Warren H. Franz, age 91, an 87-year resident of the Kettle Falls and Colville area, passed away on April 6, 2013 in Colville. Warren was born on Sept. 5, 1921 in Pasco, the son of Frank and Eliza Ruth (Sell) Franz.
Following Warrenâ€™s birth, his family moved to California and then returned to Washington. They resided in Spokane for a short time before making Meyers Falls their home in 1925. Warren attended school through the eighth grade in Meyers Falls and then to Colville, where he attended high school and graduated in 1939. He relocated to Portland for a time, working in the shipyards during World War II. Warren returned home to log and to assist in the operation of the family farm in the Greenwood area.
On Jan. 19, 1946, he married Ethel Irene McCleary in Colville and began a family. Warren continued logging until 1951, when he bought the Texaco Service Station in Kettle Falls. He operated the station for 15 years while driving school bus on the side. In 1966, Warren purchased the Texaco consignee-ship in Colville and provided products to the Colville and Kettle Falls stations, loggers and farmers of Northern Stevens County and heating oil to homes and businesses in Colville and Kettle Falls. Warren and Ethel moved to Colville in 1976. In 1979, Texaco released their holding in the Northwest and Warren became a Shell jobber (CO-PET-CO). In 1986, Warren switched to the Exxon brand at the self-service station at the north end of Colville.
Ethel preceded him in death on Feb. 28, 1986. Warren continued operating the gas station during which time he met Lola Jean (Watt) Wohrle. They married on Sept. 5, 1987 in Colville and in 1988, Warren sold the Exxon station. He drove school bus for the Colville School District from 1988 to 1989. Warren then retired and discovered retirement was more enjoyable then he could have ever imagined.
Warren enjoyed reading, listening to audio-books, people watching, travelogues, the History Channel and sport on television, gardening and yard work. He also took many trips, visiting all western states, western Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands and traveling throughout Washington State for Masonic functions. Warren loved to share time with his family and created many wonderful memories with them along the way.
On Jan. 16, 1946, Warren was accepted into the Kettle Falls Lodge No. 130 F&AM. He was also a member of the Pine Tree Order of Eastern Star No. 7 (serving as Worth Patron Twice), Rainbow Dad for his daughter, Carol, Greenwood Grange in Kettle Falls (serving as Master for two to three years), Scottish Rite, El Katif Shrine and N.E. Washington Shrine Club, which included driving with the Lizzie Patrol in countless area parades. Warren also volunteered at the Stevens County Historical Society Museum
Warren is survived by his wife, Jean Franz, at the home; son, Douglas Franz and wife, Deanie, Colville; daughter, Carol Mountain and husband, Harry, Street, England; grandchildren, Gary Franz and wife, Sabrina, Wendy Rogers and husband, Darrel, Brandi Franz, all of Colville; Joshua Franz and wife, Tanya, Ocala, Florida; step-sons, Terry Wohrle and wife, Juliann, Spokane; Ron Wohrle and wife, Nancy, Puyallup; Michael Wohrle and wife, Sharon, Cottage Grove, OR; Richard Wohrle, Spokane; eight step-grandchildren; great grandchildren, Brandon, Cameron, Shenae Young and husband, Justin, Aubrey, Emily, Megan, Gabriel, Jadyn, Kami, Sierra, Tyler, Cody and Kyleigh; two great-great-grandsons, Zachary and Trevin Young; and 10 step-great grandchildren.
The funeral service for Warren H. Franz will begin at 2 p.m., Thursday, April 18 at the Agricultural Trade Center in Colville. Doug and Deanie Franz will officiate the service.
Graveside service will follow at the Meyers Falls Cemetery, Kettle Falls.
Memorial contributions may be given to the Rite Care Language Center, Masonic Temple, W. 1108 Riverside, Spokane, WA 99201 and/or Shriners Childrenâ€™s Hospital, P.O. Box 2472, Spokane, WA 99210-2472.
Please visit the on-line memorial and sign the guestbook at www.danekasfuneralchapel.com.
Danekas Funeral Chapel and Crematory is entrusted with the arrangements.