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Agatha E. Franta

November 22, 2012
Fairmont Sentinel

WINNEBAGO - Mass of Christian Burial for Agatha E. Franta, 83 of Winnebago will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, November 28 at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Winnebago with burial to follow at St. Mary's Cemetery in Winnebago.

Franta died Saturday, November 17, 2012, at Parker Oaks in Winnebago. Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. November 27 at Spencer-Owen Funeral Home in Winnebago, with the Rosary to follow at 8 p.m. Visitation will continue one hour prior to services at the church on Wednesday. Web tributes may be left at

Agatha Elizabeth Kachel was born February 5, 1929, in the family farmhouse outside of Fried, N.D., to Peter and Martha (Gospodar) Kachel. She was baptized and celebrated her First Holy Communion at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Fried. Shortly thereafter, the family moved to Minnesota, settling in Frazee, where her father opened and operated a farm machinery repair business, and her mother cared for their family of 14 children. Agatha graduated from Frazee high school in 1946. Due to the generosity of her older brothers, Agatha was able to attend St. Cloud Teachers College and she graduated with a teaching degree in elementary education. Her first teaching job brought her to Waubun, Minn., where she successfully taught a challenging group of sixth-graders. Later she taught in nearby Mahnomen, where she met her future husband, Paul Franta, at the Wild Rice Days festivities.

In 1951, Agatha and Paul were married in Detroit Lakes and moved to southern Minnesota. They lived briefly in Fairmont and Sherburn before settling in Winnebago. Agatha continued her teaching career in Huntley and then stopped to raise their family of four boys and one girl.

Agatha loved life with a zest that is rare. She had a strong heart, a quick laugh, and a determined will that refreshed those around her. Agatha was an incredibly hard worker, and centered her priorities on faith, family and community.

Agatha always made time to volunteer in many ways within her church and community organizations, including 15 years of service on the Winnebago School Board. In her free time she socialized with friends at Ladies' and Couples' Bridge Club, baked, canned, sewed, and corresponded frequently with relatives and friends. The side of Agatha that sometimes went unseen was her kindness toward the lonely and sick. When visiting these friends, she would bring a homemade treat or an arrangement of roses from her garden.

After Paul passed away in 1988, Agatha spent time with family, grandchildren, and friends, worked in her garden, and attended daily Mass. A diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease in the early 2000s commenced the final stage in her life. In death, as in life, Agatha was surrounded by those who love her.

Agatha Franta is survived by her sons, Mark, and Mary Franta of Winnebago, their children Teresa, Daniel, John, Joseph, David and Anne; Peter, and Cheryl Franta of La Crescent, their children Dustin, Nicola, Connor and Brandon; Bart, and Stacie Franta of Fairmont, their children Josephine, Lucia, Georgia and Michael Paul; Aaron Franta and his wife Jennifer Lahmann of La Crescent, their children Paul and Nicholas; and daughter Miriam, and Freddie Evaristo of Las Vegas, Nev., their daughter Francesca. She is survived by her brother, Peter, and Stella Kachel of Livermore, Calif., plus many nieces and nephews. Agatha was preceded in death by her parents, husband Paul, and six brothers and six sisters.



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