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Fr. Gus Franczek has entered eternal life


Reverend Julius August “Gus” Franczek entered eternal life on November 13, 2014 at the age of 93. He was born August 12, 1921 in Norway, Michigan to John and Mary (Kurcz) Franczek. He was the eleventh of twelve children and attended grade school and high school in Norway. Two of his brothers were also priests. Father Gus received his seminary education at Crosier College in Onamia and St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, followed by additional courses in 1993 at Sacred Heart Seminary in Hales Corners, Wisconsin. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 5, 1948 by the Most Reverend Thomas L. Noa at St. Peter Cathedral in Marquette, Michigan.

After his ordination, Father Gus served as an Assistant at various parishes in the Diocese of Marquette, becoming an Administrator for St. Augustine Parish in Republic in 1955 and Lady of Lourdes Parish in Engadine in 1964. He served as Pastor for the parishes of St. Augustine in Republic, St. Stephen in Loretto, St. Michael in Perronville, St. Joseph in Foster City, St. Joseph in Northland and Sacred Heart in Ewen with missions in Sidnaw and Trout Creek. He came to the Diocese of Gaylord and served as Associate Pastor for St. Ignatius Parish in Rogers City beginning in July 1994 until he became Pastor for the parishes of St. Pius X in Hale and St. James in Whittemore on February 1, 1995, where he served until he retired on December 1, 2011, at the age of 90. After retirement he moved into an apartment at the Cathedral rectory and continued to celebrate the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick. From July 1, 1999 to June 30, 2004, Father Franczek served as the Vicar of the West Branch Vicariate.

Father Gus was predeceased by his parents and eleven siblings – Mary, Joseph, Leo, Edward, Fred, Henry, Father Walter, Father Chester, Florence, John and Clara. He is survived by nieces Theresa Lorio, Joan (Dan) Paul, Mary Franczek, Susanna (Arthur) Touchtone, Jeanette Franczek and Charlotte Franczek; nephews, John (Theresa) Franczek, Jr., Bernard Franczek, Henry (Danya) Franczek and Walter Franczek; cousin Laura (Randy) Ruiter and several grandnieces and grandnephews. 

Visitation will be held on Monday, November 17, 2014 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. with a vigil service at 7:00 p.m. at St. Mary Cathedral, 606 N. Ohio Avenue in Gaylord.  Visitation will also be held at the Cathedral on Tuesday, November 18 at 10:00 a.m. until the Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 a.m. celebrated by the Most Reverend Steven J. Raica. Burial will take place at Resurrection Cemetery on Winters Road in Gaylord.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Diocese of Gaylord, 611 W. North Street, Gaylord, MI 49735-8349.                     

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him;
may he and all the souls of the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

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