Francis Joseph Nemetz Jr., 81, of Menominee and Negaunee, MI, passed away at UP Health System Marquette, encircled by the love of his children. Born February 6, 1938 to the late Francis and Helen (Blahnik) Nemetz, Sr., his passing marks the end of a long, hard fought battle with cancer.
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Francis met the love of his life, Frances Ann Zoberski and on February 15, 1958 the couple wed. Together they experienced 51 years of being Fran and Fran, enjoyed 7 children, 18 grandchildren, and 14 great grandchildren.
The earliest days of his life were spent on the family farm at W 5603 Linsmeier Rd. on the Birch Creek. “Fatsie” as his friends called him, was a well-known mechanic in Menominee and later in Negaunee Township where he moved his family in 1972 to work for Wurth Concrete building the Tilden Mine. Having attended training with Volkswagen in Milwaukee and owning a service repair station on the corner of M35/US41 in Menominee, his talents went far beyond just automobiles. He enjoyed restoring vintage John Deere tractors, building motorcycles, and operated and repaired every piece of heavy equipment ever broken during his time as a proud member of the Operating Engineers 324.
Fran’s spare time was spent hunting with his family members, building and driving stock cars and drag racers, watching racing and The Packers on TV, tapping trees and boiling maple syrup, tending chickens and bees, growing apple trees and feeding his birds. He was a fantastic storyteller and an avid writer, contributing many articles to the Porcupine Press and was well known for his editorials in the Mining Journal. Fran was considered by many to be a near professional level whistler and his most prized possession was his beautiful family.
Survivors include his two sisters, Roseanne (Tom) Nelson and Mary Nemetz; six daughters: Linda (Dave) Dompierre, Marcia (Dave) Manninen, Julie (Rodney) Champion, Kathy (Bob) Marcotte, Laura (Mike) MacDonald, and Sandie (Alex) Baysore; his son, Michael (Kimberley) Nemetz; 18 grandchildren: Anna and Leah, DJ and Casey, Jaylyn and Chase, Sarah, Danny and Cory, Robert and Kilen, Thomas and Madison, Rylee, Quinn and Kiley, Hogan and Liam; as well as 14 great grandchildren: Braiden and Braileigh, Gavin and Payton, Owen, Addison and another expected in January, Payton and Aspyn, Lydia and Louis, Jackson and Delaney, and Langston. He is also survived by his Little Brother from Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Terry Lehtinen, and his special friend of 10 years, Gale Gadda.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his loving wife; his only brother, Robert (Buck); and his stepmother, Ruth.
The family would like to thank oncologist Dr. Ali Bseiso for his 19 years of dedicated care at Marshfield clinic, and extend appreciation for the staff at UP Health System Marquette.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly asks memorials be directed to: The American Cancer Society Hope Lodge of Marshfield, 611 W Doege St. Marshfield, WI 54449 or The Salvation Army of Marquette, 1009 W. Baraga Ave. Marquette, MI 49855
A celebration of Fran’s life will be held at Koskey Funeral Home, 106 W. Main Street, Negaunee on Sunday, January 5, 2020. The family will greet visitors starting at 1:00 pm, and services will be held at 2:00 pm with time for sharing stories about Fran’s escapades and adventures. A catered luncheon will follow at The ELKS Lodge, 107 N Pioneer Ave., Negaunee.
Fran’s memorial page may be viewed at koskeyfuneralhome.com.