Walter R. Frantz, 88, of Edinboro, formerly of Pittsburgh, Sandy Lake, PA and Hueytown, AL, died Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at Edinboro Manor. He was born in Pittsburgh, PA on January 6, 1932, the son of the late Walter A. and Manuletta Kirkpatrick Frantz.
Growing up in Pittsburgh he was the 6th of 8 children where he was affectionately known as "Popeye" to his siblings. Walter served as a cook in the U.S. Army at Ft. Hood in Killeen TX during the Korean War. Returning to Pittsburgh, he worked for Meadow Gold Dairy who transferred him & his family to the Sandy Lake, PA facility where he started a small hobby farm and worked till the dairy closed. Then, while working for Star Bakery and the Lakeview School District as a bus driver and maintenance staff he attended Penn State University where he became a certified welder. His career of more than 30 years at Greenville Steel Car/Trinity Ind began as a welder until he became a respected foreman; under Trinity, he relocated to Hueytown AL to continue work with the company. In retirement he found himself wanting for something part-time to "stay busy". He worked in maintenance, first, at Kentucky Fried Chicken before another 20 years with McDonald's in Hueytown, AL retiring, again, at age 85. He enjoyed being active, had an incredible constitution puttering about at a variety of crafty projects, strong work ethic, and varied interests. He loved being with people, loved children, always wanting to joke, tease, laugh and be helpful to others; a sharp and witty mind, he was a charmer who loved to engage in conversation.
Walter was a spiritual man who, until his eyesight failed, read his Bible daily; he always said his daily prayers were to offer thanks for his many blessings. He believed that "the good Lord" placed certain people in our life for a reason in a plan that was established long before our birth. While we make mistakes in our relationships we may never know how important is our and their presence. And, so, he said he came to realize we must cherish every path we cross. Being more spiritual than religious; he occasionally attended non-denominational church services in AL. He loved any opportunity to "go out for coffee and a sweet" so always enjoyed the coffee hour and socializing after a service. In the summer of 2019, prior to the recent advance of his illness Walter relocated to Edinboro, PA and became a resident of Edinlake Apartments. After settling in he thought this was his heaven on earth and never wanted to leave. He held very dear his beloved neighbors & apartment manager (so many of you; you know who you are); he treasured the gatherings with his neighbors in the community room. He was upset that the Covid virus severely disrupted our lives & ability to be together.
He deeply treasured his family, friends, neighbors at Edinlake, and caregivers from UPMC home health including nurse Breana & aide Casey, Aveana home nurse Kipprie, and Legacy aide and neighbor Ruthie, aides Becca and Doris. During his month long stay at the Edinboro Manor he spoke fondly of all of his new caregivers and truly appreciated their care. He frequently voiced gratitude as he recalled the excellent care and attention he received from all of his doctors and nurses over the years; those at the Birmingham VA, UAB Medical Center, Pleasant Grove Care facility, his Dr. Walter Brandner, Comfort Care Hospice, Alabama Hospice Care, and, more recently, St. Vincent Hospital of Erie, the Erie VA, UPMC Home Health, Aveanna and Legacy Home Care and his Dr. William Getson and the caring staff at Edinboro Manor. We are forever appreciative of all and the dedicated love and support he received.
He was preceded in death by his parents and 6 siblings (Don, Sara, June, Ken, Chuck & Hazel), his former wife and mother of his children, Mary Yeager Frantz and his former wife Lois Myers Schell Frantz; his two sons, Dale Frantz in 2015 and Ronald Frantz, in 2007 and his beloved uncle, Charles Frantz in 1980 whom he cared for during the last 10 years of Charles' life.
Survivors include a brother Tim (Norma), of Gault, CA, his sister in law, Rita Frantz of Export, PA; former sister-in-law, Sylvia Cochran of Parker, PA; two daughters, Karen (Tom) Vanco, of Edinboro and Laureen (Ron) Wheaton, of Arizona; four grandchildren, Michelle Huels Rauscher, Andrew Frantz, Tyler (Brittany) Wheaton, and Parker Wheaton; four great grandchildren, Lyric and Savannah Rauscher, Madison Wheaton, and Wyatt Wheaton, many nieces and nephews, his 5 former stepchildren Beth, Jim, Scot, Shannon & Nikki and their families as well as many friends in Alabama. He always said the most important thing he ever did was having his children; he will be greatly missed.
The Glunt Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., Edinboro, is in charge of funeral arrangements.
Burial will be at Oak Hill Cemetery in Sandy Lake, PA. at the convenience of his family in September. Memorials may be made to: Second Harvest Food Bank of NWPA at eriefoodbank.org; Veterans Miracle Network at vmcerie.org; Chosen Int. Medical Assistance at chosenima.org; Paralyzed Veterans of America at www.pva.org; or the Edinboro Food Bank, PO Box 631, Edinboro, Pa 16412. To send condolences please visit www.gluntfuneralhome.com.
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