Francis Joseph De Broux, Manitowoc, passed away peacefully early the morning of August 29, 2018.
Fran was born May 23, 1935, to Louis and Adele De Broux in De Pere, WI, where he often assisted his father with the family business, Badger Wood Products. He is a 1953 graduate of West De Pere High School and played on several basketball teams with his best friend and future brother-in-law, Gerald “Chum” Janssen through whom he met his wife, Donna (Janssen) De Broux. He later played college basketball at both UW-Oshkosh and St. Norbert’s College, where he graduated in 1959.
Fran served as a Specialist 3rd class in the US Army, trained to operate first generation radar-guided anti-aircraft systems 1954-56. He was stationed in Germany where his assignments allowed him to tour Europe extensively. As a veteran, he attended Old Glory Honor Flight XXXV in May 2016.
Fran married his high school sweetheart, Donna Janssen, on August 16, 1958 at St. Boniface Church, De Pere. He worked as an Advisory Systems Engineer for IBM’s Green Bay division for 33 years, relocating to Manitowoc in 1962. He also worked for Badger Wood Products of De Pere and Heiden Inc. of Manitowoc before retiring in 1997.
Fran was an active member of Holy Innocents Church, which later became St. Francis of Assisi Parish at Waldo Blvd. He was a dedicated member of the renowned Holy Innocents Men’s Choir for 56 years where he made many treasured friends, was a featured baritone soloist, and was honored to sing at numerous weddings, funerals, and other parish celebrations. His children attended Holy Innocents grade school and graduated from Roncalli High School where he volunteered for decades as a scoreboard operator for basketball and football games. He and Donna were active in the Cursillo Movement of Green Bay for many years where Fran made numerous life-long friends.
Fran cheered for the Packers, Bucks, Brewers, UW-Madison, and Marquette with fervor. He loved golf and card games of all sorts. He was an avid reader and loved history and science fiction in particular. In later years he looked forward to escaping Wisconsin winters and traveling with Donna to Florida where they enjoyed the company of dear friends old and new.
Fran’s sense of humor and ability to deliver a punchline in his booming baritone drew laughs and groans alike. He followed current events and politics closely and relished lively debate. He instilled his love of music, athletics, and reading in his children; had high expectations for academic performance; and was proud of their accomplishments. He was a much-loved Grandpa who enjoyed gathering with family for celebrations and holidays.
Fran is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Donna De Broux, daughters Jane (Cloo Stevenson) and Sally (Dave La Tourelle) of Madison; sons Robert (Kimberly Moucha) of Madison, Dan (Anne Simon) of Winona, MN, and Jim (Jennifer) of Saukville, WI. Also, by his granddaughters, Emilie and Eden Simon-De Broux of Winona, MN and Caty and Julia De Broux of Saukville, WI; grandsons Ryan Buck (Farish Lawrence) of Alpharetta, GA, Andrew Becker of Madison, Evan De Broux of Saukville, and Isaac De Broux-Slone of Madison; one great-grandchild, Susie Buck of Alpharetta, GA; and scores of nieces and nephews. He is also survived by beloved in-laws Carol Van Grunsven, Chum and Mary Jane Janssen, Paul Janssen, and Lois De Broux all of De Pere.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Louis and Adele; sisters Marie, Leola Dillhunt, and Margaret Gleason; brothers Maurice and James De Broux; sisters-in law Mary Margaret De Broux Reichel and Joyce Janssen; and brothers-in law Larry Dillhunt, David Van Grunsven, Woody (Butch) Reichel, and Daniel Gleason.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Parish at 1121 North 14th Street, Manitowoc on Saturday, September 1 at 11:00 AM. Rev’s Doug LeCaptain, Gerald Foley and Richard Klingeisen will concelebrate the Mass of Christian Burial. Friends may call at the church before the service from 9:00 – 11:00 AM. A luncheon celebrating his life will be held immediately following the service at the school hall. The Reinbold & Pfeffer Family Funeral Home of Manitowoc is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at www.jensreinboldandpfeffer.com