Don Frantz

42 entries | 2 photos
  • "Our hearts go out to Georgette and family. We send love and..."
    - Carol Waters
  • "Uncle Don was my neighbor since i was born. I grew up..."
    - Karen VanDaff
  • "Our hearts go out to Georgette and Family. We are thinking..."
    - Jena Sanchez
  • "Condolences for Coach Frantz's family and many friends. It..."
    - Michael Haller
  • "Adios old friend. Will never forget our escapades in..."
    - Dave Carpenter
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Donald Wayne Frantz passed away on July 15, 2017, along the Yentna River, Alaska. He died from heart failure while flying his beloved Aeronca Sedan. Don was born on Oct. 26, 1941, in Pueblo, Colo., to Roy Osee and Ethel May. The Frantz family owned the local feed store in Pueblo, where Don and his two brothers worked. After graduating from Central High School in Pueblo in 1959, he attended Colorado State College, Greeley. While studying, he competed for the men's gymnastics program and was nationally ranked. During the summers he traveled to Alaska, to work for Anchorage Natural Gas. He graduated from Colorado State College, Greeley in 1967, with a master's degree in biology. He met Georgette Thomas in 1965. Their love flourished quickly and they were married on July 1, 1966. After three years of marriage, they had their son, Dowell. They were happily married for 51 years.
In August 1966, Don and Georgette drove to Alaska to teach. Don worked at A.J. Dimond High School from 1966 to 1969. He taught Biology and Physical Education. In addition to teaching, he coached wrestling. In 1969, he left teaching to begin his career in the insurance industry. He bought his first airplane, an Aeronca Sedan, in 1975. The next year he began guiding for big game. His love for guiding continued until the mid '80s. He established Tax Deferral Associates in 1986, and continued working in this area until retirement.
In 1988, Don made his first trip to Kansas, to hunt pheasants with family and friends. This was the beginning of his biannual trips to Hoxie, Kan., for spring turkey hunting and fall pheasant hunting. His last successful Kansas hunt was in April of this year, when he bagged a long-bearded turkey. In 1974, his son started playing hockey, which began Don's second great love of watching Dowell and grandkids, Kody and Estee, play hockey for the next 43 years. Don maintained an almost perfect attendance record, even when the hockey games were played outside of Alaska. When he wasn't watching hockey, he volunteered for many years on the board of the Alaska Hockey Association. He was also a beloved member on the board of directors for Credit Union 1. When Don retired from the Credit Union 1 board, he began traveling back and forth from Anchorage to Colorado Springs with his wife and dog, Ravyn.
In 2010, Don took up another project. He started to build his second airplane at the Legend Cub Factory in Sulphur Springs, Texas. It took him six months to finish the plane. After the completion of his airplane, he flew it up to Alaska with his cousin, Murray Sloan. The journey home took them eight days.
Don was a loving father, husband, friend and a cherished grandfather. His contagious smile will be dearly missed. He is survived by his wife, Georgette; son and daughter-in-law, Dowell and Stephanie; grandchildren, Kody and Estee; brother, Bob and family; and brother-in-law, Jim Thomas and family.
A celebration of life will be held at the Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum, 4721 Aircraft Drive, on Thursday, July 20, 2017, from 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. All are welcome to attend.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Pheasants Forever, Smoky Valley Chapter 349, Hoxie, KS 67740; or Friends of Pets, P.O. Box 240981, Anchorage, AK 99524-0981.
Published in Anchorage Daily News on July 19, 2017