Cover photo for John "Jack" Bennett Mays's Obituary
John "Jack" Bennett Mays Profile Photo
1938 John "Jack" 2017

John "Jack" Bennett Mays

December 1, 1938 — August 27, 2017

John Bennett "Jack" Mays, 78 of Franklin, passed away on August 27, 2017 at 4:45 am at Sugarcreek Station. Jack was born in Franklin on December 1, 1938 to the late Otis and Marie Noonan Mays. Jack attended Sacred Heart Academy and then later on graduated from Franklin High School, he then attended Clarion University. He married his beloved wife, Sarah "Sally" Judson Mays, on November 7, 1981, it was his request to get married that week because it fell between football and basketball season.

Jack proudly served his Country in the United States Army for three years active duty and then three years in the local reserves. He served in an artillery unit which accounted for him saying "huh!?" a lot. He was employed for over thirty years with the Franklin News Herald as the sports editor with his weekly column "May I Say". He took great pride in his accurate reporting but more importantly in recognizing the achievements of young athletes. Jack loved coaching his son in little league for many years. He was one of the founders of the Red & Black Club and one of the original inductees into the Franklin High School Hall of Fame for his service to the community.

Jack served two terms as Venango County Jury Commissioner. He was a life-long Democrat and also served a few terms as party treasurer. He was a member of the Franklin Elks Lodge #110 for over 50 years and for many years proudly carried the US Flag in the annual Flag Day Parade.

Jack was the author of two books, the first, Destiny's Gentleman, a detailed book about the life of Joseph Crocker Sibley including his founding of the Galena Signal Oil Company, the development of River Ridge Farm, and the man's impact on life both locally and nationally, and the second, ‘Til Victory is Won, the chronicles of life on the homefront, particularly on Franklin and Oil City during World War II, and historically fictionalizes an account of a saboteur operating on our area given our local venue's importance to the oil industry and the war effort.

In addition to his wife, Jack is survived by his son Dr. Robert W. Mays and his wife Dr. Jill Sangree of Shaker Heights, OH, two granddaughters, Eliza and Nora, his brother Tom Mays, sisters-in-law Donna Mays, Amy Judson-Burak, and Betsy Judson, brother-in-law John McConnell, mother in-law Jane Judson, nephew Dewey Mays and his wife Heather and their daughter Anna, and nephew Chris McConnell, nephew Rick Judson and niece, Jennifer White.

In addition to his parents, Jack was preceded in death by his brother, Bill Mays

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Huff Funeral home & Cremation Services, Inc. 312 West Park Street, Franklin, where family and friends are welcome from 3 pm until 6 pm on Tuesday, August 29, 2017. A funeral service will take place in the funeral home chapel at 11 am on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 with the Rev. David Janz, Pastor of Christ United Methodist Church, officiating.

Interment will take place in Sunset Hill Memorial Gardens where the V.E.T.S Honor Guard will perform full Military Honors.

Memorials may be made in Jacks name to the Franklin Public Library, 421 12th Street, Franklin, or the Susie McConnell Scholarship Fund, please send memorials to: The Susie McConnell Scholarship Fund, Bridge Builders Community Foundations, B 206 Seneca Street, National Transit Building Annex, Suite 10, Oil City, PA 16301.

Online condolences and flowers may be sent to the family by visiting

The Franklin Elks Lodge #110 will conduct a service for their departed brother on Tuesday at 6 pm at the funeral home.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John "Jack" Bennett Mays, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Calling hours

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

3:00 - 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

Huff - Guthrie Funeral Home & Cremation Services Inc.

312 West Park St., Franklin, PA 16323

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Sunset Hill Memorial Gardens

6615 US-322, Franklin, PA 16323

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