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VENTURA COUNTY NEWS | Obituaries

* Harry W. Franz Jr.; Retired Electronics Engineer

February 22, 2001

Harry W. Franz Jr., a retired electronics engineer, died on Valentine's Day at St. John's Pleasant Valley Hospital in Camarillo after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 56.

He was born Jan. 29, 1945, in Baltimore to Bill and Rosemary Franz and was raised with four sisters and two brothers in the small village of Relay, Md.

He attended St. Martin's High School in Baltimore and then joined the Army Security Agency. He worked in administration for two years, including a tour of duty in Korea.

After attending an electronics repair school at Ft. Devens, Mass., Franz learned to repair a Doppler navigation system in Montreal at the Marconi Co.

He returned to Ft. Devens for a week of jungle survival training before going to Vietnam. Franz was discharged from the Army in May 1967 and purchased a new Ford Falcon, which he drove until he retired about three years ago.

He attended the University of Maryland at College Park and earned a bachelor of science degree in June 1971.

Later that year, Franz began working for the Pacific Missile Test Center at Point Mugu on various engineering assignments that involved electronic warfare and aircraft systems.

He was recognized as a Fellow Engineer by the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division for his work in electromagnetic compatibility and integration. Toward the end of his career, Franz served as chief engineer of the electronic warfare division and specialized in teaching technical classes.

He retired at 53 to take over the primary care of his two youngest children after a divorce.

Until his cancer surgery in March of last year, he worked as a part-time consultant for Veda, which was renamed Veridian Engineering.

Franz was a lifetime member of the Assn. of Old Crows, a professional electronic warfare society; a member of the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers and a certified NARTE EMC engineer.

He was a member of both Padre Serra and St. Mary Magdalen Catholic parishes and the Knights of Columbus Council No. 55572; a facilitator for the Los Angeles and Santa Barbara Beginning Experience weekends, a support group for those who are separated, divorced or widowed; and a member and former assistant leader of the Girl Scouts. He also enjoyed taking ceramics classes at Oxnard College.

Franz is survived by his daughter, Margaret Elizabeth Franz; sons Robert Edward and Derek Antanas of Camarillo and Harry William Franz III of San Francisco; former wife, Aldona Ann Galdikas-Franz, of Camarillo; mother, Rosemary Franz of Ellicott City, Md.; sisters Elizabeth Mason of Cherry Log, Ga., Julie Wroten of Mount Airy, Md., Joan Franz of Baltimore, Mary Litzenger of Newport News, Va; and brothers Pete Franz of Halethorpe, Md., and Joe Franz of Baltimore.

An evening prayer service is scheduled at 8 o'clock Friday at St. Mary Magdalen Chapel in Camarillo. A funeral Mass is scheduled at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Padre Serra Catholic Church in Camarillo. Family members will attend a private military burial service at Riverside National Cemetery the following week.

Franz had asked that in lieu of flowers, people use the money to buy Girl Scout cookies and to give to people they deal with each day. He also requested that any larger donations be sent to United Parents.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Ted Mayr Funeral Home in Ventura.

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