American Patriotic 10

Francis P. Goedken

July 16, 2020


Francis P. Goedken, 87 of Dubuque, IA formerly of Zwingle, IA passed away at Oak Park Place on July 16, 2020 surrounded by the love of family.

Mass of Christian burial will be at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, July 24, 2020 at St Joseph Church, Key West with Father Paul Attah-Nsiah officiating.  Family and friends may gather after 10:00 a.m. Friday at the church until time of mass. A live stream of the funeral mass will be on the funeral home Facebook page. Private family burial will be in Holy Rosary Cemetery, La Motte with military honors accorded by the Bellevue American Legion Post #273. Leonard Funeral Home & Crematory 2595 Rockdale Road is assisting the family.

Francis was born on November 30, 1932 in Peosta, IA the son of Ludwig and Reinilda (Lehmann) Goedken.  He attended Loras Academy and graduated from Dubuque Senior High School.  He served in the US Army from 1953-1955.  Francis was the only American survivor on the Toya Maru Japanese Train Ferry, which sunk during a typhoon off the coast of Japan in 1954. The ferry disaster claimed over 1,100 lives.  He married Esther Frommelt on May 2, 1959 at St Mary’s Church in Guttenberg.  He was employed at John Deere Dubuque Works for 54 ½ years. At the time of his retirement he had the most service time and was the oldest employee in the history of the Dubuque Plant.  He was involved with the Knights of Columbus, Holy Rosary Church and many other volunteer efforts where he generously gave his time and talents.  

Francis lived simply, gave generously and loved deeply.  He enjoyed nature and being outdoors and loved spending time with family and friends playing cards, bowling or gathering for meals. One of his biggest joys was the time he spent with his grandsons, Ayden and Emerson walking trails, telling stories and sharing everyday experiences. He was a dedicated husband of 60 years and a wonderful father, grandfather and friend.

Francis is survived by his daughter Staci (Joe) Hahn and two grandsons, Ayden and Emerson of Gilbertville, IA; his sister Janaan Vogt of Dubuque and four sisters-in-law, Marlene Goedken, Carolyn Goedken, Bonnie Goedken Ready, Edith Goedken and a brother-in-law, Robert Schreiber of Dubuque and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Esther, son, Reed Goedken; his sister, Delores (Melvin) Miller; his brothers, Duane (Marion) Goedken, Vernon Goedken, Herbert (Regina) Goedken, Melvin (Ann) Goedken, John Goedken and Richard Goedken; his brother-in-law, Jim Vogt; his parents-in-law, Amelia and Raymond Frommelt and his sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Amy (Louis) Matt, Jeanette Schreiber, Rosemary (Fritz) Matt and Ruth (Cyril) Vonfumetti; nephew, Jay Matt and niece, Michaele Matt.

The family would like to thank Hospice of Dubuque, especially Kourtney; and the very caring assisted living staff at Oak Park Place for their wonderful care, kindness and compassion to Francis and our family.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Francis Goedken Memorial Fund.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Francis P. Goedken, please visit our floral store.


Mass of Christian Burial
July 24, 2020

10:30 AM
St. Joseph Church, Key West
10204 Key West Dr
Dubuque, Iowa 52003

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