William Andrew Franzel, 76, of Mason, passed away in the loving arms of his wife Betty on May 6, 2020 at his residence, after a long courageous battle with various medical issues. William was born during a snowstorm on November 6, 1943 on the way to the hospital, to Frank and Mary (Gerbozy) Franzel in Ashland.
Bill grew up on a dairy farm in the Benoit area. His nickname was Billfrog, which is what his mom called him. He attended elementary school at Benoit and graduated high school at Ondossagon. Following high school, he attended auctioneering school in Iowa. Other than auctioneering for the NFO, some of his jobs included HYBOB Tool of Ashland, helping his Dad and brothers build numerous barns in the Mason/Benoit area, selling Rochester silos and installing clay barn cleaners, all the while he was helping on his family farm. On June 17, 1967 he met the love of his life Betty Stienstra at Fisher's Corner and proposed to her not long after on July 20th. They were married in that year on November 11 at St. Anne's Catholic Church in Sanborn. After getting married, they purchased their farm "The Double B Ranch"(Bill& Betty). They farmed there for the next 47 years while raising their family of five children. The two of them were inseparable for over 52 years and rarely spent a day apart. Their marriage was a real life love story. Bill was a jack of all trades- you name it, he did it! Woodworking was one of his many talents. His best creations included a beautiful gazebo for his wife, a wishing-well for his eldest daughter’s wedding, dollhouses for his granddaughters, a corner cabinet for his kitchen, and an uncountable number of picnic tables, benches, bookcases, and cutting boards. A special gift for each of his three daughters was a rolling pin- he joked it was to keep their husbands in line. One of his special accomplishments was winning first place in the tractor pull at the Ashland County Fair with his 3020 John Deere tractor. Another was hosting the Bad River Head Start fall field trip for 8 years, with his wife. Giving children a tour of their dairy farm and providing them with dairy treats was a great joy to the two of them. Some of his countless other skills included singing while playing polka music on his accordion, solving books of crossword puzzles, gardening, cooking, and being an amazing husband, father and grandpa. Most of all, he enjoyed spending time with his family. After church on Sunday's, time was best spent around the dinner table with family, enjoying his wife's delicious cooking and telling corny jokes. In the summertime you could find him picking flowers for his wife, cooking out on the grill, and taking his grandchildren and his canine companion Bella on rides in his John Deere gator to the sandpit. In the fall, he enjoyed hunting with his sons and making his favorite family recipe for blood sausage. In his spare time, he was guessing the answers on Jeopardy, Cash Cab, and Wheel-of-Fortune, while in the company of his dog and five cats. He will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and all who knew him.
William is survived by his wife of 52 years, Betty; his children, Rosemary (John) Majetich of Ashland, Elizabeth (Travis) Franek of Ashland, William (Charlotte) Franzel of Grandview, Brenda (Michael) Pluchinsky of Oshkosh, and Russell (Marsha) Franzel of Ashland; Grandchildren, Dulcie (fiancé Dane Wald) Majetich, Elaina Majetich, Sierra Franzel, Brayden, Ruby, and Macy Pluchinsky; Sisters, Mary Jane Dufek of Ashland, Margie Marshall of Watertown, and Lois Maki of Ashland; Sister-in-law, Arlene Franzel of Iron River, and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers James and Martin.
Due to the current state of the world, a service and celebration of life will be held at a later date.
Special thanks to Dr. Kim Ogle, Dr. Bertel, Dr. Boyle, Dr.Ginete, Dr. Tonkin, Dr. Casey, and Dr. Paquet, Mason Rural Ambulance crew for their loving care and support. Also, the family would like to extend their sincerest gratitude towards the Mountain Funeral Home & Crematory for being very accommodating and understanding during this difficult time.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Mountain Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Ashland and Mellen, WI. Online condolences for William’s family may be left at MountainFuneralHomes.com