Robert J. Franks

Robert J. Franks of Onalaska died on November 6 at Gundersen Health System. Visitation will be held Tuesday, November 12 from 9:00-11:00 and a funeral Mass will be held at 11:00, following the visitation at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 1031 Main Street, Onalaska, Wisconsin.

Robert (Bob) Franks was born May 25, 1938 in Mason City, Iowa. He was the son of Joseph and Mary Evelyn (McMenimen) Franks. Bob attended St. Joseph School in Mason City for twelve years. Upon graduation he went to Dunwoody College, Minneapolis for one year for small-engine repair. Bob returned to Mason City to attend Iowa Area Technical College (Mason City Community College) with an Accounting/Business Degree in 1961. Bob then moved to Dubuque, Iowa and attended Loras College. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business in 1964. This is where he met his wife Ann Giellis. They were married in 1964.

Bob worked as an accountant for a few years in Dubuque and Cedar Rapids. In 1967 Bob and his family moved to La Crosse, Wisconsin where he began his professional career at Western Technical College in the Business Education Division as an Instructor and as the Dean of the School of Business for 36 years. During that time, in 1973 he earned his MBA from University of South Dakota, Vermilion. Upon receiving his MBA, Bob attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he earned his Doctorate Degree in Business Administration. Bob received recognition and awards in both Education and Business. He truly enjoyed working with students and guiding them in their studies and career choices. His manner was thoughtful and genuine, but always with a touch of humor and wit. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him and worked with him. Bob fought the good fight with a strong, but very weak heart. He lived John 11:25-26: I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.

Bob was a loving husband, dad, grandpa, and brother. He had many talents and hobbies, from repairing small-engines, midget racing, coaching baseball, playing racket ball, woodworking, traveling, and watching sports. His favorite time, however, was being with his family, especially the grandchildren and neighborhood children. He enjoyed watching his grandchildren participate in their many sports activities. Bob was a kind and patient man, always ready to listen and to encourage. Always positive and thoughtful. Bob knew his Savior. He walked with his Lord every day.

Bob is survived by his wife Lynette Teal of twenty-five years; his family, Jill (Jesse) Jessie Elico of Sierra Madre, CA; Mark (Desiree) Joe, Ann of Pulaski; Scott (Lynne) Teal of Onalaska, Alex Teal of Minneapolis, MN; Julie (Robert) Kim of Portland, OR; Jamie (Jon) Fossen of La Crosse; Sister-in-law Jane (Giellis) Kopp of Asbury, IA and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Mary Evelyn Franks; his wife Ann; sister Dolores Ann Kramer; sister-in-law Jeanne Pederson; brothers-in-law Jay Kopp, Justin Kramer, Roger Pederson.

A private burial will be at a later date.