ARMSTRONG CREEK, Wis. - Walter Franczek, of Armstrong Creek, passed away peacefully at the Hebron Oaks Skilled Nursing Center in Madison, Wis., surrounded by his loving family, on Wednesday, May 1, 2014, one week short of his 90th birthday, after a long but courageous battle with dementia and Parkinson's disease.
Walter was born on May 8, 1924, in Johnston City, Ill., the son of Adam and Katherine (Bzrdzirk) Franczek. His family moved to Armstrong Creek when Walter was four years old.
He served as an engineer in the US Army in Europe during World War II, followed by a tour as a senior surveyor in the U.S. Air Force until 1951. He married the former Sophie Wysocki of Goodman, Wis., on June 9, 1949.
Walter attended the Milwaukee School of Engineering where he studied mechanical engineering. He moved to the Chicago area where worked for several manufacturing companies, eventually landing a position with the Motorola Corp. He was a design team member of the first-generation hand-held radio, or walkie-talkie, used by the U.S. Secret Service. Walter retired from Motorola as head of quality control in 1985 and returned to Armstrong Creek in 1987.
He was a member of St Stanislaus Kostka Church, and served as commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7444.
Survivors include his sons, Edward (Mariann) Franczek of Bensenville, Ill., and Michael (Kristen) Franczek of Verona, Wis.; granddaughter, Laurel Franczek; sister, Marie (Franczek) Stephens of New Berlin Wis.; brothers-in-law, Stanley (Patricia) Wysocki of Port Orange, Fla., John (Joann) Wysocki of Quinnisec, Joseph (Marilyn) Wysocki of Goodman, and Walter (Kathleen) Wysocki of Armstrong Creek; sisters-in-law, Marie Bethe of Appleton, Wis., and Susanna Wysocki of San Francisco; and numerous nieces, nephews and other friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Adam and Katherine; his beloved wife, Sophie; brothers, Stanley Franczek and Joseph Franczek; sister-in-law, Mary Franczek; and brothers-in-law, Casimir Wysocki, Edmund Wysocki, Andrew Wysocki, Herb Stephens and Stanley Bethe.
Visitation will be at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Armstrong Creek on Tuesday, May 6, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., immediately followed by a Mass of Christian Burial, officiated by Monsignor Paul Koszarek, assisted by Deacon Jerry Cross.
Burial will be in the Pine Hill Cemetery in Armstrong Creek.
Special thanks and much love is given to the staffs of the Iron Mountain, and Madison, Veterans Affairs Hospital Community Living Centers; All Saints Assisted Living Facility in Madison; Oakwood Village Hebron Oaks Skilled Nursing Center in Madison; and Agrace Hospice Center in Madison.
Sincere thanks is also given to Joseph, Walter, Steven and Thomas for all the times you've helped for so long when I could not be here. Thank you also to Florence and Catherine for always calling and caring.
The family is being assisted by Weber-Hill Funeral Home of Crandon, Wis. Online condolences at www.weberhillfuneralhome.com.