John Franklin Makens

Photo of John Franklin Makens
John Franklin Makens, age 91, passed away on Saturday, March 2, 2019, at Circle of Life Hospice in Springdale. He was born on April 24, 1927, in Rigley Park, Pennsylvania, to James Franklin and Grace (Saltford) Makens. He is preceded in death by his parents; and his sister, Margaret Cabaniss. John was assigned to the USS Gainaird destroyer for Okinawa Pacific Mission. He received the American Camp; Asiatic-Pacific and Victory medals of honor. He not only fought for our country and our freedoms he dedicated his life to finding peaceful ways for solving and resolving social problems. He saw first-hand the results of the Hiroshima bombing and pledged to himself "never again". He pursued concepts for creating a better world where a Hitler could never rise and do such destruction again! He didn't take our freedom and independence for granted. His hero was Thomas Paine who's works in the 1776 pamphlet "Common Sense" freed our country from Monarchy, and he took Paine's moto to heart: "My country is the world. My religion is to do good!" He has lived in Arkansas for the past 15 years and wrote many articles for the Thomas Paine Friends newsletter. He leaves behind many Thomas Paine friend's worldwide and his primary friend of 40 years, Cheryl Cerell. He leaves his Living family members: nephew, Charles Thomas; and two nieces: Charlotte & Carolyn. John's favorite Paine Quote: "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value." - Thomas Paine - Crises Papers 1776. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Thomas Paine Friends at, Arkansas Veteran's Home at 1179 N. College Ave, Fayetteville, AR 72701, or Circle of Life Hospice at To place an online tribute, visit

Published March 7, 2019