Cover photo for Elton Carl Fransen's Obituary
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1936 Elton 2023

Elton Carl Fransen

June 4, 1936 — June 11, 2023

Elton “Papa” Carl Fransen, 87, of Loves Park, Illinois peacefully passed away Sunday, June 11th, with Jessie at his side and surrounded by his family. He was born June 4, 1936 in Monroe, Wisconsin to Carl and Sadie (Hermanson) Fransen.

Elton graduated from Argyle High School in 1954 and served in the US Navy aboard the USS Everglades, honorably discharged in 1957. He met and married his first love, Theresa “Nana” Cleary on October 24,1959 in Blanchardville, Wisconsin and together they had four children. After 45 years of a life well lived with Theresa, he lost her on January 4th, 2005. He worked for the Woodard Governor Company for 35 years retiring in 1993. He was a past member of St. Rita Catholic Church. He loved traveling the back roads of the Midwest, looking for antiques, visiting with everyone and sharing his stories with all. He was a golfer and a craftsman who could make a lamp out of anything, fix everything and always working on new projects. He was an avid Packer, Dodger, and Laker fan.

Above all he cherished his children, adored his 7 grandchildren, and long awaited 3 great-grandchildren. He dearly loved attending their special events and especially the Nana and Papa “Grandchildren dates”.

Elton was a blessed man when he reunited with his second love, Jessie (Gierhart) Hawley, his once high school prom date, and were married on June 9, 2006 before their children, families and friends. Elton and Jessie made a great team and enjoyed their time together tremendously. He will be dearly missed by Jessie’s children and grandchildren whom he always embraced with a generous heart.

He is survived by his wife Jessie; sons, Mark (Kathy) of Loves Park and Tom of Chicago; daughters Michele (Jay) Hagan of Roscoe and Sue (Bob) Moore of Belvidere; cherished grandchildren Dr.Jake (Dr. Lia) Moore, Dr. Alex (Dr. Samantha) Moore, Taylor (Neima Shahbazi) Moore, Breanne (Zach) Borgetti, Thomas (Savanna Stoewer) Fransen, Kelsey (Trevor Jackson) Hagan and Tess (Bayley Eklund) Hagan; great grandchildren Hudson and Halle Moore, Giada Borgetti, and baby boy Moore due in September. He also is survived by many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins and many dear friends who became like family.

Elton was predeceased by parents Carl and Sadie, brothers Palmer (Shirley), Clarence (Josie), brothers in law Robert (Lorraine) Cleary, Thomas (Inez) Cleary and sisters in law Mary (Paul) Zweifel and Virginia (Jim) Vitale.

A celebration of life will be held at Fitzgerald Funeral Home, Mulford Chapel, 1860 S. Mulford Road, Rockford, IL 61108 on Sunday, June 25th from 1:00pm to 3:00pm, with a social gathering to follow at Sam's Ristorante & Pizzeria, located at 6075 E. Riverside Blvd. Rockford, IL 61114

The family would like to thank all of the Serenity Hospice staff who graciously provided great care and support to him and our entire family. We would especially like to thank his main nurse, Corinne, who brought comfort, laughter, and her calming presence to Jessie and our dad.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his name to Serenity Hospice and Home, Saint Jude, or your favorite charity. All memorials may be sent in care of the funeral home at the above address. Send condolences and share memories at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Elton Carl Fransen, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Visitation

Sunday, June 25, 2023

1:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory - Mulford Chapel

1860 South Mulford Road, