Erwin Franke

Erwin Franke



Funeral services for Erwin Carl Franke were held Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018 at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Spring Valley, Minn., with Rev Mark Van House officiating. 

Burial was in the church cemetery. 

Hindt Funeral Home in Spring Valley, Minn., was in charge of arrangements. 

Erwin Carl Franke, son of John and Ida (Schlenner) Franke, was born on a farm five miles south of Gaylord, Minn., on Dec. 22, 1919.

On Jan. 18, 1920, he was baptized into the membership of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Gaylord, Minn., by Rev. Tychsen.  On May 20, 1934 he was also confirmed at St. Paul’s Lutheran by Rev. Wm. Uhrich.

  Erwin graduated from Gaylord High School as valedictorian in the spring of 1939.  In the spring of 1943 he graduated from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, and on May 16, 1945 he graduated from Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa.

  On May 30, 1945 he was united in holy matrimony with Dorothy Irene Drinkall in the former Zion Lutheran Church of Spring Valley, Minn.  This union was blessed with five children, John, Joyce, Leona, Linda, and Mark.

On June 10, 1945 Erwin was ordained in the Lutheran ministry in St. Paul Lutheran Church in Gaylord, Minn., by Rev. George Mattiae.

On June 17, 1945 he was installed as pastor of the former Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Belgrade, Minn. In April 1948 he became the pastor of Zion Lutheran Church in West Union, Iowa. After serving there for 10 years, he became the pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Cresco, Iowa, in March 1958.  On Sept. 24, 1978 Pastor Franke was installed as pastor of Deer Creek Lutheran Church of Carpenter, Iowa.  He served there until March 31, 1995, when he retired and he and Irene moved to Spring Valley, Minn.

Pastor Franke had a talent for raising money.  He was pastor of Zion Lutheran Church in West Union when they built a new parsonage and made plans for the new church and education unit. While in Cresco, a new parsonage and education unit were built. In Carpenter, a new elevator/lift addition was built onto the church.

  The thing Pastor Franke enjoyed most was preaching. On Nov. 20, 1966, Immanuel Lutheran Church of Cresco started broadcasting its Sunday morning service over KFIL radio of Preston, Minn.  After doing this for 12 years, he moved to Carpenter and continued to broadcast for 16 years over radio stations in Austin, Minn., and Mason City, Iowa.

  Pastor Franke’s hobby was farming. Some called him the “preacher-farmer.”  In this way he paid for their farm northeast of Spring Valley and also put all of their five children through college or gave them the equivalent in cash. 

Erwin was preceded in death by his parents, John and Ida Franke; his wife, Irene; brothers Raymond and William; sisters Viola and Elmira; and daughter Leona Keune.

Those who mourn his passing are his children, John Franke (Debbie) of Raleigh, N.C., Joyce Hansel (Al) of Claremont, Minn., Linda Bengfort (Scott) of Davenport, IA, Mark Franke (Cioney) of Austin, Texas.  

Online condolences may be left at     40u40

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