A LOSS FOR LAKEWOOD: Former Lakewood Mayor and Longtime Public Servant John Franklin Passes Away at 91

John Franklin, a longtime Lakewood Township resident who has dedicated more than half his life to public service, has passed away. He was 91

Franklin, 91, moved to Lakewood when he was a young child, and joined a mason business by age 12. Just a few years later, he already had his own business.

About three years in, he answered the call of duty, and joined the Marines, serving the Country for approximately three years, before returning to the construction field.

He began his public service career in Lakewood in 1965, when he joined the Lakewood School Board.

Just two years later, he joined the Township Committee, on which he served for approximately 25 years, including five years as Mayor.

Franklin during those years also served on the Planning Board and Police Commissioner, and eventually became the Director of Public Works. He retired from the DPW in 2010. Franklin helped construct both the current Municipal Building, and the current Public Works buildings – which was given the name the “John Franklin Complex.”

After his retirement from the DPW, he was called back to join on the Planning Board.

“I hope the decisions I made were rights,” Franklin told TLS in an exclusive 2018 interview. “It’s been an honor to stay that long,” Franklin said, with his wife of approximately 65 years at his side.

“John taught me almost everything I now about how to be a good committee person and a lot about how to be a good person,” says Mayor Ray Coles. “He was looked up to by everybody in town for many years. I thought John would go on forever, and It breaks my heart to find out he died today. Prayers to him and his family, and the entire township. We lost somebody who helped make Lakewood what it is today, and we all owe him an extreme debt of gratitude for his service.”

Flags in the Township will be flown at half-staff in his honor, Coles says.

Funeral details will be published when available.

In 2019, an emotional farewell was held for Mr. Franklin. Watch his remarks below.





This content, and any other content on TLS, may not be republished or reproduced without prior permission from TLS. Copying or reproducing our content is both against the law and against Halacha. To inquire about using our content, including videos or photos, email us at

Stay up to date with our news alerts by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Also join the thousands receiving our Whatsapp Status updates!

Got a news tip? Email us at, Text 415-857-2667, or WhatsApp 609-661-8668.

There are 6 Comments to "A LOSS FOR LAKEWOOD: Former Lakewood Mayor and Longtime Public Servant John Franklin Passes Away at 91"

  • Rocky Taub says:

    My John rest in peace.

    He was a great friend and we will miss him greatly.

    My condolences to his wife and family.

  • Respect says:

    They simply do not make Public Servants and Politicians as they used to. Unselfish people who just want to serve the Public honestly. Mr. Franklin was a class act. And although he did serve the Township for many many years, it was definitely not a Century as the video says…

  • Paula Miele says:

    Uncle John was the best of all times. Love to my Aunt Lorraine and cousin
    I am so proud to be his niece.
    Love you all
    Paula Miele

  • MartaH says:

    Working with John was a privilege. The town is a better place for his service. As Mayor, he fought for what was best for the town. As Director of Public Works, he had the vision to prepare his department for the growth we have experienced in the last 20 years. He will be missed.

  • Patricia Franklin says:

    Uncle John,I have so many memories of you and your silliness, how you would tell us little kids there was a big slimy frog in the basement so don’t go down there I believe him I was scared! The pool parties and barbecues, the sleep overs and every thanksgiving you came to Brown Rd for my moms Lemon meringue pie!!!
    I will never forget you my father loved you so so very much he tattooed your name on his arm, I remember Dinners in whighting with you and aunt Lorraine and my momma Joan, I’m proud to be a larger then life John Franklin’s Niece ! We all had a wonderful bond and we pushed through our Great Sadness of loss no words can describe those years and to my cousins, Jay, Kathy, Jimmy and all my second cousins and their babies you will miss Pop,Grand John. And Aunt Lorraine you I just love you and I want you all to know that this is hard and he will be so missed My heart is with you all he is home with God and all the crew my love and condolences to all God Speed Uncle John I do not see you resting you have a lot of energy a light to Bring to the Heavens Amen till we meet again

  • M says:

    He was such a sweet man. Him and his son would always come into my line when I worked for ShopRite in Lakewood. He will be missed.

Write a Comment

Please read comment rules before submitting your comment.

(required - will not be published)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.