Storyteller, jokester and one who everybody adored, John “Jack” Edward Frankland ascended peacefully to his many friends and family awaiting him in Heaven on February 13, 2021 at his home in Dane, WI, holding Susan’s hand as she sang him a love song. Jack was born at home in Monfort, WI on April 26, 1935, to the late Christopher Frankland and Lottie (Ferris) Frankland.
Jack would light up a room the moment he walked through the door. Everywhere he went, he knew someone. You would typically hear someone shout from across the room, “Hey Jack!” He’d smile and say “Hey, you old son of a gun.” He may have not remembered their name, but you would have never known it due to his charm and witty demeanor.
We are really going to miss his fun-loving nature, his crazy sense of humor and of course, his stories and jokes. Even though we all heard the same joke from time to time, he always inserted a new twist. When he’d say, “Have I told you this one before?”, you would typically say no, because you were curious how the story evolved from the last time you heard it. It would make us laugh every time.
Jack was known for his ingenuity and inspiring creations. If you ever told him about a problem you were having with something, he’d say, “Hmmm I think I have a solution for you.” He was always tinkering and we loved to see the concoctions he came up with.
He had many hobbies too! He enjoyed snowmobiling in the early days with his family, he was an excellent trapshooter, where he was president of the Roxbury Valley Trap Club for several years. He was an avid Pool player, Golfer and he loved spending time at his trailer on Fish Lake. Jack enjoyed fishing from his pier with his children and many other people and socializing with other Fish Lake residents and guests as much as possible. Jack found great pleasure in watching his grandchildren participate in sporting activities, dance recitals and plays and musical productions. He absolutely LOVED being on his John Deere tractor, manicuring his lawn to perfection.
He was ambitious through his whole life. At age 16, he began working full time at the Montfort Creamery, while attending school and playing on the Varsity teams of Basketball, Baseball and Football. His Sophomore year he was President of the Student Council. He also participated in the Montfort Highschool Band by playing a variety of drums. And, he shared his wonderful singing voice with the Montfort Highschool Choir. Jack was passionate about school and the activities he participated in. He graduated in the top 10 of his class in 1954.
After graduation, he joined the Army on the “Buddy System” with his friend Gary “Barney” Baxter. After basic training in Fort Leonard Wood, MO he was stationed at Fort Carson, CO where he was a member of the 5th Army Band and the 179th Army Marching Band, and the ONE AND ONLY Army Scottish Bagpipe Band, Jack was incharge of the Tenor Drum section. When he returned home, Jack was the first person EVER to attend Madison Area Technical College on the GI Bill. He obtained his degree in photography and later became a photography instructor for MATC. This led Jack on to the adventure of owning his own photography studio for 10 years in Lodi WI, named "Frankland Studios." He was first located where the Lodi Police Department is now. He loved capturing the beautiful scenery in the Lodi Valley, the smiles emanating love on the faces of couples on their wedding day and the joyful laughter of babies on film.
Jack was also very active in the Lodi community. He was a charter member of the Lodi Chamber of Commerce, on the Board of Directors of the Boy Scouts and a Little League Baseball coach. Jack was also a Rotary Club Member, a Lodi Optimist Club Member, he belonged to the Lodi/Dane American Legion and he was a longtime faithful friend of the Lodi United Methodist Church. He was very influential in selling stock to have the Lodi Golf Club built. Jack also played a very significant role in bringing ALCAR to Lodi.
In 1967 Jack was stricken with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a virus that attacks your nervous system. He became completely paralyzed from his neck down plus the left side of his face and was not expected to live. Jack spent two years in the VA Hospital in Madison, WI and one more year traveling back and forth from his home in Lodi for therapy. In all he endured 3,700 hours of physical therapy.
In 1970 Jack decided to open the first and only liquor store in the township of Lodi, WI. Because there had NEVER been a liquor store in the Lodi township, he had to place the fact that he wanted a liquor license on a referendum for a vote. He went around campaigning in his wheelchair and he won the yes vote by 30. For many years Jack and his former wife Joanne owned and operated Frankland Liquor Store, on the outskirts of Lodi, where their motto was “You Are a Stranger Here But Once.”
Some years later, Jack and his current wife Susan owned and operated The Pup Tavern in Dane, WI, where they too used the motto “You Are a Stranger Here But Once.” Jack finally retired from the business world and became a “stay at home Dad” without any kids. Throughout his retirement he still remained busy volunteering at the Lodi United Methodist Church, helping Susan operate a in-home daycare, sharing and swapping stories with family and friends, enjoying a few Old Milwaukees (in the can), mowing the lawn and being the most loving and caring husband a woman could ever ask for. Thank you Jack for sharing the best story of all with all of us, your life! Until we meet again.
Jack is survived by his loving wife, Susan, his sons, Dan (Trisha) Frankland, Mike (Sandy) Frankland and their sons, Nick (Lindsey) Frankland and their son, Bowman, and Jacob Frankland, his daughter, Jill (Joe) Vacek and their son Franco, his stepdaughters, Beckie (Eric) Haugen and their children Oliver and Madilyn, and Marie (Jeff) Maly. Jack was preceded in death by his parents and former wife and mother of his children, Joanne (Bartholomew) Frankland.
We are hoping to have a Celebration of Jack’s Life on Sunday, April 25. However, because of the Covid-19 restrictions at this time, we will need to have patience and see what the good Lord decides. More details will be shared as we approach April 25.
My deepest appreciation goes out to the family members who were so willing and loving when helping to care for Jack, our friends and neighbors who stepped in to lend a hand when needed, the Senior Helpers and Heartland Hospice Team who did their best to make Jack’s last months and days pleasant and comfortable. May God bless you ALL as you have blessed us.