Harry C. Franke was born on July 22nd, 1948 in Chicago, Illinois to Geraldine Wilson Franke and Harry Clarence Franke II. He went to Heaven to meet his Savior on July 23rd, 2020 after a long battle with cancer and heart problems. Harry was preceded in death by his beloved brother, Jeffrey, in 1985. He is survived by his cherished daughter, Jennifer Anne Franke Sandoval, and precious grandchild, Jude Harry Franke Sandoval.
Those who knew Harry well were aware of his horrific childhood. Harry was healed of his emotional and physical scars when he met the Lord after serving his country in Korea.
Upon receiving an honorable discharge from the military, Harry worked as a sound specialist for Zenith Corporation for a number of years. His avid interest in sound equipment persisted until his death.
Harry moved to Las Vegas and was involved in real estate for a number of years.
Upon moving to Ely many years ago, Harry worked part time for the Hotel Nevada. The rest of his time was devoted to serving this community as a gifted photographer for the Pony Express, White Pine Historical Railroad Association, White Pine County Historical Society, and the City of Ely Animal Control Board. Harry faithfully attended the Animal Control Board meetings until his health prevented him. Harry’s pictures were featured on the covers of many of these organizations’ pamphlets and tourist publications. His wonderful photographs were displayed at the Historical Society and the Hotel Nevada. Harry had an intense interest in the historical underpinnings of Ely, and meticulously restored his house to conform with elements of that period. He spent whatever free time he had scouring remote areas of White Pine County in search of historical memorabilia.
Harry also provided photographs of cats awaiting adoption at Animal Control, in an effort to find loving homes for them.
In concert with Andrew at Animal Control, Harry was almost exclusively instrumental in the spay neuter program in Ely, which prevented thousands of unwanted cats being born in this community. He tirelessly placed and collected traps for feral cats, delivered and picked them up from the local veterinarians, and returned them to their neighborhoods after insuring that residents in the area would continue to provide fresh food and water for them.
Harry also adopted and fed many feral cats who migrated to his yard, because they sensed his overwhelming love for them. He built weatherproof condos for them,complete with heat and fresh bedding. He planted a catnip garden for their enjoyment.
(Before he went to Heaven, Harry made certain that all of the cats for whom he cared had a permanent home)
In spite of all these efforts, Harry was subjected to merciless attacks by people who knew nothing about him. They accused him of unspeakable acts on social media. Harry worked closely with the White Pine County Sheriff’s Department in an effort to stop these vicious onslaughts, but they persisted. Because of these slanderous accusations, as he was sitting on the stoop in front of his house petting his cats, teenagers would speed by his house, spitting at him. These teenagers based their cruel actions on the libelous and untrue information posted by deplorable adults on Facebook. As a result, Harry slept with a hammer next to his pillow because he feared for his life.
Only God knows the physical damage Harry suffered as a result of this. He was already impaired by a heart attack he suffered years ago, and this ruthless aggression had a terrible effect on his emotional and physical health. It broke his heart.
To his dying day, Harry remained hurt and perplexed by these vicious attacks. He had served this community for years, donating his life and exceptional gifts to local nonprofit organizations, with no financial compensation. He donated hours and hours of his time in order to insure that the overwhelming cat overpopulation problem in Ely would finally be resolved humanely, and the remaining cats would be cared for with kindness for the rest of their lives.
As you ride off into the limitless expanse of Heaven, Harry, may God bless you for everything you did for this community, and give you eternal rest in His loving Presence.
Harry displayed this on his bedroom wall that said “Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am He that lives, and was dead; and behold, I am alive forever more, Amen, and have the keys of hell and of death.” Revelation: 1:17, 18
”One Prays that he found strength every time he looked upon the Lion of Judah,” and read the verses.