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Raymond L. Franz

d. April 29, 2017

Hillsboro – Raymond L. Franz, 87, died April 29, 2017 at Parkside Homes in Hillsboro.  He was born November 16, 1929 in Hutchison to Jacob E and Ruth (Suderman) Franz.  He married Aldina Flaming November 11, 1951 rural Goessel.  Survivors include: spouse, Aldina Franz of Hillsboro; sons, Larry (Sue) Franz of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Dale (Melanie) Franz of Hillsboro; brother, Richard (Edith) Franz of Brentwood, TN; sisters, Eloise Faul of Hillsboro, Carrol (Ervin) Ediger of Hillsboro, Judith (Paul) Classen of Broomfield, CO; grandchildren, Sara Marie Franz, Darren Franz, and Ryan Franz.  Predeceased by a son, Don Franz in 2004, brother, James Franz in 1963, sister, Elaine Franz in 2009. Celebration of Life Service 11:00 a.m. Thursday, May 4, 2017 at Hillsboro M.B. Church in Hillsboro.  Interment 10:00 a.m. Thursday at Hillsboro M.B. Cemetery.  Family receive guests from 6 to 8 Wednesday at Jost Funeral Home in Hillsboro. Memorials to M.B. Church Youth or World Impact in care of Jost Funeral Home P.O. Box 266 Hillsboro, KS 67063.  Online condolences at www.jostfuneralhome.com


Life Sketch taken from the Funeral Bulletin

Raymond L. Franz, grocer, was born November 16, 1929, in Hutchinson, KS, the first of three sons and four daughters born to Jacob E. and Ruth Suderman Franz. The Franz family was one big happy family; the two oldest sons, Ray and Rich, were especially good buddies.

Ray started kindergarten at age four at Roosevelt Grade School in McPherson, KS. Starting school was difficult for Ray because he only spoke German. From that time on, the family switched to English at home, and Ray learned it quickly. In 1940 the family moved to Hillsboro, KS where Ray attended fifth grade and graduated from Hillsboro High School with the class of 1948. He then attended Tabor College for two years.

Ray accepted the Lord as his personal savior at the age of fourteen, was baptized by Rev. J. W. Vogt together with 25 others, and was a lifetime member of Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church. Attending church services and Sunday school classes was really important to Ray, and he gave freely of his time and talents as he served in many positions within the church. Ray taught the freshman-sophomore boys Sunday school class for 43 consecutive years, 1957-1999. It was a special joy for Ray to work with young men in Sunday school, and many of the boys became lifelong friends.

Ray married his high school sweetheart, Aldina Flaming, Sunday, November 11, 1951 at the Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church near Goessel. They raised three sons: Larry Ray, Dale Mark, and Don Alan. Aldina was a stay-at-home mom and was always involved with the boys’ activities.

As early as the seventh grade, Ray had a dream—to be a grocer. That year Ben Wall hired him to nail egg crates and carry in customers’ eggs at Wall’s Food Market on South Main Street. Eventually, by selling Aldina’s five Holstein cows and a loan from Hillsboro’s First National Bank, Ray purchased half ownership of the store with Ben Wall owning the other half. In 1959 Ray and Paul Ediger became partners at Paul & Ray’s Supermarket at 108 W. Grand. Paul retired in 1983 and the name of the grocery store was changed to Ray’s Thriftway. Ray retired in 1999, and his son Dale purchased the store and named it Dale’s Supermarket. Ray continued to purchase his cartons of Dr. Pepper as well as their other groceries there.

Ray enjoyed baseball. While in high school, he played on the first HHS baseball team, and during the years he attended Tabor College, he played on their first ever baseball team. He coached boys’ summer baseball for a number of years. He and his brother Richard became New York Giants (now San Francisco Giants) fans at an early age. Ray and Aldina went on six Prudent Tour baseball trips, one of which included a Giants game at their present stadium in San Francisco, CA. That was one of the highlights of Ray’s life.

