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William Keliher "Bill" Franke

William Keliher "Bill" Franke

William Keliher Franke, "Bill", passed away on March 12, 2017. His loss will be felt deep in the community, as he was a well-respected and well-liked restaurateur, friend, and family man. Bill was born on April 30, 1949 in Little Rock and spent the majority of his life serving 'Arkansas Food to Arkansas People' at his family business, Franke's Cafeteria.

He was know for his strong presence and was the definition of honor and integrity. He was a very charitable man and served as President of the Restaurant Association and Chairman of the Arkansas Hospitality Association, which inducted him into its Hall of Fame. He was the recipient of many awards including the Kaleidoscope Award and the Salut Au Restauranteur, top honors among state restaurant operators. He was a founding board member of Potluck-Food Rescue, which feeds hundreds of local needy people.

A man of many hobbies, he loved most what nature had to offer- Astronomy, hunting, fishing,cooking, and riding motorcycles were among his favorites. He was a beloved Grandfather, "Papa Bud", to Andrew and Katelyn and enjoyed sharing his hobbies with them. His two daughters, Kathryn Franke Kitchens and the late Christen Franke, adored and admired him, and looked at him the way every daughter should see their Father. He and his Son-In-Law, Kevin Kitchens, had a very special relationship as two avid outdoorsman. He and his beloved wife of 38 years, Carolyn Cazort Franke, shared a lifetime of happiness and memories that will live on forever. He will be greatly missed by his sibling Barbara, Chris, Bob Franke, and Carol Horner. As well as many other friends and family.

As we let go of him here on Earth, we know he was embraced by his daughter Christen, and no doubt it was a beautiful reunion.

A celebration of Bill's life will be held on March 16 at 11:00 at St. James United Methodist Church 321 Pleasant Valley Drive. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to Potluck-Food Rescue PO Box 251558 LR 72205.

Condolence Book

"To all family members: I am so sorry to read this. Please know that my heart and prayers go out to all of you. Downham"
Elizabeth Patterson | Little Rock, AR

"My deepest condolences to Miss Carolyn and the Franke family"
Loyda Sandoval | LITTLE ROCK, AR

"Sending my thoughts & prayers to the family. Bill will be missed by MANY! May he rest in eternal peace."
Linda Kaiser | Clarksville, TX

"Bill's loss is unfortunate. He was a true friend, fine businessman, and super husband, and father. He will be missed, and remembered fondly. The de Noble family extends our prayers and thoughts. God Bless all of you."
Keith de Noble | Bigelow, AR

"Carolyn and Kathryn and your family,
You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Jay and Lisa Bruno | , AR

"So sorry to hear about Bill passing, he was a great guy. I knew him from high school.

James Hamric | Little Rock, AR


"Carolyn Franke and family:

So sorry to hear of the passing of Bill. He will be really missed along with Kristen. May God put his comforting arms around you and your family and feel the peace that God will provide you. My dad (Dick Rideout) always loved to see you, Kristen and Bill when he came to Franke's. My dad always asked about Kristen too.

Sympathy and Prayer,
Donna Rideout Faulkner"

Donna Faulkner | Little Rock, AR

"I've been acquainted with the Frankie family for many years and I know he will be missed.

Jack Dallas | North Little Rock, AR

"Caroly, I am so very sorry to hear about Bill. He (and you) are special friends and I especially enjoyed working with him through AHA."
Mary Lou Davenport | North Little Rock, AR

"A long time friend and customer Bill was amazing
with his contributions to the Arkansas Food Service community.

May he rest in peace!


Dave Case | Little Rock, AR

"My prayers will be for the Franke family in this time of sorrow."
Chris Hill | Desoto, TX

"It was always such a pleasure to happen upon Bill when in line at the restaurant for all these many years.I just am at a loss for words over his loss."
Robert Bumpas | Little Rock, AR

"Please accept my most sincere condolences in Mr. Franke's passing. I have been a life long customer of the restaurant & Mr. Franke was a customer of ours as well. He will be greatly missed. "
Nancy Dolan | Little Rock , AR

"Classmate at Holy Souls and always one of the really great guys. Prayers for his family..."
Bob Cooper | Lake Dallas, TX

"My deepest sympathy to the Franke family.
My thoughts and prayers are with you all, and special thoughts to Carol Franke Horner, with whom I went to school.
Mary Martin Bentley
Austin, TX

Mary Bentley | Austin, TX

"Thoughts an prayers to the Family, all that new Bill was blessed. His smile and friendship will be with me the rest of my life.

