Earl Franz

Obituary of Earl Melvin Franz

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Earl Melvin Franz, 96, of Kennewick, Washington, formerly of Lind, passed away January 24, 2024. He was the sixth of seven children born to Heinrich and Anna Ewert Franz. He married Helen Manchester in 1950 in Colfax and they had three daughters. Following her death in 1998, he married Marjorie Fast Schowalter in 2000 in North Newton, Kansas. Earl attended a Country Grade School, Marlin High School, Bethel College in North Newton, Kansas, and then Whitworth College in Spokane. After attending college, he became a wheat farmer in Eastern Washington State, south of Lind, managing the Arthur Franz farm. In 1998, he became a member of the National Piano Technicians Guild, which he enjoyed as a sideline. Seven years ago, along with his dog, Pebbles, he moved into Solstice Independent Living in Kennewick. He was brought up in the Menno Mennonite Church and joined by baptism as a teenager. He served six years as Deacon, four years as Secretary of the Church Board, and ten years as Treasurer. He enjoyed singing in the Church Choir and in Men’s groups. He also taught various Sunday School classes over the years. Mr. Franz published a hard-cover autobiography in 2011, recording many of the events in his life, and also his evolving philosophy. The title of the book, “A Pebble in the Water,” reflects the idea of being a positive influence in people’s lives. Earl had many passions. He loved Music (listening to classical pieces and playing the violin, piano, and harmonica). He loved Travel (to many countries around the world), He loved Nature (flowers, gardening, trees, and all animals). He loved Farming (each season a delight). He loved being an Artist (creating crazy animal creatures, a seven-foot tall hired man, and a grand piano all out of discarded machinery parts). He loved Sports (especially tennis, baseball, basketball, and ping-pong). He loved Reading (astronomy, geology, sports, farming, politics, and westerns). He loved Building things (farming adaptations as needed, and a unique playground including a merry-go-round, ). He loved to Laugh (keeping a list of jokes in his wallet). He was preceded in death by his parents, his three older brothers (Herbert, Harold, and Alvin), his three sisters (Alice Franz, Edna Dalke, Bernice Krehbiel), both wives (Helen and Marjorie), one daughter (Gail Hudson), one granddaughter (Sydney Filan), and one great granddaughter (Haley Redelfs), Earl is survived by two daughters (Yvonne & Jeff Redelfs of Mansfield, Texas) and (Jeanette & Damon Filan of Kennewick), six grandchildren (Jamie, Clint, Meghan, Tony, Miranda, Jessica), and eleven great grandchildren (Ben, Gracie, Jaxson, Kenedee, Aubrie, Sam, Landon, Zoiee, Edwin, Scarlett, Vaughn), who all loved him dearly. In keeping with his desire to make the world a better place, Mr. Franz has donated his body for medical research. A Memorial Service on March 23 at 3pm will be held at the Menno Mennonite Church (1378 Damon Road, Ritzville), followed by a light meal and plenty of Hershey’s chocolate kisses (per Earl’s request). In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Mennonite Disaster Service (583 Airport Road, Lititz, PA 17543).
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Memorial Service

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Saturday, March 23, 2024
Menno Mennonite Church
1378 N Damon Rd
Ritzville, Washington, United States
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Earl Franz

In Loving Memory

Earl Franz

1927 - 2024

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