Bernard Herman Franken, 83, of Allison, Iowa, passed away Saturday, November 25, 2017, at his home in Allison.
He was born on June 9, 1934, in Butler County near Parkersburg, Iowa, to Nanne Behrends and Anna Katrina (Hartmann) Franken. Bernard was baptized in the Christian Faith at Salem Lutheran Church and confirmed at St. John's Lutheran at Vilmar. He attended St. James Lutheran Church in Allison and served as Sunday School superintendent and two terms on the Church Council. Bernard attended Pleasant Valley West Point #4 rural Butler County School and two years at Allison High School. Due to his father's illness, he assisted on the farm. In later years, Bernard received his GED and Associates Degree from Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa.
At the age of 17, Bernard decided to join the Iowa Army National Guard and served for 34 years. He served at various duty stations in the Continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii. Bernard served overseas in Norway and later in Luxembourg and Germany. He served on active duty during Desert Storm and on state active duty several times to include flood duty in Waterloo in 1961 and in Des Moines during the Great Flood of 1993. His awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal with 2nd service, The Army Achievement Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with the 10 years of service, NCO Professional Development Ribbon with numeral four, Army Service Ribbon, Army Reserve Component Overseas Ribbon with 2nd service, Iowa Commendation Medal, Iowa Leadership Ribbon with two torches, Iowa State Service Ribbon with one silver and one bronze Leaf Cluster. Bernard was a graduate of the Fifth U.S. Army Non Commissioned Officers Academy. He served in all the enlisted ranks in various positions. His final duty position was the Chief Operations Sergeant Major for the Command and Logistics Office Headquarters State Area Command. As a true citizen soldier, Bernard began farming in 1956 on a rented 80 acres.
He was united in marriage to Carole Kay Dinsdale on October 26, 1956, at the Amity Presbyterian Church in Reinbeck, Iowa. They then rented his father's farm. To this union, son James and daughter Lori were born. In 1965, they purchased their farm and built a new home in 1972. They continued to buy additional land and farm with his son James. James started farming 40 acres in high school. James enlisted in the Army National Guard and farmed Grandpa's farm. James then received his commission as a second Lieutenant and served with his father. Saluting his son was a real sense of pride for Bernard. Bernard always enjoyed farming. What he loved most of all was his family. "I was very lucky. I loved my work and loved my country."
Bernard is survived by his wife Carole of Allison, son James Franken of Allison, daughter Lori (Gary) Roessler of Troy, Texas, grandchildren Mary Franken, Anna Franken, Ben (Brittany) Franken, Neal Roessler, Adam Roessler, Mark Roessler, great grandchildren Lennox Franken, Zara Franken, sister Helene Mennen of Dumont, sister Gerda Thran of Dumont and sister Berdene (Paul) Miller of Waverly.
He was preceded in death by his parents and sister Janet Kiefer.
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