Gregary Wade Franck
Gregary Wade Franck, 41, died August 18, 2015, two days after being struck by a car while riding his bicycle in Des Moines. He touched countless lives with his brilliant smile, warm heart, helpful spirit, and one-of-a-kind laugh.
A passionate cyclist, Wade was a pillar in the Des Moines cycling community. He was widely known as the friendly, go-to expert at Kyle's Bikes in Ankeny, where he had worked since 2012, and at Skunk River Cycles in Ames before that. Wade had joined Team Lanning from West Des Moines for nearly 20 RAGBRAI events and was always in training for his next 150-mile ride.
After college, Wade was a Historical Interpreter at Living History Farms, Urbandale where he took on the roles of a 19th century blacksmith, farmer, cabinet-maker and printer. He could drive teams of draft horses and oxen, and learned to operate a steam-powered tractor. A born teacher, Wade shared his love of history with students of all ages. He had an uncanny ability to present historical events as if he had actually been there.
Wade received his BA in political science and history from the University of Iowa, and his MA in the history of technology and science from Iowa State. He also taught history at Simpson College and Iowa State University.
Wade leaves an unfillable hole in the lives of family who survive him: parents Gregary and Jan Franck of Ankeny; brother Travis and sister-in-law Marcy, nephew Keegan, and niece Devon of Boston, MA; aunts, Mary Beth Costello, Glenda (Nick) Hellenthal and Julie (Steve) Peyton, and four cousins and their children. He was preceded in death by grandparents Burley and Inez Franck of Troy Mills, Iowa, and Charles and Harriet Costello of Malvern, Iowa.
His family is grateful for the outpouring of support from the cycling community, and knows he would appreciate the #RideForWade cycling event created in his honor.
A celebration of Wade's life will be from 4-6 p.m. Sunday, August 23, at Living History Farms, 11121 Hickman Road, Urbandale. In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to the Gregary Wade Franck Memorial Fund at any Bankers Trust location in the Des Moines area or the charity of your choice
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Published by the Des Moines Register from Aug. 21 to Aug. 23, 2015.