Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

John Robert Franck III

RAPID CITY, S.D. - John Robert Franck III, 77, passed away on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021, at Monument Hospital in Rapid City.

John was "fearfully and wonderfully made" on June 6, 1944, to John and Jeanne (Martinetti) Franck in San Antonio, Texas. John grew up in Wakefield, Michigan, where he graduated from Wakefield High School. He attended the University of Michigan and obtained a degree in wildlife biology.

In 1967, John accepted a commission in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Later John pursued his passion of wine making by attending the University of California, Davis in viticulture and enology. This path opened many new places and venues to grow. Eventually he met Karen Madden and they were united in marriage on March 1, 1999, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Ultimately moving to Italy to grow grapes and make his own wine, hospitality was a central core of John's life. The kitchen table where good food, wine and lingering conversations prevailed.

John is survived by his wife, Karen; and son, John Franck IV; siblings, Jeanine Franck, James Franck (Cindy), Jonelle Krygier, Juliann Hansen (Don), Jerome Franck (Mary), and Joel Franck (Ann Marie); and numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.

Family and friends are welcome to sign the online guestbook at

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