Arthur Erich Franz, age 93, passed away on Friday, July 9, 2021 at Kendal Crosslands in Kennett Square, PA, with family by his side. He was born in Irvington, NJ on May 16, 1928 to Erich O. Franz and Gertrude (Panzer) Franz.
Art grew up in Denville, NJ. and after graduating from Mountain Lakes High School where he ran track and high hurdles, he served in the Army at Camp Stoneman in California. He then enrolled at Cornell University and received his Bachelor of Electrical Engineering in 1953. He received a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 1963.
Art enjoyed a long engineering career in the defense industry: he first worked as a design engineer at Philco Corporation in Philadelphia; then at RCA in Moorestown, NJ - while at RCA, he was assigned to London for 6 months, to work with the British Radar Establishment and the Royal Air Force on system issues related to BMEWS (Ballistic Missile Early Warning System) ); and finally at Raytheon Company in Bedford, MA, where one of his most interesting projects was Manager of Software Development and System Engineering on the PATRIOT air defense system during its development and test stages. In 1967, Art was a recipient of the Raytheon Author and Inventor award. He retired in 1993.
Art married Susan Champion of Boonton NJ in 1953. Their daughter, Patricia was born in 1956. Art’s beloved wife, Sue, died of cancer in 1979. In 1984, Art married Antoinette “Tonie” Connelly at the Unitarian Church in Harvard, MA.
Art has a lifelong attachment to Lake George. In 1964, he and Sue purchased the former Irving Langmuir summer cottage in Turtle Bay on the East Shore of Tongue Mountain and restored it during numerous summer projects. The camp is still in the family. After both Art and Tonie retired, they moved from MA to the beautiful home they built at the Anchorage in Bolton Landing on Lake George.
Art was an expert at power boating on Lake George. He learned to sail to be able to captain the boats that he and Tonie chartered for Caribbean vacations – he loved sailing in the BVI. He was a licensed private aviation pilot. He could fix anything – cars, boats, household items…and frequently helped friends resolve problems.
In retirement, Art remained active. He worked to protect the lake he loved as a board member and supporter of the Lake George Land Conservancy, serving on the Conservation and Building Committees. In 2011, he became a member of the Apperson Society. In 2012, he and Tonie received the Henry M. Rowan Conservation award from the LGLC. In 2017, on the 10th anniversary of the Macionis Family Center for Conservation, the LGLC recognized Art for his dedication during the construction of the Center. He also served on the Bolton Historical Society and helped maintain abandoned local cemeteries. He served terms as President and Treasurer of the Anchorage Homeowners Association. He produced videos for non-profits such as the Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District, enjoying both the technical and artistic aspects of video editing.
Family was of utmost importance to Art. He delighted in time spent with his daughter, her husband and their three sons. He had close ties to his two brothers and their families and in 1992, he made a very enjoyable 3-week trip to Germany to visit with his European relatives.
Art was preceded in death by his first wife, Susan Champion Franz, and his parents Erich and Gertrude Franz.
Art is survived by his spouse of 37 years, Tonie Franz of Kennett Square, PA; his daughter, Patricia (Nick) Trujillo of Morgantown, WV; his grandsons, Benjamin, Aaron Joseph, and Daniel; his brothers, Erich Franz; Alfred (Suellen) Franz and his loving nieces and numerous other relatives.
Per Art's wishes, burial will be private in Restland Memorial Park in East Hanover, NJ.
In lieu of flowers, please send memorial donations to The Lake George Land Conservancy, 4905 Lake Shore Drive, Bolton Landing, NY 12814.
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