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Francis ‘Frank’ Wimmer, 78

Francis (Frank) John Wimmer, age 78, of Darwin, passed away Sunday, April 29, 2018, at his home, surrounded by his loving and loyal family, after a courageous battle with lung cancer.

Memorial services will take place Saturday, May 19 at 10 a.m. at St. John’s Catholic Church in Darwin with Father Brian Mandel officiating. There will be a gathering of family and friends one hour prior to the service at the church, and continuing after the service, from 12:30 to 3 p.m. at the Smith Farm, 67893 260th St., Darwin.

Pianist will be Jeanie Doran, and song leader will be Mary Knisley. Musical selections will be “Here I Am Lord,” “On Eagle’s Wings,” “As the Deer Longs,” and “Amazing Grace.”

There will also be special music: “Hearts I Leave Behind” by Craig Morgan and Mac Powell; “Lead Me Home,” by Jamey Johnson; “When I Get Where I’m Going,” by Brad Paisley and Dolly Parton; and “Drink a Beer” by Luke Bryan.

Urn bearers will be Wayne Smith, Buddy – the Beloved Dog, Mike Smith, and Peter Smith.

Military honors will be provided by Litchfield Military Honor Guard. Nick Smith will perform Taps on trumpet.

Arrangements are with the Hantge Funeral Chapel in Darwin. Online obituaries and guest book available at www.hantge.com; click on Obituaries/Guest Book.

Frank was born Oct. 20, 1939, to Leo and Ludvina (Weber) Wimmer, at their family home in Darwin. He was baptized and confirmed at St. John’s Catholic Church in Darwin, and attended school in Litchfield until the eighth grade, when he traveled to Salt Lake City, UT, working various jobs.

He was drafted into the United States Army May 23, 1963, in Minneapolis, and served active duty in the Vietnam War. Frank received a Good Conduct Medal and also a Rifle Sharpshooter Medal for his service, and an honorable discharge May 21, 1965, at Fort Leonard Wood, MO, having achieved the rank of specialist (SP4).

Frank was united in marriage to Karen Mathews Smith May 15, 1982. They made their home in rural Darwin, and loved the joys of country living.

Frank and Karen shared many adventures camping, snowmobiling, four-wheeling, summers on Lake Washington, Lake Ina and Johnson Lake; as well as time spent with their many fun-loving friends and extended family.

A gifted carpenter and contractor, Frank spent his entire life doing the work that he loved. Even into the last year of his life, you could find him swinging a hammer and pounding a nail.

Frank was a hard worker and was always willing to give a helping hand – his motto was “Gitter Done!” He learned carpentry from his father, worked as a superintendent for several contractors, and finally spent much of his carpentry and contractor years working with his brother, Tom, with Wimmer Brothers Builders.

Frank was an avid outdoorsman and loved being out in nature. He enjoyed deer hunting, fishing, trapshooting, snowmobiling, camping, and four-wheeling, as well as playing cards, dice, cribbage, working crossword puzzles, sudoku and watching “The Price is Right” and “Wheel of Fortune.”

He loved country music and going to Winstock Country Music Festival, attending every year except the first festival and last year (due to radiation treatments).

Frank was a member and past president of the Darwin Rod & Gun Club, a member of the Darwin Drifters Snowmobile Club, Eden Valley Sportsmen’s Club, the VFW, Litchfield Eagles Club 3424, Gliders Motorcycle Club Parade Patrol, the Forest City Threshers, and the American Legion, as well as a past member of the Darwin Lions Club.

He loved his children and grandchildren with all his heart, and was a devoted dad and grandpa, spending time making special, handmade gifts for them, attending their life and school events, and offering up praises and a little gentle teasing to make them laugh and smile. Frank was a magnet to children, who would often come up to him at various social events – some thought he reminded them of Santa, and others were just drawn to his playful nature.

Frank thoroughly enjoyed times spent with his many, many friends and family members; sharing stories, laughter, and a bucket (or more) of Busch Light beer. He will be greatly missed.

Frank is survived by his wife, Karen Wimmer of Darwin; children, Christine Wimmer of Coon Rapids, Lori Smith Crowe (Paul) of Dassel, Julie Ann Smith of Rochester, and Wayne Smith of St. Paul; grandchildren Elisa Campbell of Jackson, TN, Micheal Wimmer of Blaine, and Matthew, Caitlyn, Michael, Samuel and Elizabeth Crowe, all of Dassel; and eight great-grandchildren.

He is further survived by siblings, Pete (Darlene) Wimmer, Bill Wimmer, Leonard “Swede” (Karen) Wimmer, Tom (Gayle) Wimmer and Margie (Frank) Pfel; his dearest friend, who was like a brother to him, Phil Smith; brother-in-law, Mel Keppers; sister-in-law, Judy Wimmer; and many, many nieces and nephews.

Frank was preceded in death by his parents, Leo and Ludvina Wimmer; brothers Vernon, Victor, and Chuck; sisters Lorraine and her spouses, Theresa, Marion and Mary Ann (infant); brother-in-law Ray Lanigan; and sisters-in-law Beverly Wimmer and Linda Wimmer.

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