Milton E. Frantz
January 4, 1925 - December 19, 2010
Milton E. Frantz died Dec. 19, 2010, just a few days shy of his 86th birthday. Milton Elmer Theodore Frantz was born in the middle of a snowstorm on Jan. 4, 1925 on the family farm near Orienta, Okla. He was the youngest of five children born to John Henry Frantz and Katherina Reimer Frantz.
His father homesteaded their property during the great Oklahoma Land Run of 1889 and helped found the Saron Mennonite Brethren Church in Orienta. The family farmed wheat and alfalfa and Frantz milked all the cows before heading for the one-room schoolhouse. Although chores prevented him from participating in most extracurricular activities, he was active in the 4-H program and in 1942 received a Junior Master Farmer degree from the National Future Farmers of America.
He graduated from Fairview High School in 1943 and in July of 1945 served his country by joining the U.S. Navy. After training he was sent to the Subic Bay and Leyte Gulf areas of the Philippine Islands as part of the force awaiting the potential invasion of Japan.
Around 1947 he and his brother, Marvin, founded the Major Gas Company providing butane and propane to farmers in the Fairview vicinity.
In 1950 Mr. Frantz married Mille Anna Allen Painton and with their two children, Roger Allen and Susanne Katherine, they packed up and drove all of their possessions to Phoenix in 1959. That year Mr. Frantz established the LP-Gas and Equipment Company on West Bethany Home Road in Glendale.
He worked closely with Valley cotton farmers to develop flame cultivation and converted many gasoline-powered vehicles — tractors, forklifts, and Redi-Mix cement trucks — to clean-burning LP-Gas. Mr. Frantz engineered and built all the necessary equipment and even the family car ran on a tank of propane installed in the trunk.
He entered the gas utility business with his Broken Bow Gas Company, established to bring LP-Gas to the community of Payson via polyethylene pipeline.
He was public spirited and dedicated to Payson where he served as president of the chamber of commerce and the Rotary Club.
He was a 50-plus years member of Rotary and one of its Paul Harris Fellows and a past president of the Arizona LP-Gas Association.
When Broken Bow was sold, Mr. Frantz embarked on a career in commercial real estate, retiring from his company Site Selection Associates in 2007.
Mr. Frantz was the all-American boy. He started with almost nothing and strove with sacrifice, determination and hard work to make a place in life for himself and his family in Arizona, the state he adored. He could fix just about anything, sang in a barbershop quartet, loved animals, gardening, and his computer. He lived by the Rotary four-way test: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it be beneficial to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? He was a gentleman of integrity and high standards. He had a beautiful warm smile and a friendly greeting for every single person he encountered.
He is already greatly missed by his loving family and friends and is survived by Milie, his wife of 60 years, children, Susanne and Roger, granddaughter, Kira Caywood, and their respective families.
A memorial service was held Thursday, Dec. 23 in the chapel of Valley Presbyterian Church in Paradise Valley.
Donations may be made in
Mr. Frantz’s memory to Valley Presbyterian Church and Hospice of the Valley.