MADISON - Franklin P. Oswald Jr. (1934-2020)
With heavy hearts we announce the passing of Franklin Paul Oswald Jr., 86, into eternal life on Wednesday November 25, 2020, with his family at his bedside. He was born on June 19, 1934 in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, the eldest son of Franklin Paul Sr. and Caroline (Zoellner) Oswald. His childhood years were spent in Bagley, graduating high school in 1952. He excelled as a two-sport athlete, competing in both basketball and baseball. After high school, he established himself as a dominant American Legion/State Park pitcher throughout the region. At the age of 20, he signed a professional minor league baseball contract, and moved to Louisiana to pursue his baseball dream with the New Iberia Pelicans. A promising baseball career was unexpectedly cut short following a leg injury during his first season.
Frank, known to many as ‘Oz’ or ‘Bing’, was united in marriage to the love of his life, Lois Dean (Smethurst) on June 11, 1955 at St. John Nepomuc Catholic Church in Prairie du Chien. Two years later Frank and Lois moved to Madison and he began a decorated career in law enforcement with the Madison Police Department. Together they raised nine children. Many lifelong friendships were established during these years with his fellow officers within the department. He retired as a Sergeant in 1983 after 26 years of dedicated service.
Frank was a longtime devout member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. After his retirement, Frank and Lois worked and volunteered supporting the church clergy in the parish family. Serving as the chauffeur for Bishop George Wirz for many years was both a source of enjoyment and provided the opportunity to enrich his faith during their many discussions.
Faith and family were at the forefront of Frank’s life. Over the years Frank showed his compassion by helping many who were less fortunate. He believed that no act was too small to give what he could to someone who was down on their luck. His actions proved to be the heart of Frank’s generous soul and his commitment to following Jesus Christ.
He never lost his passion for baseball and was an avid fan of the Milwaukee Braves and the Brewers. Frank was proud to pass along his athletic abilities to his grandchildren and he loved all of his grandchildren dearly. Frank was quick to remind them that he had no favorites among them, but he had a knack for making each feel as though they were. He valued communication and spent many hours talking to his children and grandchildren about the importance of having street-smart wisdom and his wish that they each use their ‘God given common sense’ as they navigate through life. Frank’s children will forever remember their dad always making sure they knew he was ready, willing and able to help them to solve any life problem they may encounter.
Frank and Lois were fortunate enough to spend 12 winter seasons in Bullhead City, AZ. Here they made many new friends and created long lasting memories until Frank could no longer travel due to his battle with Alzheimer’s. Lois patiently and lovingly cared for Frank for several years after his diagnosis, always ensuring he was able to maintain his dignity. Frank wasn’t shy about expressing his love for his wife. He was proud to tell the story of the first time he set eyes on Lois, noticing her walking across a street as he sat in his truck, telling himself, that is the girl I’m going to marry. Frank always knew how fortunate he was to have Lois as his wife. This especially proved to be true as Lois cared for him for several years when he could no longer care for himself.
He is survived by Lois, his wonderful wife of 65 years. His children, Carleen (Gary) Ninedorf, Janeen (Bruce) Lindsay, James (Sherrie) Oswald, Aljeanne Mann (Mike Hugill), Jacquelyn Oswald, Franklin III (Tracy) Oswald, William (Mary) Oswald, Caroline(Brett) Marsh and Pauline (Bill) Halacka, 23 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by many cousins and distant relatives.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Franklin Sr. and Caroline, parents-in-law William and Alvina Smethurst, granddaughter Kristal Mann, and his brothers-in-law Rodney and Neal Smethurst.
Due to the difficult circumstances of Covid-19, a Private Mass of Christian Burial will take place at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church with Private Interment and Madison PD Honor Guard at Highland Memory Gardens in Madison. To view and sign this guestbook, please visit: www.ryanfuneralservice.com.
In lieu of flowers or memorials, in Frank’s memory, the family requests those who knew Frank to perform an act of generosity or kindness for someone less fortunate.
God looked around his garden
And He found an empty place.
And then He looked down upon the earth,
And saw your tired face.
He put His arms around you,
And lifted you to rest.
God’s garden must be beautiful,
He always takes the best
He knew that you were suffering,
He knew you were in pain,
He knew that you would never
Get well on earth again.
He saw the road was getting rough,
And the hills were hard to climb,
So He closed your weary eyelids,
And whispered “Peace be thine.”
It broke our hearts to lose you.
But you didn’t go alone,
For part of us went with you,
The day God called you home
Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services
2418 N. Sherman Avenue