Cover photo for Jerome G. "Jerry" Franckowiak's Obituary
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Jerome G. "Jerry" Franckowiak

November 21, 1946 — February 24, 2024


Jerome G. "Jerry" Franckowiak

Jerome G. “Jerry” Franckowiak, 77 of Gaylord, passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, February 24, 2024, surrounded by his family.


Born in Grayling, Michigan on November 21, 1946, Jerry was the son of Anthony J. and Cecelia A. (Kucharek) Franckowiak.  He grew up on the family farm in Elmira and graduated from Gaylord’s St. Mary’s High School in 1966.


He loved his youth on the farm and was a member of FFA.  He also had a love of tractors and was a lifelong collector of miniature tractors, a collection that has now been passed to his two sons.  Throughout his life, when they were traveling, Jerry always enjoyed pulling off the road to watch any farming operations he would see along the way.


Shortly after graduation, Jerry went to work at U.S. Plywood in Gaylord.  While there, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, and served in Vietnam, where he was badly wounded.  After returning home to Elmira, he was eventually able to return to his job at U.S. Plywood, which later became Champion and then Georgia Pacific.  He had a career of more than 40 years there and retired at the time Georgia Pacific closed the Gaylord plant.


Jerry met Joann Gajsiewicz, a young lady from Posen who lived in Gaylord, through mutual friends.  The two fell in love and were married on October 27, 1973, at St. Casimir Catholic Church in Posen.  They lived their life and raised their three children in Gaylord.  They celebrated their 50th anniversary last year.


Jerry was very proud of his children’s accomplishments, and that they were all college graduates.  He also enjoyed the friendships he kept with some of his Vietnam buddies for more than 50 years.


He was a parishioner at St. Mary Cathedral, a member of the Knights of Columbus, VFW Post #1518, DAV, and Military Order of the Purple Heart.


Jerry loved sports including the Detroit Tigers and Lions, and Michigan State University football and basketball.   While his sons were young, he was ever present at their athletic activities including soccer, football, baseball, basketball, and bowling.  Jerry also enjoyed bowling too.  He also enjoyed visiting casinos, working around the yard, and playing Sudoku and working crossword puzzles.  

Jerry is survived by his wife, Joann; his children, Julie Franckowiak of Alma, Steven (Caroline) Franckowiak of Arlington Heights, IL, and Thomas (Samantha) Franckowiak of Gaylord; sisters, Loretta Smith of Elmira, and Kathleen “Tina” (Sil) Mazzella of Gaylord; a brother, Michael (Lori) Franckowiak of San Antonio, TX; sisters-in-law, Anita Franckowiak of Iron Mountain, and Blanche Franckowiak of Garden City; and several nieces, nephews, and grand nieces and nephews.


He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Leonard, Eugene “Whitey”, and Conrad Franckowiak; and a sister-in-law, Maggie Dowker. 


A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 11:00 AM Thursday, February 29, 2024 at St. Mary Cathedral where visitation will begin at 10:00 AM.  Interment will be in the spring at St. Thomas Cemetery in Elmira.


Those who wish are asked to consider memorial contributions to the Knights of Columbus or St. Mary School athletics.


Arrangements are by Gaylord Community Funeral Home & Cremation Service.  Please share your memories and personal messages with the family at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jerome G. "Jerry" Franckowiak, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Thursday, February 29, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Mass of Christian Burial

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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