William Franzen

I just returned from my grandfather William Franzen’s funeral.  He lived a few months short of his 92nd birthday.  There was much to distinguish him.  He was married for 67 years.  He fought in WW2.  He had a good number of children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren (and one great-great-grandchild).  He was also a very mechanically gifted fellow.  His mechanical giftedness manifested itself in many ways but particularly in his tendency to collect and make clocks.  The night before his funeral I was in his old bedroom and I counted eight clocks (some digital, but many of them ticking) as well as two clocks in the connected bathroom.  To stand in his room (and almost anywhere in his house) is to enjoy a symphony of syncopation.  Two thoughts occurred to me.  The first was that the clocks that ticked for him tick for me.  The secondhand turns at the same speed for everyone.  The other happier thought was that he was now with his Lord and Savior in a place where time shall be no more.

This is a quick sketch I made of him a few years ago while he slept in his chair.

And here is a postcard that he sent my grandmother while in the Army during the Second World War.


Published by Zach

I'm a writer and illustrator living in Creedmoor NC.

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  1. Hey Zach,
    So sorry to hear about your grandfather’s passing. But very glad to hear that he placed his trust in Jesus. What theater was he engaged in during WWII? My great grandfather was a gunner on a B17, and reportedly threw a ham sandwich at a Japanese zero pilot. Great sketch too. Have a great week man!

  2. Thanks Will. My grandfather served in the European theater. That’s a funny story about the sandwich.

  3. Sorry to hear about your grandfather. Yours and mine are very similar. Mine turned 91 in December and I think he’s said his goodbys probably three times but he keeps coming back around. He went into hospice in December but rebounded again and had to go to a nursing home. I took him to his favorite place to eat (Waffle House) Sunday and it was the first time he’d been out since he went into hospice care. They really are the Greatest Generation. Looking ahead I wonder what test will prove us to be as great men. Will the test come? How will we handle it? Hopefully with faith.

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