God Bless

Paul Garner | Cabot

"My sincerest condolences to the entire Franke family. Our nephew was Christen's fiancé and the pain of losing a daughter and then a spouse and father shortly after is unimaginable. May their memory be eternal.

Van and Pauline Christakos"

Pauine Christakos | Astoria, NY

"Sorry for the lost of a next door neighbor, funny man, and motorcyclist. Always enjoy my visits with Bill or seeing him up on petti jean mountain on his motorcycle. I remembered his steps on sizes of bikes from moped to gold wing. I believe it had a lot to do if Carolyn would allow him to get a bigger bike. Funny seeing big man on moped at first. Sorry for lost of 2 great people in same family in less than year. Prayers and love to the Franke family. "
Carroll walls | Little Rock , AR

"So very sorry for your loss. I will remember the family in my prayers. I was a classmate of Barbara Franke and knew that family. Remembering the Franke's on 5th downtown and then the one on Rodney Parham, knowing it was family run and the food was homey."
Vona Bidwell Thompson | Perryville, AR

"The Honeycutt family extends our deepest condolences to Miss Carolyn and Miss Kathryn. The Frankes hired our mother, Sue Honeycutt, as a beverage hostess until her retirement due to Alzheimer's disease. Their kindness, compassion and support of Mother will forever endear them to our family. I currently work in the old Franke's bakery building on West Third Street, and think of the Frankes daily. May Mr. Bill rest in peace."
Ann Honeycutt | Little Rock, AR

"Carolyn and family, sending prayers and love to you all at this trying time. Jimbo and I reminisced about meeting you and Bill and the Girls in the keys so many many years ago. May your wonderful memories help to heal you hearts at this time."

"Our deepest condolences to Carolyn and all the family. You are in all of our thoughts and prayers.

The Board of Directors of the Family Home of Little Rock

Family Home of Little Rock | Little Rock, AR

Prayers for peace and comfort during this extremely difficult time to all the Franke family. "

Mary Howell Pauley | Greensboro, NC

"To Chris, Bob and the entire Franke Family - So sorry for your loss. May good memories be with you forever and close to your heart. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Much love to all of you

Judy and Jose Ramirez | Saint Louis, MO

"Our sympathies and thoughts go to the entire Franke Family. We will miss him"
Dr. and Mrs. Bill Hayden | Little Rock, AR

"I'm sorry to hear of this terrible loss so soon after Christen... it must have been a beautiful reunion, indeed. "
Kelley Vogelgesang | Little Rock, AR

"Bill was one of a kind. You never had to guess what he was thinking. I was fortunate to call him my friend. God bless you all!"
Don Phelan | little rock, AR

"Heaven has received one of the best. Prayers for Bill's family."
Joe and Kathy Keary | Little Rock, AR

"The loss of a loved one is never easy. He is in God's hands now and take solace in him looking down from heaven and watching over your family. "
Robert & Darlene Hammermeister | Walnut Hill, IL

"May God bless and comfort the Franke family during this most difficult time.
I was fortunate to have known this blessed family during our young years at Holy Souls School. Carol and I were classmates.
My thoughts and prayers for comfort and peace extend to all family members. I am so very sorry for your loss.
May you Rest in Peace, Bill.


Judy Bunten | Beebe, AR

"Our condolences for the entire Franke family and may you all find strength and comfort in the wonderful memories you share. "
The Laster family (Stacy) | Little Rock , AR

"We are so sorry for your loss.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

The staff at Richards Honda Yamaha"

Richards Honda Yamaha | Little Rock, AR

"Carolyn- just so saddened by all of this. A great father- daughter reunion! Prayers!"
Vicki and Karrol Fowlkes | Salem, Little Rock, AR

"We have long adored going to Franke's. Our lad is remembered by the staff as a toddler in a rolling-high-chair and now, he is old enough he picks up the tab. Over the years, we ate more meals at the Franke table than we did with any of our own family - and therefore, the Franke family and employees became endeared. Our son even developed an interest in astronomy because of Bill pointing out the special light display he included in the Cafeteria's ceiling. May the love of all who care about the Frankes, provide solace and may GOD above, bless you with understanding and peace in your hearts."
Jim, James & Audrey Stanley | , AR

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