Cover photo for Joseph "Joe" Arthur Franz's Obituary
Joseph "Joe" Arthur Franz Profile Photo

Joseph "Joe" Arthur Franz

October 21, 1943 — September 14, 2023


Joseph "Joe" Arthur Franz

JOSEPH “JOE” ARTHUR FRANZ, age 79, went to be with the Lord at home in Arkadelphia, Arkansas on September 14, 2023. He was born October 21, 1943, in St. Louis, Missouri, to Oswald “Ozzie” A. Franz, Jr and Elizabeth “Betty” Hamlin Franz. Joe was raised in Thayer, Missouri.

Joe married his High School Sweetheart, Bonnie, June 20, 1964, in Thayer, Missouri. They spent most of their marriage in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, where they raised their family. Joe played basketball throughout his High School and College years. He was a member of Championship basketball teams while atending Ouachita Baptist University in 1961-1965. Joe also loved playing tennis, and in his later years was an avid croquet player. He was also a member of The Royal Knights of Croquet.

Joe served in the United States Army. He was honorably discharged as a First Lieutenant in 1969, after serving in Vietnam. After returning from Vietnam, he worked at ASU Beebe as the Business Manager for 2 years. He then moved to Arkadelphia to work for Ouachita Baptist University, where he worked as the Business Manager and Vice President for Development for 37 years. Joe retired from OBU in 2007.

Joe was a member of First Baptist Church in Arkadelphia since 1971. He served as a Deacon, a member of the Finance Committee and Treasurer for over 40 years. Joe served on the Regional Board of the American Cancer Society, and was the Chairman of the Clark County Cancer Society and organizer and treasurer of the Clark County Relay for Life for many years. He was also a member of the Arkadelphia Rotary Club. Joe was always willing to serve his Church, community, family, and friends.

Joe was known to his wife as “God’s Quiet Man”. He was a man of deep faith and felt his life had been a blessing. He was a wonderfully devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He loved his family and friends unconditionally.

Joe was preceded in death by his parents, Oswald A. Franz, Jr and Elizabeth Hamlin Franz, as well as his brother Phillip Edward Franz. Loving survivors include his wife of 59 years, Bonnie; daughters, Christina Beckwith (Harrell) of Hot Springs; Holly Boyette and daughter, Brooklynn Boyette of Arkadelphia; Katherine (Mat) Polczynski and daughter Lauren McCann and son, Logan Polczynski of Hot Springs. Other family include Nancy T. Franz (wife of the late Phillip Franz) of West Plains, MO, son Ward Franz (Krisi) of Sioux City, IA, and daughter Rebekah Mitchell (Rodney) of West Plains, MO. Brother, William “Bill” O. Franz (Donna) of Thayer, MO, sons Ryan Franz (Sharon) of Chesterfield, MO, and Dr. Justin Franz (Ashley) of Searcy, AR. Niece, Nancy Smith Franz of West Plains, MO, as well as many other nieces, nephews, and extended family members.

Pallbearers will be Logan Polczynski, Matt Polczynski, Dr. Justin Franz, Ryan Franz, Ward Franz and John Hardman. Honorary pallbearers will be Harrell Beckwith, Ronnie Echols, Raouf Halaby, Dell Hancock, Dan Polczynski, Jim Rothwell and Bob Willis.

A visitation will be held on Friday, September 22, 2023, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Ruggles Wilcox Funeral Home in Arkadelphia.

 Funeral services will be Saturday, September 23, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. at First Baptist Church, Arkadelphia under the direction of Pastor Jimmy Darby. Burial will be at Rest Haven Memorial Gardens.

In lieu of flowers, a donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, First Baptist Church of Arkadelphia or Ouachita Baptist University Joe and Bonnie Franz Scholarship.

Arrangements are entrusted to Ruggles Wilcox Funeral Home, 517 Clay Street, Arkadelphia, Arkansas 71923.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joseph "Joe" Arthur Franz, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Friday, September 22, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Ruggles-Wilcox Funeral Home

517 Clay St, Arkadelphia, AR 71923

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, September 23, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Saturday, September 23, 2023

11:15am - 12:15 pm (Central time)

Rest Haven Memorial Gardens

4647 Pine Street, Arkadelphia, AR 71923

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 1329

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree