Douglas Clifton Franklin Douglas Clifton Franklin, 67, died on February 3rd after a 25-year struggle with heart disease. Mr. Franklin served as a radiological technician at St. Francis Hospital for 44 years. He described himself as being liberal, an atheist, an anti-theistic, a progressive and a humanist. Those who knew him describe him as a gentle and kind man, a lover of flowers and butterflies ... and an incurable romantic. He loved traveling with his fianc , Jean Darbyshire, and he was also a pioneering web presence, publishing a journal that ran daily from 1996 until his death without missing a day. The posts were studded with breathtaking photographs punctuated with arguments against religion, and with humor and grace he readily admitted the irony of his anti-religion stance after working so long for a Catholic hospital. Mr. Franklin was born in Portland, Oregon, but spent most of his youth in Oklahoma and Kansas. While attending Topeka High School he was introduced to photography and the lens immediately became his passion. After his graduation in 1964 he put that love to work, enrolling in the school of radiologic technologies and graduating from there two years later. Shortly after that he was hired by St. Francis. Except for a stint in the Army during the Vietnam War, that hospital became his professional home, and as the era of X-rays closed he quickly invested himself in the new technologies, from contrast scanners to MRIs and the revolution in trauma care. At one point he was promoted to supervisor, but disliked the work and as soon as possible he went back to his friends in radiology. After retirement he indulged his initial love of photography, and his journal was filled with beautiful photographic studies of sunsets, old buildings, flowers and the insects who buzzed around them. He wrote recently in regard to his late wife, Karen, and his fianc , Jean, that he didn't know that you got to have two great loves in your life. He was a very loving and grateful man. Mr. Franklin was preceded in death by his wife, Karen and his youngest son, Tyler Franklin. Survivors include his eldest son, Jamey Douglas Franklin, of Houston, his brother Jon Franklin and two nieces, Teresa Foden and Catherine Cay Abzug, all of Maryland, stepdaughter Kim Daley of Topeka, and hundreds of friends around the world through social media. His journal may be found at http://nilknarf.net/journal/ His collected photos may be found at http://www.facebook.com/nilknarf666 An informal memorial service will be held Saturday, February 8 at 2PM in the Big Gage Shelter House, 635 SW Gage Blvd in Gage Park. In lieu of flowers, friends are asked to make a donation in Mr. Franklin's name to National Public Radio, Harvester's Food Bank Network, or to an animal rescue shelter of your choice. Douglas Clifton Franklin
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Published in Topeka Capital-Journal on Feb. 7, 2014