SOUTHPORT — Jim Frantz, formerly of Bethel, PA, died September 1, 2021, of complications from dementia in the Lower Cape Fear LifeCare Hospice in Brunswick County, NC, surrounded by family. Jim was married for 54 years to his high school sweetheart, Ruth Fritz, and was the proud father of April (Scott Doyle) and James (Michelle), and the adoring grandfather of Kaylee, Andrew, and Lauren Frantz.
He was born on December 30, 1947, and raised in Bethel Township by his parents, A. James and Violet (Koch) Frantz, and was a supportive and loving brother to five siblings. He is survived by his beloved mother and sisters Flora (Floss) Willette (Art Cooper), Norene (Nikki) Gross, and Tina (Randy Klopp) and brother Jeffrey (Linda), and many nieces and nephews. He was pre-deceased by his father, sister Carol Sholl and her husband Jake, and friend and brother-in-law Duane Gross.
Jim served in the US Army in Vietnam, and retired from Spinnaker Trucking in Bethel following a long career as a refrigerated diesel truck mechanic. He was well known for his ability to diagnose problems and use MacGyver-like skills to fix them. He was community-minded and a member of the Jaycees, Lions, and VFW. Jim was a natural athlete and loved coaching the Schubert Little League teams and playing softball in adult leagues. He was a fixture at Tulpehocken soccer games and local auctions (helping supply his wife’s antiques business). Jim loved family vacations to Bethany and Ocracoke; landscaping with mountain rocks; playing cards with family and the Millers; cutting firewood; laughing with Ed Houser; golfing with Kip Thornton; going to the casino with his mom; and having breakfast at Midway with his son, brother Jeff, and brother-in-law Tony Wenger. Jim had a great voice, especially singing along with Elvis Presley, and was a smooth dancer. He was generous, and always ready to help friends or strangers. He could not tolerate bullies. His grandchildren were the center of his universe. Jim was deeply loved and will be greatly missed.
In honor of his memory, please support your local humane society (as some of Jim’s much-loved pets were rescues) or donations may be made to Lower Cape Fear LifeCare Foundation, 1414 Physicians Drive, Wilmington NC 28401, which provided him with excellent care and support.
A service will be arranged by the family at a later date. Memories and condolences may be shared with the Frantz family online at www.peacocknewmanwhite.com.
Peacock-Newman & White Funeral and Cremation Service, Southport, North Carolina.