Flatt, Ken Flatt, Linda Anderson, and Wanda Crabtree, all of Tennessee; nieces and nephews; extended family and friends.
Dr. Flatt joined the Morehead State University faculty in 1962 and retired after 40 years as faculty member and department chair. Specializing in American History, he utilized strategies to make historical periods come alive for his students. He also conducted student study tours in Great Britain and France. "Teaching is in my blood," he said. Recognized for excellence, Dr. Flatt was the recipient of the 1996-97 Distinguished Teacher Award and the first Outstanding Teaching Award given by MSU's Greek Councils. Colleagues reported Dr. Flatt as a generous man who placed the needs of the institution ahead of his personal interests, counseled students in addition to teaching, and mentored younger faculty members.
A frequent contributor of feature articles to regional newspapers, Dr. Flatt also conducted numerous oral history interviews, presented papers at professional meetings, and published scholarly works. Additionally, he authored three books: "Footsteps Across the Commonwealth," a tribute to MSU President and Mrs. Adron Doran upon their retirement; "A Light to the Mountains," a history of MSU from 1887 to 1997; and "Winning Through to Fame and Glory: African-Americans and MSU," the first official account of integration at Morehead State.
A participant in six Hofstra Presidential Forums, Dr. Flatt was a member of numerous historical honor societies, including the Filson Club and the Disciples of Christ Historical Society. He served on the Kentucky Preservation Board and the Kentucky Bicentennial Commission.
A Church of Christ lay minister for more than 50 years, Dr. Flatt began serving as the minister in Morehead in 1957. A religious man, he was internationally known for his work as an evangelist. A radio ministry he managed delivered inspirational messages to approximately two-thirds of the world's listening audience. In addition, he and three brothers participated each year in a week-long Crusade for Christ in several states including Georgia, Ohio, Tennessee, West Virginia, New Jersey, Alabama, Alaska and the Bahamas.
Dr. Flatt was salutatorian and president of the Student Council at Freed-Hardeman College, earned his B.A. (summa cum laude) and M.A. degrees from MSU and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Kentucky.
Funeral services will be conducted 1 p.m. Friday, December 8, 2017, at Northcutt & Son Home for Funerals Memorial Chapel with Joe Spivy, Bob Stephens, and Bill Flatt officiating. Interment will be in Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens in Morehead.
Pallbearers: David Flatt, Bronson Flatt, Sam Flatt, Coty Stephens, Bryan Wood, Cory Delbaugh, Jake Keefer, and J. T. Spivy.
Visitation is 11 a.m. until 1p.m. Friday, December 8, 2017, at Northcutt & Son Home for Funerals, 440 Fraley Drive, Morehead, KY 40351
In lieu of flowers, contributions are suggested to Mountain Top Ministry Children's Home scholarships at http://mtnhonduras.org , MSU Foundation (designated to the Carolyn Flatt Scholarship fund), Ohio Valley University, or Freed-Hardeman University.
Sign guestbook at www.northcuttandson.com
Published on December 7, 2017