John Fransen, Sr. - obituary

John C. Fransen, Sr, age 87, of Milaca, passed away Tuesday, October 8, 2019.

Memorial services will be held Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at 11 a.m. at Zion Lutheran Church in Milaca. Visitation will be held from 4 – 7 p.m. Tuesday at Zion Lutheran Church and one hour prior to the service at the church on Wednesday. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Zion Lutheran Church in Milaca.

Arrangements by Peterson-Johnson Funeral Home, Milaca.

He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Dean; children, Chris (Don) Howe, Mary (Andy) Rice, John (Renee) Fransen, Jr. and Annie Fransen; grandchildren, Emilee (Josh) Howe, Megan Howe, Linnea Rice-Epsky, Erin (Jacob) Pinch, Travis (Paige) Fransen, Justin Fransen and Matthew Fransen; great-grandchildren, Lilly Epsky and Quinn Epsky; brother, Gene (Betty) Fransen; also by many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Linnea; and brothers, Lorin and Roger.

John Clayton Fransen, Sr. was born to Harry and Linnea (Johnson) Fransen in Milaca, Minn. John and Dean both graduated from Milaca High School with the class of 1951, and were married at Zion Lutheran Church on June 14, 1952. She is to this day, the love of his life. John and Dean often went to dances where he loved to dance and she loved to watch. He was an amazing dancer, and his cousins lined up so he would give them a twirl. John served in the Army during the Korean War and was proud of his and his “war buddies’” service to our country. Following the war, he went to work for Fransen Decorating, working for his dad, Harry, and uncle, Einar, who started the painting business in1923. He and his brother Gene painted for Fransen Decorating until buying the business in 1965, after their father’s death. John and Gene owned Fransen Decorating until 1990, when it was acquired by their children, John Jr. and Jackie. John loved spending time outdoors and was an avid hunter and fisherman. He loved goose hunting in Blackduck, deer hunting at the shack in Bigfork, moose hunting with Jimmy in Canada, and any type of hunting where he could spend time with Johnny and his boys. John, Dean, and their family spent weekends at the cabin on Mille Lacs Lake roasting marshmallows, catching crayfish, and fishing walleyes. His other love was horses. He raised Belgian draft horses and could be found most sunny days driving his team down the road, cutting hay, or pulling logs out of the woods with them. Christmas brought sleigh rides through the woods to the skating pond with a bonfire, sledding, and hot dogs, all to the sound of the bells on the horses. Along with all his other hobbies and interests, John was also a Mason and Zurah Shriner. He adored his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and was never happier than when he was holding the hand of child. We will miss the twinkle in his eye, his laughter, generosity, compassion, and wisdom.

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