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Mr. Frank Wirtz, age 79, of Greenville, passed away Friday morning, Aug. 4, 2006 at home surrounded by his loving family. The son of Paul & Anna (Kowatch) Wirtz, he was born on Aug. 1, 1927 in Ionia and named Francis Steven Wirtz. His elementary school years were spent at Saints Peter & Paul Catholic School in Ionia. At the age of 15 he began working with the railroad during the summer months, laying railroad track from Grand Rapids to Eagle. At the age of 17, with World War II at its height, he ended his schooling at Ionia High School to enlist in the U.S. Navy where he served with the Seabees in the Pacific theater. He was a life member of the Lester J. Sitts Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5065 in Sheridan.

On Oct. 7, 1983, in Stanton, he married Darlene (Towns) Rendall. Over the years Frank held many jobs including driving truck for Warners, being a first class radio engineer for WTAC and WTRX in Flint, and working at the former Chrysler Trim plant in Lyons. He retired from his own business, Art Machining in Stanton, where he built steel rule dies and other automotive parts.

Frank enjoyed Ham radio for over 55 years, operating as K8AYL, and was also a skilled wood carver, stained glass artist, and a member of the Montcalm Area Art Association, as well as several wood carving clubs.

Surviving are his wife, Darlene Wirtz; his children, Debra Mellema, Art & Deb Wirtz, Roger Wirtz, Jim & Norma Wirtz, John & Julie Wirtz; his step-children, Chris & Fred Zuchowski, Patty & Glen Walker, Mark Rendall, Annette Rendall, and Kim Sherrick; siblings-in-law, Pat & Irene Towns, Mick & Trudy Towns, and Jean & Fred Peterson; and many, many grandchildren and great grandchildren.

A celebration of Franks life will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2006 at the Sheridan V.F.W. Post 5065, 209 W. Washington, Sheridan. Military honors will conclude the event. Instead of flowers, Frank would have appreciated contributions in his memory to the Lester J. Sitts V.F.W. Post 5065.

To send a message of sympathy to the family, or to sign Franks online guest book, please click the “Sign Guest Book” link above.


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