Kermit Wesley Franzen

Kermit Wesley Franzen

Kermit Wesley Franzen, age 84, passed away Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in his sleep. He was born Feb. 24, 1936, in Huron, South Dakota, the son of Ruben and Ann Franzen.

Kermit married Marlyn Ahn Windedahl on June 20, 1960.

Kermit graduated from Carthage South Dakota High School and completed a degree in engineering at South Dakota State University in 1958. In 1960, they moved to Wisconsin and Kermit began work as a civil engineer with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. He worked for the DOT for 34 years, retiring at age 58 in 1994.

Kermit and Marlyn made their home in Madison until they moved to a home in the country outside Verona in 1975.

For many years he was a member of the Verona Optimists. Kerm was an avid bowler early in life. Later, he enjoyed painting and completing jigsaw puzzles. Throughout his life he loved to fish and to play bridge.

After his kids, Kerm’s gardens were his pride and joy. In addition to fruits, flowers and vegetables he loved transforming the hills and ravines on his property into various Wisconsin native ecosystems for wild flowers and native grasses.

Kerm loved to travel and spend time with family and friends by Marlyn’s side. They traveled the world, were snowbirds in Tucson, Arizona and loved watching their grandchildren grow and blossom.

Kermit is survived by his son, Mark (Janice) Franzen of New Berlin, Wis.; daughter, Karyn (Carmine Morra) of Los Angeles, California; grandchildren, Bryan and Sarah; and sister, Alice Bofenkamp of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Marlyn in 2010.

The family would like to express a heartfelt thank you to the wonderful staff at Oakwood Village, Skilled Nursing and Memory Care, and Agrace HospiceCare in Fitchburg for their loving care and support of Kermit.

A Memorial service will be held at St. James Lutheran Church at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Kermit Franzen Scholarship Fund at the SDSU College of Engineering, or to Agrace HospiceCare, Fitchburg.

Please visit for service updates and we encourage you to share your online condolences with Kermit’s family.

Gunderson Fitchburg

Funeral and Cremation Care

2950 Chapel Valley Rd.