|6/22/2020 11:36:00 AM|
Frank, Florian Reinhold
Florian Reinhold Frank, age 96 of Clyde, passed away on Friday, March 20, 2020-- 20 days before his 97th birthday. He was born at home on April 8, 1923, in the log farmhouse on the Frank homestead farm in Wilson Creek, Spring Green Township. He was the son of Theodore Frank and Esther Kraemer Frank. His grandparents, Joseph and Mary Frank, were German immigrants. His paternal great grandparents, Franz and Anna Frank, and maternal great grandparents, Paul and Walburga Kraemer, were all from the Waldmünchen area in Germany.
Florian attended St. Luke's School in Plain, WI. When he enrolled in first grade, he spoke Bayerisch, a Bavarian dialect of German, and had to repeat first grade to improve his English. He was the last surviving member of his graduating class from St. Luke's High School.
Florian lived through the Great Depression of the 1930's on the family farm. The farm had no electricity or indoor plumbing and used horse-drawn equipment. During this time, he was an avid hunter and his mother would cook whatever he brought home. Hunting was his only sport and he continued it into his 90's. Florian enjoyed every opportunity to be out in the woods. With a rifle. Or shotgun.
Florian was inducted into the U.S. Army in March of 1943 and served in the 106th Infantry Division during the Second World War. His division was on the front line in Belgium at the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge. Florian was qualified as a sharpshooter and machine gunner. At one time during the battle he was the lead machine gunner in a convoy of ammunition trucks carrying ammunition to supply artillery forces. Florian recounted his squirrel hunting in the Ardennes Forest the day before the final German push during the Battle of the Bulge. He was not one of the many American soldiers captured during that battle. He was awarded four battle stars for battles in the Ardennes, Northern France, Rhineland and Central Europe.
After VE Day he was assigned to help process German and Bulgarian prisoners of war in Belgium and then served military police duty in Luxembourg. His unit received commendations from the countries of Belgium and France.
Florian and Dorothy were married on September 17, 1946, at St. Luke's Catholic Church in Plain, WI. From 1949 to 1989, he and Dorothy owned and operated Biglow Cheese and Butter Company in Clyde, WI. Florian was a licensed cheese and butter maker, having graduated from the Dairy Short Course at the UW Dairy School. He was a founding partner in Muscoda Protein Products, a whey processing facility in Muscoda, WI.
Like many of his generation, service to God and country continued well after the war. Florian was a member of the American Legion, VFW and 106th Infantry Division Association. Florian was the last surviving WWII member of the Lone Rock American Legion Post. He was on the Board of Directors of the Greenway Manor Nursing Home. He was a DNR fire warden for the Clyde Township. He was a member of Wisconsin Cheesemakers Association and the Wisconsin Buttermakers and Graders Association. He attended Sacred Heart Church in Lone Rock and St. Malachy's Church in Clyde prior to its closing. He was a Knights of Columbus and Lions Club member.
Family and hard work were two fundamental principles of living for Florian. He and Dorothy raised a large family while operating the cheese and butter business for 40 years. He cherished the love of his life, Dorothy, and together they weathered many challenges, tragedies, joys and accomplishments, and traveled the world. His proudest accomplishments were his children. Florian is survived by his wife of 73 years, Dorothy; by his children Deborah, Tallahassee, FL; Joseph (Astrid), Athens, GA; Bonnie (Randy) Thompson, Madison, WI; Mark (Eileen), Dodgeville, WI; Sandy (Mark) Dostal, Lake St. Louis, MO; Ted (Elaine), Spring Green, WI; Susan (Robert) Ashton, Eagan, MN; Nicholas (Jodi), Spring Green, WI, and son-in-law Pat Shelton, Madison, WI; 23 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren; and by his brother Theodore (Ted) Frank. He was preceded in death by his parents, by his sisters Alice McGinley and Louella Frank, and by four daughters, Diane (Pat) Shelton, Barbara, Elizabeth and Josephine.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, July 10, 2020 at 11:00 A.M. at St. Luke's Catholic Church in Plain, Wisconsin. Fr. Nathan Thainase will officiate with burial in the church cemetery where military graveside rites will be conducted by the Lone Rock VFW Post #383, Plain American Legion Post #398 and Madison VA Military Honor Guard. Visitation will be held on Friday, July 10, 2020 at the church from 9:30 A.M. until the time of Mass. Face masks are recommended for your safety and that of the family. Online condolences available at www.staffordfuneralhomes.com. The Richardson-Stafford Funeral Home in Spring Green is assisting the family with the arrangements.