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Served with Honor - United States Military Veteran
George H.
George H. "Sonny" Franck
September 23, 1918 - January 19, 2011
of Rock Island, Illinois

Memorial Service: 11:00 a.m. Saturday, January 22, 2011 at Broadway Presbyterian Church, Rock Island, IL
Visitation: 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Saturday, January 22, 2011 at Broadway Presbyterian Church, Rock Island, IL
George H. “Sonny” Franck, 92, of Rock Island, passed away Wednesday January 19, 2011 at his home. In accordance with his wishes, his body is being donated to the University of Iowa for scientific study.

A memorial service will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday at Broadway Presbyterian Church, Rock Island, where visitation will be held 10 to 11:00 a.m. Saturday. Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home, 3030 7th Ave., Rock Island, is assisting with arrangements. Memorials may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.

George was born September 23, 1918 in Davenport, IA, a son of Harry J. Franck and Laura J. Askren Franck. He graduated from the University of Minnesota, where he was an All-American wingback. Following college he played professional football for the New York Giants for 4 years. He served as a

U. S. Marine Corps fighter pilot during World War II.

He married Helen D. Gregory on December 19, 1953, in Carmen, OK.

He later received his master’s degree from the University of Oklahoma. He was a teacher and coach in the Oklahoma public system and later with the Rock Island/Milan public schools for 25 years. He retired in 1978.

He was a member of Broadway Presbyterian Church, Rock Island, and enjoyed bowling.

Survivors include his wife, Helen, of Rock Island; daughter and son-in-law, Landee and Phil Roth, of South Carolina; son and daughter-in-law, George H. Jr. and Meryl Franck, Virginia; grandchildren, Rhys Franck, Rhiannon Franck, Eric Roth, and Ryan Roth.

George is preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Harry J. Franck.

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When I lived on 21st and would see him he'd call me Diane Diane great times growing up.It was so nice seeing The Francks at my mom's 85th birthday and that my brothers and sisters could see him .I'll cherish all the great times our families shared .Sending many hugs to the family ..Diane Wilson and her daughter Cara
-- Diane Kirkpatrick Wilson

Mr Frank was my home room teacher at Rock Island High school. He also Coached track and football. What a Great man he was.I just want to say thanks. and Rest in peace my Fellow Veteran
-- Gary Andrews

I am so sorry for your loss. I remember attending a birthday party for Landee at her parents house, back when Landee worked in the Radiation Department @ Lutheran Hospital. It was such a special night being entertained by your parents and Sonny showed us his memorabilia room. What a blessing to have had your father for all those years and what a special man he was. May your fond memories heal you during this difficult time.
-- Kim & Rick Banfield

So sorry for your loss. It was always nice to see Mr. Franck in the office. He will be missed.
-- Quad City Rheumatology

i can not put into words how much you will be missed. chips is not doing will with you gone. he took his fathers/ your brothers death better than yours. he is tring to be strong for helen. not sure how..... sonny for nephew loved you like a father.... and i know you loved him dearly too. RIP sonny. helen if you need anything i will try and help. mom will be coming to see you after her surgery in fed. she'll try late march or april..... i am sorry for you loss. he is/was a great man. he will be missed.
-- Mrs. Cynthia Franck

Helen and family

Sonny was such a "force of nature" it is hard to imagine his smile and laugh and stories to be gone from our lives. May God's Blessed Spirit bring you comfort in this time and polish your cherished memories with joy.
-- Neal & Carole Lloyd

Coach Franck was a good man and a great coach. He always came up with creative ideas, like that double reverse - Monroe Keys to Jim Terry to Candy Collins - opening kickoff return, which threw off league leader Iowa City for the rest of the game and got us a winning 1963 season.

His faith in me as a placekicker gave me faith in myself, and I could never have made that miraculous Alleman kick without it.

And after graduation, he was always positive, supportive, and encouraging to me and others.

I'll never forget him putting on a helmet without pads and demonstrating how to run a play ... around and through a defense ... to help us understand it. I'll also never forget him telling me about volunteering to sit on a live torpedo on a rolling escort carrier deck, so that an ordnance man could defuse it.

That kind of raw courage does indeed reflect greatness.

I feel deep gratitude to Sonny Franck and deep sympathy for his family and the rest of us who have lost him.
-- Lou Coatney

Dear Phil & Landee, We are so sorry to learn of your father's passing. He left a great legacy to our community and certainly a big impression on your family. We will be at the services tomorrow.
-- Sandy & Dick Perry

I wasn't sure if you'd check the newspaper guestbook, and did want you to know that I was so sad to hear Sonny had passed away. I met him (and you Helen) through my mom, Donna, at the bowling alley, they were on the same team. My heartfelt sympathies go to you and your family.
-- Laura Cole

Sincere condolences to the Franck Family from the University of Minnesota supporters of Golden Gopher football. Mr. Franck was one of the best Halfbacks (and football players) ever at Minnesota. His contributions to school lore rank with the best. He played and starred in the truly golden age of Minnesota Football. His passing was acknowledged, and he was discussed with great admiration on our web site. He is and will be remembered here at the University of Minnesota for his many great contributions to Golden Gopher Football.
-- Thomas Kaphings

Helen, all my sympathies to you and the family. I enjoyed every minute I spent with You and Sonny. I miss him already.
-- Warren Wilson

-- Donna Evans

Sonny Franck was my biology teacher in the 10th grade at Rock Island High School, and motivated me to become a biology teacher myself. After majoring in biology at Augustana College, I was hired as a biology teacher and swimming coach at Grosse Pointe South High School in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. I taught biology for 13 years there before going into administration at the Grosse Pointe Public Schools. I left Grosse Pointe in 1983 to become the superintendent of schools in Hastings, Michigan, and had that position for 21 years before I retired, but never lost my love of biology, often using biology lessons as a "guest teacher" in the Hastings classrooms. My father, Art Schoessel, bowled with Sonny for a few years and kept me up to date on what Sonny was doing after his retirement. Before having Sonny as a biology teacher, I was planning on going into engineering, but my biology class with Sonny changed those plans and started me on my career as an educator. Many thanks to him!

Carl Schoessel
-- Carl Schoessel

My heart is heavy today, as I just learned of Sonny's passing. I had visited by relatives of Jack Chevigny and had spent the weekend telling the story of Captain Franck and Lt. Chevigny and their friendship. For Mrs. Helen, the book is one chapter away from completion. I received 68 letters that Jack had written during his time in the Corps. One of the letters was the day before the invasion on Feb 19. Sonny Franck will remain a hero to me, as well as my oldest friend. I am blessed to have been able to visit the two of you. When the book - The Last Chalkline - is out, I will send you a copy. None of it would have been possible without his friendship and your support. I still remember him at the table, after we had those huge 4-inch pork chops, eating an enormous bowl of ice cream. I tell that story to everyone. And his office and the trophies, and the Wheaties advertisement. I remember every minute I was at your house. His notes on how terrible my team was..after I had sent him the video....I can't wait to see him again one day, so we can talk football. No doubt he was one of the greatest athletes and most generous human beings of the 20th century.
-- Jeff Walker

Sonny was my hero as a boy growing up in Minnesota (St Louis Park) I live in Cal. now and still think of his exploits on the grid iron. My god be with him always.
-- Charles F Brown