In Memory

John Franz - Class Of 1965

John Franz

John A. Franz, 70, of Niceville, FL passed away September 28, 2017. He was born August 30, 1947 in Portsmouth, VA to Fredrick and Gertrude Franz. John is preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Bonnie and brothers Fred and Charles Franz. He is survived by his God-Daughter, Dawn Ohrnberger; cousins Frank, Diane, and Pat; and many friends. John was born into a Navy family who traveled throughout the world. At age 16, following his father’s death, the family made Delphi, Indiana their home. John attended business college in Terre Haute, Indiana and went into electronic sales for over 30 years. This took him to Houston, TX where he was awarded many accolades for his salesmanship working with Hewlett-Packard and Sharp Electronics. John loved to travel the world, sail through the Caribbean, run marathons, play golf, work for Cirque De Soleil, scuba dive, cruise, and entertain. Upon retiring, and being a gym-rat most of his life, he attained his ACE certification to be a personal trainer. When moving to Niceville, it only seemed fitting that he open a gym, hence two Snap Fitness franchises. Through Crosspoint Church small groups, he helped start an incredible outreach program that has been active for almost 10 years in Niceville. Supper on Saturday (SOS) feeds and ministers to up to 1200 needy people every Saturday. This program, as well as several new ones that have come out of it, has taught this church body how to go OUT into the community to serve, just as the Lord instructed. John’s biggest joy was working with kids, which he started doing in Houston. He was called to lead and orchestrate youth missions to the Cancun/Yucatan area. This he did for 10 summers, leading 100 to 150 kids on each trip. He also participated in other missions to Honduras, Guatemala, and Africa and built homes for Habitat for Humanity. At Crosspoint Church he became involved with various youth programs. He led middle schoolers, drove their buses, helped with youth camps at Blue Lake, Mission Okaloosa, and more. John’s heart went to the Emerald Coast Autism Center. He was introduced to the ECAC through driving buses on field trips to the center. Here, he was immediately captivated by the interactions of the therapists with the students on the autism spectrum. He would tell of his implementation of some of the principles he learned through ECAC in his Sunday School classroom. The kids inspired John because many of them struggled with basic communication and the simple tasks of daily living, BUT were usually smiling and had positive attitudes. It was the inspiration of these children that moved John to contribute many sizeable donations to the campaign for the new facility for the Emerald Coast Autism Center. At the time, they were offering to name classrooms in the new building after the individuals who had made donations of this caliber. And when they brought the blueprints for him to choose a room, he promptly declined the need to look. He said, “I already know what I want. You don’t even need to unroll the blueprints. My name is John, so I’d like John’s John.” Shocked, they asked if he was sure he wanted a bathroom. And he insisted, yes, “But I never want to have to wait in line.” This is the John Franz that we know, love, and will always remember. He sincerely desired to follow Christ’s example to care for others, and in contrast to these selfish times John gave with a generosity that is beyond mere words. John, this world feels incomplete without you, dear friend; but we are certain and thankful you are resting in the sweetest peace with our Savior. Love from all of us. Beth Manning, Doug Coleman, Staci Berryman, and Bethanie Ballenski