Community, Lifelong friends looks back at the life of John P. Franklin

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Businessman, war veteran and former Chattanooga Vice-Mayor John P. Franklin died this week and long time friends are remembering him.

They say it wasn’t the achievements that made him so memorable it was who he was for the community.

John P. Franklin had a resume a mile long and people who encountered him at different phases in his life remembered him the same, as a man who cared for anyone who met him.

Linda Murray Bullard says,  “He did things right. It wasn’t just that ‘oh so you didn’t pay me all the money so I’m going to give you this shabby’… None of that he always had a standard of care and he always made certain that he emphasize that with each and every family.”

Linda remembers John P Franklin stepping up and making sure her father got the proper burial when insurance didn’t cover the full costs.

Long time friend of Franklin says he was someone to look up to.

Moses Freeman says, “I just wanted to be like him all my life so I followed his career and when I got the chance I joined his fraternity. I worked beside him in the fraternal life and then when I got a chance I worked for him in his office at City Hall.”

John Franklin served both the country in World War Two and the city of Chattanooga as the vice mayor and according to friends, anyone who was need.

“He won and we felt like it was a blessing from God that Johnny Franklin have been sent to us to be the first black elected official in the city of Chattanooga,” says Freeman.

Bullard believes, “His legacy is that he cared for Chattanooga.”

To those who walked along side him in a racially divided era, John Franklin did all of this with grace and gratitude.

Franklin McCallie says, “He took his courage and his honesty and his fairness and his respect for these people and they responded in kind and they said we like you and admire you.”

“He said a standard that I wish we had today. He used to act like in later years he would say Frank I’m nothing but a man. And I said Johnny you are a giant of a man and he Was… he was,” says McCallie.

At this time, John P Franklin’s arrangements have not been announced.

McCallie says, “You know I hurt for people who didn’t meet John Frank. I hurt for people who only have to hear us, but isn’t that the way it is with history. We even met him will not forget his legacy and we will pass it on.”

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Local News

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