David Franzen


David (Dave) Charles Franzen, age 80, of Rochester, MN, left us on Saturday, December 19, 2020, from natural causes.

Dave was born on July 19, 1940, to Dorothy (Stegner) and Merrill Franzen, and grew up in SE Minnesota. The son of a railroad man, Dave’s family moved from train depot to train depot, even living in one for a time before settling in Rochester. Dave always retained a strong love of trains and built several elaborate models over the years.

After moving to Rochester, Dave met Sandra Puhl, whom he married in 1963. During their 10-year marriage, they were blessed with two beautiful daughters, Deborah and Teresa. He later met and married Dawne Loree Hamman in 1977. They filled out the family with two amazing children, Nicholas and Nichelle.

A retired postal worker, Dave’s first love (besides his family) was music. For over 40 years he was a lead singer/lead guitarist for multiple bands in the region: The Mods, TradeWinde, The Reflections, and countless others across SE Minnesota.

Dave was an avid astronomer and spent countless hours looking to the stars through his many telescopes.  Many a family adventure was shared chasing major astronomical events, most recently the solar eclipse of 2017 where they travelled to McCool Junction, Nebraska.

Dave dabbled in multiple hobbies over his lifetime, including archery, photography, home improvement, model building, competitive weight lifting, and seemed willing to try just about anything at least once. An accomplished artist, Dave’s work can be seen throughout the country, on vans, signs, and multiple businesses in the Rochester area, including post offices and the local Y.

With all of his diverse interests, Dave was a dedicated friend, loving husband, and doting father who shared in the joys of the many interests of his friends, wife, and children.  Those who knew him will remember Dave’s infectious smile and sarcastic sense of humor.  He will be dearly missed.

Dave was preceded in death by his parents, Dorothy and Merrill; and 5 sisters, Diane, Nancy, Alice, Elaine, and Karen. He is survived by his soulmate & devoted wife of 43 years, Dawne (Hammann); four children, Deb Franzen (Nate Keating), Teri Franzen (John Baumlin), Nick Franzen, and Nichelle Franzen (Adam Otto); plus countless nieces, nephews, grand nieces and grand nephews.

Rochester Cremation Services is assisting the family with arrangements. Memories and condolences of Dave may be shared at rochestercremationservicesmn.com


Celebration of Life

Sunday, July 25th 2pm – 5pm

VFW – 2775 43rd St NW, Rochester, MN 55901

Please stop by any time between 2 & 5, grab a bite to eat,

and share stories about Dave’s life. 

We would love to see you there!


8 thoughts on “David Franzen

  1. Sincere condolences to Dawne and the rest of the Franzen family. Dave was loved by many. He will be missed.

  2. I am so sorry for your loss!! I am also sorry that your sister, Marian could not be with you to help and comfort you in your and your family’s time of loss.

  3. Please accept my condolences and I am so sorry for your loss. Peace be with him and your family.

  4. My sympathy to Dawn and family. I had the honor of playing in a band with Dave for a few years and always appreciated his talent and stage presence. He was a great guitar player and singer. He will be missed.

  5. My sympathy, Dawn & family. Dave was really special to me, We spent many
    night and many hours on stage together. He was one of the most talented people
    I ever met. Loved him much! Wayne from (TradeWinde)
    Our Condolences, Wayne & Pat

  6. My condolences. I first met Dave when he transferred to Rochester high school. He was on the basketball team and I was the student mgr. We hung out a lot after HS. We would cruise broadway. He bought a 1960 Ford oonv I January and we cruised broadway with the top down in minus degree weather. We were going to go to the dance party at the surf ballroom, it it was snowing and drifting and didn’t go. Buddy Holly was there. We played rec BB and tried to meet nurses. I was with him when he bought his first guitar and he played “Walk, don’t run”. I was best man and sang at his first wedding. We formed a folk group and sang on a couple of cancer telethons and for some nurse gatherings. I watched him in trade winds at the top of the rock and on new years Eve parties. We drifted apart after a while but would still see each other at times. I last saw him a couple of years ago at the new hy-vee. I will always remember him. So long Dave.

    Your friend

    Gordy Bishop

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