OBITUARY: Loretta Sue Franz

Loretta Sue Franz died Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, at the age of 82.

Loretta was born on Oct. 18, 1940, in Enid, Okla., to Joe and Ruby Eck. Loretta Sue, along with her twin sister, Joetta Lou, were raised on a farm between Meno and Goltry, Okla. Her dad was a custom harvester. While in Goltry High School, the twins played basketball, were salutatorians of their senior class and were involved in many music events together. The family attended Zoar Mennonite Church in Goltry where Loretta was baptized in 1954, by Rev. J.W. Bergen.

After graduating from Goltry High School in 1958, Loretta and Joetta attended Bethel College in North Newton. She received an associate’s of art degree in business. They both played basketball and volleyball during the two years they were at Bethel. The twins then worked for two years at Hesston Corporation together.

It was at Bethel College that Loretta met Kenneth Franz and they were married on June 4, 1961, by Rev. Arnold Epp at First Mennonite Church, Newton, where she transferred her membership. To this marriage was born Kent Wayne on Oct. 11, 1962, and Jay Douglas on Nov. 10, 1966.

When Kent was 2 years old, Loretta began to teach 2-4 year olds Sunday School class songs and Bible stories at First Mennonite Church. She enjoyed teaching for 33 years. Music was very important in her life. While growing up, she sang trios together with Joetta and their mom. The twins are probably singing those songs with their mom now.

Loretta’s hobbies included keeping her yard and flower gardens beautiful. Her huge tomato plants that she planted every year kept the neighbors supplied. She also enjoyed her many years as Sales Coordinator at Premier Building Products and Shipping Clerk at Sims Enterprises. She loved watching the Kansas City Royals and Wichita State basketball games on television.

Loretta has said that her two children were her most wonderful blessings in life. She enjoyed attending all the sporting events that her sons, Kent and Jay, participated in through high school – football, basketball and tennis and going on to college games where Kent and Jay played basketball. She especially enjoyed attending the many events that her grandchildren participated in – softball, volleyball, basketball, cross country and track.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by her sons Kent of Chandler, Okla., and Jay and wife Monica of Wichita; granddaughters Shelbey and husband Bart Estes, Blakeley and husband Randon Gregory, Cecilia and husband Jordan Friedel, Oliva and husband Carlos Burbach, and grandson Keelan and wife Megan Franz; four great-grandsons and two great-granddaughters; brother-in-law Paul Penner; nieces and nephews. Preceding her in death were her mother and father, Joe and Ruby Eck, Inman, and on July 8, 2010, she lost her twin sister, Joetta, to cancer.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 18, at Grace Community Church in Newton. A visitation will be the evening prior from 5-9 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 17, at Petersen Funeral Home in Newton. A private graveside will take place at Greenwood Cemetery.

The family expresses appreciation for all the cards and visits. Everyone is invited to join them for a fellowship lunch at the church following the memorial service. Memorial contributions may be made to Grace Community Church, 1600 S. Anderson Rd., Newton, Kan., 67114.

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