Cover photo for Jessie Franke's Obituary
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1922 Jessie 2012

Jessie Franke

March 18, 1922 — June 2, 2012

** Video Tribute can be viewed by clicking weblink above. ** Jessie Franke, age 90 of Belle Fourche, died Saturday June 2nd, 2012 at her home, surrounded by her loving family. Visitation with the family present will be held 5 to 7pm Wednesday at Funeral Home of the Northern Hills in Belle Fourche. The funeral service will be held 10:30am Thursday June 7th, 2012 at Funeral Home of the Northern Hills in Belle Fourche. Randy Bradley will officiate the service. Interment will take place in Pine Slope Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Hospice of the Northern Hills. Jessie Bell Wendt was born March 18, 1922 in Belle Fourche, South Dakota. She was the daughter of Bill and Ella (Helmer) Wendt. Jessie grew up in Belle Fourche where she attended school, and graduated with the Class of 1941. She worked small jobs, like cleaning for people to pay for room and board. She then went to work on a farm and meet Arnold Keith Franke. She was united in marriage to him on November 10, 1941 in Sundance, Wyoming. Following their marriage, Jessie and Arnold lived in a small cabin off of 4th street in Belle Fourche and Jessie worked for the telephone company. They later moved to the back of Crestion’s place and that’s where they had their first son Arnold Keith Jr. Soon after they moved again; Arnold got a job as a thrasher on a farm in Chamberlain. This is where their second child, Judy Mae, was born. Arnold was soon drafted in the U.S. Army; Jessie was pregnant with their third child Jack Dean. Jack was born while Arnold was still away. Jessie was given $125 each month from the army, and her rent alone cost $25. At the end of World War II, Arnold came home to meet his new son. Soon after his return they bought their first home on the corner of National and Elkhorn where they raised chickens. In 1950 they bought land and built a home two and a half miles east of Belle Fourche where their Darlene Sue, Richard Amos, and Donald Leroy, were born. For the next 30 some years, Jessie had several jobs in Belle Fourche and Nisland, as a clerk and a bookkeeper. She retired as a bookkeeper in 1988. In 1984 Arnold died and just a couple weeks later, her mother died. Jessie will be remembered for many things. It was common for her to be late for work, and she always drove fast, sometimes hitting a chicken or two. In one of her cars she had a hole in her floor board, and the grandkids were always amazed looking through it to the road they were driving over. Jessie was a wonderful cook, and she always had fresh fried chicken and potatoes and creamed peas out of the garden on Sundays. She loved to garden, and planting flowers. After her first bypass surgery, Jessie enjoyed a wonderful vacation at Disneyland and Sea World with her daughter and family. She loved music and dancing. And if she didn’t like the person her children were dating, she’d put her broom to good use. Jessie was a wonderful mother and grandmother, and she will be greatly missed. Jessie is survived by her sons, Arnold Jr. “Keith” (Yvonne) of Belle Fourche, Richard (Melanie) of Pine Haven WY, Don of Indianola Nebraska; daughters, Judy Mae (David) Morris of Belle Fourche, Darlene (Randal) Dowdy of Douglas WY; 24 grandchildren; 66 great grandchildren; 2 great great grandchildren; brothers, Carl (Pauline) Wendt of Belle Fourche, Jerry (Linda) Wendt of Belle Fourche, Jack (Carol) Wendt of Rapid City, Kenny (Mary) Wendt of Belle Fourche; sister, Gladys (George) Babcock of Post Falls, Idaho; and daughter-in-law, Dalonda Franke of Rapid City. Jessie was preceded in death by her parents; husband;son, Jack; and grandson, Darwin. IN LOVING MEMORY Jessie Bell Franke Date of Birth March 18, 1922 Belle Fourche, South Dakota Date of Death June 2, 2012 Belle Fourche, South Dakota Funeral Service 10:30 A.M. – Thursday – June 7th, 2012 Funeral Home of the Northern Hills Belle Fourche, South Dakota Officiant Randall Bradley Special Music “Amazing Grace”, “The Old Rugged Cross”, “Come to Jesus” Debra Leverington, soloist – Judy Howard, pianist   Honorary Casketbearers All of Jessie’s Grandchildren Active Casketbearers (Grandsons) Rex Corliss                                                            Eric Franke Brian Franke                                                     Jason Franke C.J. Franke                                                             Pat Fawver Interment Pine Slope Cemetery Belle Fourche, South Dakota
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