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Raymond John Franz

May 25, 2019

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Raymond John Franz, of Lynchburg, Va., formerly of Pekin, Il. passed away Saturday, May 25, 2019 at Runk and Pratt Liberty Ridge. He would have celebrated his 98th birthday on Monday, May 27.

Ray, as most knew him, was born May 27, 1921 in Belleville, Il. He was one of very few World War II veterans still surviving. He served from 1943 thru 1945 in the ETO (European Theater of Operations) as a Staff Sergeant.

He married Mary L. Foltz in Carbondale, Il. on December 20, 1946. Ray held his B.S. E.D. from Southern Illinois University, graduating in 1947. He graduated with his M.S. E.D. from Southern Illinois University graduating in 1955.

Ray lived in Pekin, Il. and taught business subjects at PCHS from 1948 to 1965. He was an Administrator and Professor at Illinois Central College from 1967 to 1982 and retired in August 1982

Surviving are his wife Estelle Bateman, married in 2005; his daughter-in-law Barbara J. Franz; grandsons R. Matthew Franz of Charlottesville, Va. and Daniel L. Franz of Lynchburg, Va.; his sister Helen McMillin; and his nephew Walter Frick. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Mary Foltz; his sons John L. Franz and R. Lynn Franz.

Ray was a member of American Legion Post 16 of Lynchburg, Va., Illinois Central College Annuitance’s Association, and Illinois State University Annuitance’s Association.

A Military Service will be held at Tharp Funeral Home Chapel, Lynchburg, Va. at 1 p.m. on Friday, May 31, 2019.

In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to the D-Day Memorial, 3 Overlord Circle, Bedford, Va., 24523.

Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family. To send condolences, please visit

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