Charles Lindbergh Frantz, age 85.
Charles L. Frantz "graduated" on March 21, 2013, while a resident of the Pocatello Care & Rehabilitation Center in Pocatello, Idaho. The family wishes to thank the PCR staff and the Access Home Care & Hospice staff for their wonderful support.
Charles was born to Ira Budd and Lillie Bird Frantz in Iola, Kansas in 1927, shortly after Charles Lindbergh's historic flight to Paris, France. Thus Charles was named after the national hero (and coincidentally, Lindbergh's destination). Charles began to play piano at an early age and studied classical music throughout the years until graduation from college. However, his greater loves were swing and jazz. In high school, he led two dance bandsa�"the Knights of Jive and the Kings of Swing.
After graduating from Iola High School in 1945, Charles served in the U.S. Army, stationed at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, where he met his future bride, Rosemary E. Stoy, daughter of Capt. Harold and Edith Stoy of Pocatello, Idaho. They married on August 20, 1949 in Pocatello at Trinity Episcopal Church, where both of Rosemary's grandfathers served during the early 20th Century, one as the parish priest, the other as Archdeacon of Idaho.
After the wedding, they resided in Kansas City, Missouri, where Charles finished his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Theory at the Conservatory of Music in June of 1950. Shortly thereafter he became the pianist and arranger for the Charlie Fisk Orchestra, which toured the nation playing ballrooms of the Statler-Hilton hotel chain. Charles & Rosemary loved the band's travels and made it to all the states of the uniona�"when there were 48. After a lengthy gig at Chicago's famous Palmer House, the orchestra moved on, but Charles was invited to stay as the house pianist for the Golden Empire Room. He accompanied visiting entertainers such as Harry Belafonte, Eydie Gorme, Nelson Eddy, Jonathan Winters, and George Gobel.
In later years, Charles played with Franz Bentler, Dick Jurgens, Harry Cool, Florian Zabach, Vaughn Monroe, Janis Garber (who led her father's band), Victor Lombardo, and Norman Lee & the Eddy Howard Orchestra.
In 1971, Charles & Rosemary moved the family from the Chicago area to Driggs, Idaho, where Rosemary could be closer to her parents in Pocatello and to Yellowstone National Park (which she thought she owned and just shared with visitors). They opened the Indian Paintbrush Gift Shop, hoping that the new Grand Targhee Resort would soon cause Driggs to become another Sun Valley. Forty years later, Charles would say, "We thought we were getting in on the ground floora�"turns out we came in on the sub-basement!"
In 1972, Charles & Rosemary bought the Pines Motel and moved the gift shop to it, but it faded over the next few years as the motel business became healthier. In 1991, it was time for a change and sold the motel to daughter Nancy and her husband John, who continue to serve as proprietors today.
Not ready yet for full retirement and an avid reader, Charles became the proprietor of the local bookstore Books 'N Things for the next 20 years, closing it in 2011 when his health was deteriorating. He loved to read and to talk to people, so it was a perfect combination.
Charles is survived by his wife Rosemary and children Connie (David) Schmidt of Lake City, FL; Marsha (John) Plumlee of Manchester, NH; Alan (Bonnie) Frantz of Pocatello; Nancy (John) Nielson of Driggs; Paul (Elizabeth) Frantz of Marsh Valley, ID; seven nieces and nephews; 26 grandchildren, and 17 great-grandchildren. Charles is preceded in death by his parents, Ira Budd and Lillie Bird Frantz; son Bruce Eric; and his siblings and their spouses Rose (James) Rogers, Don (Alta) Frantz, and Wayne (Dorothy) Frantz.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to the Bruce E. Frantz Memorial Fund or the Harold & Edith Stoy Memorial Fund at the Idaho Youth Ranch (PO Box 8538, Boise, ID 83707-9921). A "Celebration of Life" service will be held in Driggs, Idaho at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 1, 2013 at the Teton Valley Bible Church, Charles & Rosemary's home church for many years. Family members will be available at the church to greet friends an hour prior to the service.