Mass of Christian Burial celebrated for Ft. Atkinson man

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Mass of Christian Burial celebrated for Ft. Atkinson man

Sam Franzen, 86, of Fort Atkinson died Sunday, May 12, 2013, at his home.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated by the Rev. Nick March on Thursday, May 16, at St. Luke Catholic Church in St. Lucas.

Interment was in the church cemetery with military rites conducted by Aloysius Schmitt American Legion Post 691 of St. Lucas and Helof Holm VFW Post 1977 of Decorah. Casket bearers were Mark Sweitzer, Joe Moellers, James Kroeger, John Hill, Gene Gordy, and Michael Bedard.

Arrangements were handled by Schluter-Balik Funeral Home in Fort Atkinson.

Eligius John “Sam” Franzen was born on May 29, 1926, to Joseph H. and Johanna (Baumler) Franzen in the same Fort Atkinson home in which he died.  

He attended school at St. Luke’s Catholic School in St. Lucas.  

Sam was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1944 and turned 18 when he was on the front lines. He served during World War II in the Philippines and then in Japan until 1946.  

After the war, Sam helped on the farm for several years and worked for different businesses in the area.  He worked for John Deere in Waterloo for eight years until he took over the family farm in 1967.  

On July 17, 1965, Sam married Hannah Davenport Aldrich in Festina; they were the only couple to be married in the school chapel. They adopted two children.

Sam loved farming, hunting, fishing, playing cards, and his animals. He also enjoyed teasing his grandchildren and singing to them in German.  

A member of St. Luke Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus, Sam was a Fourth-Degree Knight. 

He was also a member of Aloysius Schmitt American Legion Post 691 in St. Lucas and Helof Holm VFW Post 1977 in Decorah.      

Sam was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Hannah, on Sept. 24, 1997; a brother, Alvin Franzen; two sisters, Dorothy Moellers and Kathleen Gorby; three nephews; four nieces; and a number of sisters- and brothers-in-law.

Sam is survived by his two children, Clyde (Stacy) Franzen of Dyersville and Renae Franzen of Fort Atkinson; five grandchildren, Kailee (Brad) Saeugling and Chesnee Franzen, both of Dubuque, Kacee Franzen of West Union, Danny “DJ” Eudaley and Kayla Avenarius, both of Dyersville; and a great-grandson. 

Additional survivors include five sisters, Mary (Charlie) Zook of Sioux City, Lu Schuler of Waterloo, Eileen (Ken) Hill of Dike, Marilyn (Dale) Bedard of Waterloo, and Jane (Jim) Jones of Leon; a sister-in-law, Geraldine (Bill) Stemmons of LaRussell, Mo.; numerous nieces and nephews. 

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