Emma Marie Pietsch Watson Franke, age 94, of Lone Oak, Texas, passed away from natural causes on November 12, 2022, surrounded by her family.
Emma Franke was born on March 28, 1928, in Muscatine, Iowa to Charles William and Mildred Faler Pietsch. She was raised on the family farm during the Great Depression and at the age of 16, she like thousands of other women, became a ‘Rosie The Riveter’ in contributing to the war efforts by working at the ,munitions plant in Rock Island, Illinois. She attended USO dances and farewell parties for the local boys.
After the war, she married Albert Clay Watson Sr., and had two children, Albert Jr and Charlene. Years later she married Marvin Harold Franke and had two children, Cory and Karl.
The hard times of the Great Depression and the war helped to shape her into a woman of great resilience and fortitude mixed with common sense, wisdom, humbleness, humor and a loving hear that never turned away from anyone in need, whether it was to lend an ear or give them a place to live until they got back on their feet. She considered raising her children and working as a Deputy Sheriff for La Crosse County, Wisconsin, as her greatest accomplishments. Upon retirement, she began traveling with her husband to his overseas government contracts and considered herself lucky to go from a ‘poor farm girl to a world traveler.’
She was preceded in death by her parents, William and Mildred Faler Pietsch Lenahan; stepfather, Charles William Lenahan; sister, Darlene (Jack) O’Brian; husband, Albert Clay Watson Sr.; son, Albert Jr.,( Vietnam); husband, Marvin Harold Franke; and grandson, Kevin Lilly.
She is survived by her children, Charlene (Mark) Lilly, Cory (Terry) Tarrants and Karl Franke; grandchildren, Kurt Lilly, Keith Lilly, Karen Lilly, Katrina (Stacey) Palmer, Nicole Wolstencroft, and Thomas Tarrants; and great-grandchildren, Hanz Bowen, Kaylee Wolstencroft and Cooper Wolstencroft.