Well-known local research scientist dies
Hockley Valley resident John Franklin didn’t let Parkinson's disease stop him from doing what he loved.
A well-regarded research scientist, university professor and former president of the International Society of Rock Mechanics (ISRM), John died last Friday (July 6) at Bethell House Hospice in Caledon. He was 72 years old.
“He was an amazing, incredibly determined person,” shared his wife, Kersty. “He’s the only person I’ve ever known that did everything he wanted to do with his life, even with Parkinson's.”
John was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disorder in 1991 and underwent several treatments prior to his passing.
During his career, John published more than 100 articles in professional and academic literature, as well as two textbooks. He also designed and built devices used by rock mechanics throughout the world, and served as president of the ISRM from 1987 to 1991.
Last year, the ISRM paid for the Franklins to fly to Beijing, China, where John received a fellowship in the society, recognizing his accomplishments and the significant contributions of his work.
John converted his Hockley home, which he built in 1975, into The Stream Bed & Breakfast in 1999 — the same year Kersty moved in. They married in 2001.
Right to the end, John did as he wished, Kersty said. He continued to golf until recently, despite having trouble standing, and joined Toastmasters to improve his communication skills. He also insisted on attending last month’s Orangeville Blues & Jazz Festival, where he stood up from his wheelchair to dance.
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