Gregary Wade Franck
Iles Funeral Home - Westover Chapel
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA
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.

To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by the Des Moines Register from Aug. 21 to Aug. 23, 2015.
No memorial events are currently scheduled.
To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Funeral services provided by:
Iles Funeral Home - Westover Chapel
Please consider a donation as requested by the family.
Add a Message

Not sure what to say?

7 Entries
Greg and Jan,
I'm at a loss for words. I'm so, so sorry to hear about this. Although I never met him, from reading the articles, Wade sounds like an amazing, generous, well-liked guy. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Always cherish the wonderful memories. Nancy Kouri
Nancy Kouri
August 25, 2015
Jan and Greg--My heartfelt sympathy at your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Bonnie Hall
August 23, 2015
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and cyclists riding the day of the event. May the power of God get your though the next days, months and years. Wade was a wonderful guy who was very patient with every rider he helped ...including the young riders!
August 22, 2015
Our most sincere condolences. We know that words are powerless to heal the hurt you are experiencing, but you are in our prayers.
Jody & George Cosson
August 21, 2015
I knew Wade in his life as a PhD student at ISU. He was a marvelous teacher, an enthusiastic student, and I am so sad to learn of his untimely death. My heart goes out to his family and all of his many friends.
Sara Gregg
August 21, 2015
Jan and Greg I am so sorry to hear about this. you will both be in my prayers.
Margaret Purdy
August 21, 2015
Sending Hugs and Prayers to the family - may you find peace and comfort at this time and in the days ahead.
August 21, 2015
Showing 1 - 7 of 7 results