Mr. Franke was a graduate of Ranken Technical School, St. Louis, MO. He worked as a mechanic and, along with his wife Leona, owned and operated Franke Brake Service, started in 1952. They later added a snow removal service to their business, and were members of the Independent Garage Owners Association. Wilbur was a member of Trinity United Church of Christ, Belleville, IL, and he also belonged to the Modern Woodmen of America. He coached, managed, and played as a pitcher on fast-pitch softball teams, and also sponsored and coached Khoury League teams in the area. He enjoyed working on week-ends at his farm. Wib was a WW II U. S. Army Air Force veteran where he was stationed in Saipan. He was a member of the American Legion Post 321.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Anna, nee Boll, Franke; a brother, Leroy Franke; and two brothers-in-law, Melvin Brandenburger, and Orville Koerber.
Surviving are his wife of 69 years, Leona J., nee Brandenburger, Franke, whom he married on May 21, 1947;
two children, Daniel M. (Pamela) Franke,
and Judith M. Woods;
six grandchildren, Jason (Liz) Turpin,
Sarah (Stephen) Milford,
Dustin (Robin) Franke,
Dawn (Nyemba) Franke,
Dana (Jeff) Harris,
and Tyler Franke;
one sister, Marie Koerber;
one sister-in-law, Verida Franke;
several nieces and nephews;
and many good friends he considered to be his extended family.
Memorials may be made to charity of the donor’s choice. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.rennerfh.com.
Visitation: Friends may visit with the family from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 19, 2016, at George Renner and Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL.
Funeral: Funeral services will be held at 11 am Wednesday, July 20, 2016, at George Renner and Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL, with Rev. Cory Hartz officiating. Burial with military honors will be at Lake View Memorial Gardens, Fairview Heights, IL.
So sorry for your loss. He will be greatly missed.
Sandra Stanley, Belleville, Il, 62221
Our thoughts and prayers are with your family.
Sharon Egler, Belleville, Illinois, 62220
Our heartfelt sympathy to Leona and family! Dan still talks about all the memories made on and off the baseball fields! God Bless!
Dan and Merry Muckensturm, Sanger, TX, 76266
I was so sorry to hear of Wib’s passing. His business was a great asset to the community for many years. My husband, Paul, always spoke of Wib with admiration for him as a man and with great appreciation for his service and maintenance on company vehicles for so many years.
Please accept my heartfelt sympathy for your loss.
Carol J. Lugge
Carol J. Lugge, Freeburg, IL, 62243
Leona, sorry for your loss, Wib was a special guy. Knew you both a long time ago when I worked next door.
Deanna Dill Niccum, O’Fallon, IL, 62269
Dear Leona And Family, Please accept my heartfelt sympathy. I have fond memories of you at the shop as well as Southside Park. God bless.
Kristy (Lauer) Langendorf, St. Peters, MO, 63376
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
jim & Carol Cange, Nashville, il, 62263 5802
Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this sad time.
Wib was a great man, always willing to help everyone.
Alan, Sandy & Nathan Wright
Alan, Sandy & Nathan Wright, Belleville, IL, 62220
I am so sorry for your loss.
He was a kind man who helped everyone and was much loved.
He will be missed.
Jo Ann Dare, Dupo, IL, 62239
Leona, Judy, Sarah, and Jason, I send many wonderful thoughts and prayers to your family during this rough time. Though my heart is so very sad for Wib’s (he was once Grandpa to me) departure, just thinking of him always makes me smile. What a great man! He was so gentle hearted, hard working, and, man, would he do anything for you when you were in need! I pray strength upon you all, and the very same huge smile everytime you remember him.
Julie Ash, High Ridge, MO, 63049
leona, dan, and judy, please accept my sympathy. i was unable to get to the funeral home. i have a lot of fond childhood memories from prospect and commercial streets. barb(goehner) phillips
barbara l phillips, Belleville, Illinois, 62221
Mr. Franke and his wife took such great care of my Mom’s Delta 88 over decades and were always willing to try anything to keep it on the road. The Olds is still on the road and my mother is now 102. Thanks for your gentle care for her.
Millicent Chrusciel (nee Handrich), Elmhurst, Il, 60126