Francis's Story

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Francis “Fran” L. Lentz, 70, of Ewing, died 8:20 a.m. Monday, Feb. 23, 2015, at Franklin Hospital, Benton. Fran was born on Feb. 5, 1945, in Chicago, the son of Bernard and Veneta (Terhune) Lentz. He married the former Rita Kay Osteen on Oct. 16, 1990, and she survives. Mr. Lentz served in the United States Army during the Vietnam Conflict and was the recipient of the Silver Star, Purple Heart, Vietnam Service Medal, Bronze Star, Combat Infantryman Badge 1st Award, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon with Device 1960 and Expert Badge a Pistol Rifle. Fran retired from Rita’s Mechanical Appraisal, where he was the owner and operator and had also retired from Rend Lake College as the auto ag instructor. Fran was a member of the Rescue Free Will Baptist Church, the Master’s Men, Disabled American Veterans and the Antique Iron. Fran was a loving husband, father and grandfather. He was known for his "Fran"erisms...Sweet corn, bacon wrapped shrimp, helium balloons, sidecar rides at Bible school, "you know what I like about you?" little birdie hidden in his hands, object lessons for the kids, one shoe, mowing out by the church sign on the road, volunteering Miss Rita to make 100 pumpkin pies, love of country, respect the flag, love of family, Fran burgers, hope chests, cradles, going to bed early, "better than I deserve", Christmas story about the train and so much more. Great memories that will be cherished by his family and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, David Allen; and sister, Barbara Jean. He is survived by his wife; children, Heather Swetz and husband, Steve of Mulkeytown, Jay Lentz and wife Emily of Dahlgren, Dana Wampler and husband Levi, Murphysboro, April Harmon and husband Matt of Ewing, Lisa Funkhouser and husband Chris of Benton and Beckie Payne and husband Justin of Ewing; grandchildren, Hadleigh, Lily, Laney, Elijah, Gage, Zane, Eva, Gunnar, Reid, Gracie, Xander, Jasmine, Jacob and McKenzie; two brothers, Robert Lentz and wife JoAnne and Charles Lentz and wife Debbie; a sister, Sharon Weirich and husband Tom; and many nieces, nephews and friends. Visitation was from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 26, at Ina Free Will Baptist Church and from 10 to 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 26, at Ina Free Will Baptist Church. Funeral service were held 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 27, at the church with the Rev. Bryant Harris and the Rev. Ralph Wilton officiating. Burial followed services at Plaster Cemetery in Thompsonville with military rites by the Benton American Legion Post 280, VFW Post 2671 and the Army Honors Team. Memorial contributions may be made to the Rescue Free Will Baptist Church Building Fund. Visit www.hobbsjohnson.com to sign the memorial guestbook.
Published on  March 2, 2015
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