September 7, 1949 - March 11, 2020
Richard “Rick” Thomas Frantz, Sr., was born on Wednesday, September 7th, 1949 to his parents Roy and Wilna Frantz in Houston, TX. Rick was the fifth of 11 children, growing up in a lively Catholic home with nine sisters and one brother.
He spent his childhood in Southeast Houston, keeping life exciting as a young, rambunctious boy for both his parents at home and the nuns who taught him in Catholic school. After graduating from high school, he joined the Air Force Reserves where he served for six years as an aircraft propulsion and powerplant technician on C-130 aircraft. During this time, he graduated with a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, which laid the foundation for a lifelong career in civil, structural, and forensic engineering.
One of the best unexpected twists in Rick’s life occurred as a result of his military service, meeting his wife Dixie. After moving homes in Houston, Rick met Dixie when inquiring about his enlistment check that came in the mail at his old house. Dixie, taking a break from trimming the Christmas tree with her family, just happened to answer the door that day and Rick was stricken from that moment. The two married in 1972 at St. Frances Cabrini in Houston, TX. Their 47-year marriage is a rare and special testament of love, fortitude, and commitment.
Rick left his mark on this world with his creativity, love of learning, and sense of humor. Each of these attributes fed into a natural talent of problem solving. Rick worked tirelessly for his family and community throughout his life. As an engineer, he started his own business, helped design and build St. Martha’s new church complex in Kingwood, TX, and finished his career mentoring the next generation of engineers at Shell Deer Park. He put his problem-solving skills to use as a father as well, redesigning and remodeling their home into a handicapped-friendly dwelling for their late special-needs daughter Mimi.
In 2016, Rick was diagnosed with stage IV kidney cancer, with an initial prognosis that looked grave. With family support and some divine intervention, Rick was selected for an immunotherapy trial at MD Anderson Cancer Center. The treatments afforded him four invaluable years of life, during which time he welcomed three more grandchildren and made countless, special memories. His entire family is so grateful for the amazing medical professionals at MDA.
Rick leaves behind his wife Dixie, daughter Katie, son Ricky, and was preceded by the death of his beloved daughter Mimi. In addition, he is survived by two grandsons, Jacob and Benjamin, and two granddaughters, Zélie and Melanie, as well a son-in-law Chad and daughter-in-law Kate.
If you wish to honor Rick’s memory, we kindly ask that you donate to St. Martha’s Capital Campaign fund: https://stmartha.com/capital-campaign
A Visitation will be held on Sunday, March 15, 2020, from 5-7pm @ Darst Funeral Home. A Rosary will follow @ 7pm. Located at 796 Russell Palmer, Kingwood, Tx., 77339.
A Funeral Service will be held @ St. Martha's Church on Monday, March 16, 2020, @ 10am, Located at 4301 Woodbridge, Kingwood, Tx., with a Graveside Burial to follow @ Rosewood Cemetery, located @ 2602 S Houston Ave., Humble, Tx., 77396.
To express your sympathy with a flower arrangement please contact our florist.