Cover photo for Rodney A. Franklin's Obituary
Rodney A. Franklin Profile Photo

Rodney A. Franklin

December 29, 1942 — October 29, 2022

Rodney A. Franklin

Rodney A. Franklin, age 79, of Utah, passed away on October 29, 2022, after a hard-fought battle with lingering health issues.

Rod and his twin Richard were born late in 1942, to Mildred and Edward Franklin in Nevada. Rod left home at age 14 and joined the Navy at 17. Just before turning 19, he was promoted to Second Class Petty Officer, the youngest to obtain that rank at that time. In his years in the service, he traveled extensively to Norfolk, Virginia; Newfoundland, Canada; Sicily, Italy; Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and more. His squad mates called him ‘Quaker’ for avoiding the typical entertainments of a serviceman. He was honorably discharged on December 11, 1963. Rod’s experience in the Navy instilled in him a love of country, the value of continued learning, and a deep appreciation for other cultures.

After his military service, Rod worked as a Clark County Deputy Sheriff in Las Vegas, Nevada, and in 1965, he served a Spanish-speaking mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Western States Mission. He maintained friendships with his mission companions throughout his life. After serving a mission, Rod returned to Las Vegas and the sheriff’s office. He was offered an appointment to the United States Capitol Police in Washington, D.C. after investigating a burglary of a visiting Senator from Kentucky. He moved to Washington to work and attended the University of Maryland, where he studied Spanish. He also worked as an assistant press liaison officer during the Watergate Scandal.

At the same time, he ran a photography studio in Hyattsville, Maryland for two years then returned to Las Vegas to continue offering portraiture and wedding photography from two studios. Of course, in his pursuit of lifelong learning, he attended several professional Photographers of America seminars at the Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara.

Back in Vegas, Rod met the woman of his dreams, DeAnn Hess, in 1974. After a 6-week whirlwind courtship, they were wed. Rod, who called himself ‘Rod the Bod, last of the beautiful bodies’ went from being a single man to a husband and step-father to two young girls, Krysti (age 12) and Sherri (age 10) overnight. Ten months later, Josh was born followed by Misha, Jason, and Joey. Rod earned his real estate license and then moved the family to Beaverton, Oregon in 1983. His last child, Thom, completed the family a few years later.

Over his life, he valued education, in all forms. He was an avid non-fiction reader, news follower, and documentary watcher. He loved his military service, and was a true patriot of his country, teaching his children to befriend everyone and stand up to bullies. His favorite pastime, besides telling dad jokes, was assembling and painting endless model airplanes.

Rodney was preceded in death by his parents, his twin brother, Richard George, his brother George, and his sister Juanita. He leaves behind his wife, DeAnn Franklin, 7 siblings, 7 children, 21 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and two beloved Maltese dogs. We will all miss the jokes, Dad.

The family requests no flowers. If desired, donations to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Mission Fund are appreciated. A funeral service will be held Thursday, November 3, at 11:00 a.m., with a viewing from 9:30–10:45 a.m., at the Paradise Ward Chapel, 1555 West Lovely Road, Taylorsville, Utah 94123. Rodney will be interred during a private family gathering at the Utah Veterans Cemetery & Memorial Park, Bluffdale with military funeral honors.

View Rod’s life sketch for up-to-date information on the funeral.

The service will be livestreamed on the Goff Mortuary Facebook Page at the following link:
(The livestream video will appear when the service starts.)


Past Services


Thursday, November 3, 2022

Starts at 9:30 am (Mountain time)

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