For many years Ray owned a sailboat which he enjoyed first at Marion County Lake and later at Marion Reservoir. His brother Rich, his sons, nephews and friends tell some pretty “wild” stories about the fun they had on that boat. His wife Aldina only took one excursion on that boat and that was enough for her, but Ray continued to enjoy hours and hours of fun on the lake.

Ray’s love of traveling began the summer between his junior and senior year in high school when he and three classmates, Bob Hiebert, Bob Vogt, and Wayne Hornbaker, got permission from their parents to head to California to pick potatoes and hopefully make lots of money. They worked at Shafter, Bakersfield and Fresno that summer. Ray said the freedom was good, but the big dollars were scarce. Years later, Ray and Aldina participated in 30 Prudent Tours.

Ray enjoyed singing. He sang bass in the MARK IV (Marvin, Allen, Ray and Kenney) men’s quartet for more than 60 years. He was a charter member of the Kansas Mennonite Men’s Chorus, having sung with them for 45 years. In 2000 Ray and Aldina traveled to Europe with the group, and Ray remembered well the thrill of singing with the men in cathedrals there.

Ray was a loyal and enthusiastic Hillsboro booster. Throughout his working lifetime, he volunteered on numerous community boards and councils.

Having had undiagnosed polio as a one year old created health problems in Ray’s later years as he suffered from the effects of post-polio syndrome. Days before his passing, Ray quoted Scripture, sang along with visitors, and let people know how much he appreciated their prayers and presence. His faith in Jesus remained strong.


Spouse: Aldina Franz

Sons: Larry and Sue Franz, Colorado Springs, CO

Sara Marie Franz

Dale and Melanie Franz, Hillsboro, KS

Darren Franz

Ryan Franz

Don Franz, deceased October 17, 2004


                  Richard and Edith Franz, Brentwood, TN

Eloise Faul, Hillsboro, KS

Elaine Franz, deceased June 7, 2009

                  Carrol and Ervin Ediger, Hillsboro, KS

                  James Franz, deceased November 27, 1963

Judith and Paul Classen, Broomfield, CO









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5 thoughts on “Raymond L. Franz

  1. My heart grieves and prayers for the family. I know where Ray is now, and I am looking forward to seeing once again, this man who had such a tremendous impact on my life.

  2. Ray was my boss for five years at Ray’s Thriftway. I entered the job at 16, and then left at 21 for my first newspaper job. I didn’t have a great work ethic when I started, but it was through the job that I got to know Hillsboro a lot better and that I learned the value of doing a job even when it seems like there are more fun things to be done.
    He Menno-German roots were always apparent; even at work he’d occasionally sing a few words (in that bass! what a bass!) from a German hymn. He was always ready with a chuckle. And he was one of the most devout men I ever knew — serving as both a Sunday school teacher and in the Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church choir for decades.
    We stood side by side and watched the Hesston Tornado slide south of town together. He admonished me when I yelled out an expletive in reaction to the size of the tornado.
    In retrospect, I realize how big his heart must have been. More than a few of us who worked at the grocery store in this era were oddballs of one sort or another, I can see now. He employed us all. Had us to his house for a Christmas celebration. And was always welcoming when I’d return to town in later years to grab a pound or two of the store’s famous “Hillsboro sausage.”
    I don’t know if they make them like him anymore. I do know I’ve not known anybody else like him. I’m grateful to have worked for him. May he rest in peace.

  3. Ray gave me my first job while still in high school. Ray taught me a lot about work ethic, setting priorities, and the importance of family. He will be greatly missed. My condolences to the Frantz family

    Wes Preble
    Oklahoma City

  4. Our condolences to the Franz family. Ray will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved him. May your family find comfort in your many fond memories of him, and in the Bible’s promise that soon death and sorrow and tears will be no more- Revelation 21:3,4.

  5. Aldina and family:
    For several decades, Ray was a pillar of our community. It was always a pleasure to see him: he was invariably welcoming, pleasant and cheerful and will be missed by many of us. I also enjoyed hearing him sing. He had many gifts and he used them to bring glory to God.
    May God bring back many, many memories of him to help you smile, even as you grieve your loss.
    I send you all my sincere condolences.
    Pat Bartel

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