Ronald Edward Frantz, 84, died Nov. 29, 2020, from complications related to COVID-19 and Alzheimer's. Because of COVID-19, no service will be held at this time. A Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date. Stewart Baxter Funeral & Memorial Services, Mount Vernon, will be handling arrangements.
He was born Feb. 2, 1936, to Leon and Margaret Frantz, during the worst snowstorm in memory at their Greene County farm just east of Grand Junction, Iowa. He grew up and worked on the family farm. He showed cattle and hogs at the Greene County and Iowa State fairs. Ron graduated from Grand Junction High School, then attended Iowa State University for two years before transferring to and graduating from Northwest Missouri State in Maryville, Mo., with a degree in education in 1960. It was there that he met his then-to-be wife, Stephanie, whom he married on June 5, 1961.
Ron taught industrial arts in Sheffield, Iowa, where they lived for five years before he accepted a job to teach industrial arts and drivers education for Mount Vernon High School for 10 years. Later, he taught classes at the Anamosa Correctional Facility. He then directed a state program finding work and housing for homeless families. Ron then worked for Job Service of Iowa, working with companies and businesses to seek employment for the unemployed, a job from which he retired after two decades.
Ron loved woodworking and made so many items large and small many of which continue to be enjoyed by family and friends. He also loved to garden and was a highly creative cook. His chili was loved by everyone, as was his beef and barley soup. He enjoyed hunting pheasants and taught his sons the same passion. He and Stephanie were longtime members of Hillcrest Country Club in Mount Vernon, and he enjoyed playing new golf courses with his buddies. Ron was a longtime member of, and was presented the Paul Harris Fellow Award, from the Rotary Foundation. Saturday mornings at Gwen's Restaurant in Lisbon were his standard when employed then, in retirement, it became a nearly everyday visit. His time with his friends and the staff were incredibly important to him. Every time a son visited, it was an expectation that he present himself to those at Gwen's. For dinner, the same happened at Whitey's in Lisbon.
From an early age, he gained a passion for national parks, beginning with driving tour buses throughout Estes Park, Colo. In retirement, he and Stephanie explored many more. From there, they added special trips to Alaska and Europe.
He had a deep love of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball and Iowa State football and basketball teams.
Most importantly, he loved his grandchildren. Each received a handmade cedar chest, which each cherish. They enjoyed his teasing and unconditional support. Nothing made him happier than seeing their development, curiosity and intellect develop.
He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Stephanie; three sons, Mike (Andrea) of Storm Lake, Chris (Chris Anne) of Chaska, Minn., and Dan (Melissa) of Bettendorf; five grandchildren, Hanna (Zach) of Washington, D.C., Isaac of Bettendorf, Baylor of Minnetonka, Minn., Sam of Bettendorf and Lily of Chaska, Minn.; and three sisters, Ruth Schoenfeld of Lombard, Ill., Linda (Ben) Wilt of Savannah, Mo., and Sharon (Roger) Stoline of Jefferson.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Instead of flowers, donations to Pheasants Forever, Rotary Foundation or the Mount Vernon United Methodist Church would be Ron's desire. Cards may be in care of Stewart Baxter, 715 10th Ave. SW, Mount Vernon, IA 52314.