Sterling Sebern “Rusty” Franzwa, 86, formerly of Glidden, Iowa, passed away on Sept. 8, 2019, in Basehor, Kansas, surrounded by his children.
Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church in Glidden, with Father Timothy Schott as celebrant. Music will be by the St. Elizabeth Seton choir with Mary Ross as organist. Lectors will be Chris Hanewinkel and John Keating. Gift bearer will be Casey Franzwa. Burial will be at Merle Hay Memorial Cemetery near Glidden with military honors conducted by the Glidden American Legion.
Friends may call beginning at 5 p.m. Friday at Dahn and Woodhouse Funeral Home in Glidden where a Christian wake service will be held at 6:30 p.m. Visitation at the church will begin at 9:15 a.m. Saturday. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.dahnandwoodhouse.com.
Born on Feb. 9, 1933, in Glidden, he was a son of Frederick and Mabel (Henderson) Franzwa. Rusty, as he was known at an early age due to his bright red hair, grew up in Glidden. His mother passed away when he was 8 years old, and his father later married Jane Jacobsen, who helped raise him and his sister Suzanne. He graduated from Glidden High School in 1951. He studied at Creighton University for two years and graduated from the University of Iowa in 1955.
Rusty enlisted in the U.S. Navy and proudly served from 1955-1959. He trained as a pilot and achieved the rank of lieutenant junior grade. He was stationed on the USS Randolph aircraft carrier and flew the Douglas AD-1 Skyraider airplane.
After his honorable discharge from the Navy, his plan was to move to Denver to fly commercial airplanes. Before he headed out west, he traveled to St. Louis to visit his brother Greg, and while he was there he met Anastasia “Stacy” Schramke, who was working at Mars-Enders Hardware Store. They were married later that year on Nov. 26, 1960, at the Old Cathedral in downtown St. Louis.
Rusty and Stacy settled down in Florissant, Missouri, and started their family. They had three children: Frederick, Michael and Stephanie. In 1977, they moved their family to Glidden, purchased Nelson’s Hardware and operated it as Franzwa Hardware until they retired in 2000. Rusty loved to travel with his family. Each summer, he and Stacy would plan a new route and hit the open road. They took their family to all but five states. He was a member of St. Elizabeth Seton Church.
Following the 2018 death of his beloved wife of 58 years, Rusty moved to Basehor to live near his children.
Rusty is survived by his children: Frederick Franzwa (Sandra) of Shawnee, Kansas, Michael Franzwa (fiancee Laura O’Bannon and her children Chase and Cole) of Lenexa, Kansas, and Stephanie Wright (Andrew) of Basehor, Kansas; four grandchildren: Michael Nelson of Anamosa, Iowa, Casey Franzwa of Lenexa, Liberty Wright and Elijah Wright, both of Basehor; sister Candace Johnson (Charles) of Tucson, Arizona; and sister-in-law Kathy Franzwa of Seattle, Washington.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Frederick and Mabel Franzwa and Jane Franzwa; his father- and mother-in-law, Raymond and Margaret Schramke; two brothers: Frederick Franzwa and Gregory Franzwa; sister Suzanne (Franzwa) Cronk, and grandson Sterling Franzwa.