Bob Franks

“Bob” Franks, age 78 of Vermontville, MI passed away on September 12, 2022, at his home in Vermontville, MI.
Bob was born in Charlotte, MI, on October 26, 1943, a son of Dorothy and Raymond Franks. Bob was raised on his family’s farm outside Vermontville and attended local schools, graduating in 1962 from one of the last classes from Nashville High School before the consolidation with Vermontville.
Shortly after completing his education, Bob began working at General Motors. He ended his career at Plant 5/Delta Engine Plant where he worked as an engine specialist. During his tenure with GM, Bob became well-known throughout the company for his ability to diagnose flaws within an engine and provide solutions to remedy the defects. It was not uncommon for him to travel all over the United States working with several other factories and personnel to improve the quality of the General Motors engine program.
Bob retired in 2001 after almost 39 years of dedicated service. On August 8, 1964, Bob was married to the love of his life, Barbara (Barnhill) Franks at the United Methodist Church in Charlotte. They lived in Charlotte for four years while Bob was building the family’s home on the east end of the original homestead in Vermontville. They moved the family into the house on December 1, 1968, raised their children there, and have spent their entire lives together in the home that Bob built for them. Bob’s family was always his first priority, and while they were young, he often volunteered to help coach their sporting teams, and he and Barb never missed one of the kids’ events.
The family’s passion for Maple Valley athletics led he and Barb to assist in the establishment of the Maple Valley Athletic Boosters, often having their children participate in fundraising efforts to ensure students at Maple Valley Schools could enjoy a positive athletic experience.
Bob was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, and snowmobiling. While his family was young, they enjoyed spending the long summer months camping, and visiting local lakes to fish for bluegill. Their camping adventures began in a tent, but, in 1970 they upgraded to a pop-up camper and for the next 11 summers expanded their camping distance to include Rice Lake in Canada, and several other states. The fall was always a special time for Bob, as he enjoyed being in the woods hunting Whitetail Deer. Many times, he would forgo the hunting blind, opting for a simple overturned bucket at the base of a tree.
Over the years, this simple but effective technique yielded home several trophy bucks! Each year in December during muzzleloader season Bob, his son Dan, and their closest hunting friends made the trek to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, for “deer camp.” The remote nature of the terrain required the hunting posse to reside in a large army style tent; however, their tent was fully equipped with natural grass flooring, hot water, and a shower!
After retiring, Bob and Barb spent a significant amount of time travelling, visiting Mexico, Hawaii, and Florida. His children and grandchildren were the “apples of his eye,” and Bob cherished each moment with them. Bob is survived by his beloved wife Barb; his children: Rob (Tammy) Franks, Lisa (Ted Paddock) Mahan, Dan Franks; eight grandchildren; four great grandchildren. Bob is also survived by in-laws: Lee (Arla) Barnhill, Russ (Jean) Nelson, Dorothy (Doug) Haehnel and many nieces, nephews and cousins. He also leaves special friends Heber Hanson, John Bitgood and Dennis Hulsebos. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Virgil Franks.
A Celebration of Life was held at 12 noon on Friday, September 16, 2022, followed by lunch and stories at the Daniels Funeral Home – Nashville, conveniently located at 9200 E. M-79 Highway, Nashville, MI.
Bob will be interred privately at Hillside Cemetery in Kalamo, with Pastor Bryce Feighner officiating.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Daniels Funeral Home in Nashville, MI. For further details please visit our website at www.daniels funeral