Richard J. Franklin, owner of RJ Franklin Builders
Born in Buffalo, Mr. Franklin enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1944 as a machinist's mate third class. After training at several locations, he joined Team 25 in underwater demolition. His missions included reconnaissance on several Asiatic Pacific islands prior to the invasion of Japan. He served on the escort ship USS Brownson, which guarded Gen. Douglas MacArthur's carrier in the Bay of Japan, and he was offshore during the bombing of Hiroshima. He was awarded the Victory Medal, the American Theatre Medal and the Asiatic Pacific Medal and was honorably discharged in 1946.
Mr. Franklin was the general manager of the Wolfe & Dole Oldsmobile dealership and later started a construction company, RJ Franklin Builders. He developed subdivisions in Carnegie and West Seneca and built many Bells Markets and UniMart stores.
He enjoyed crafting furniture, singing and dancing and was a self-taught pianist.
Mr. Franklin is survived by his wife, Dr. Jean Ross-Franklin; two sons, Richard II and Laurence Ross; four daughters, Crystal Jones, Sharon Ross, Linda Jackson and Tammey Cosgrove; five brothers; two sisters; eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 5 at All Saints Episcopal Church, 781 Maple Road, Williamsville. Arrangements were made by Amigone Funeral Home.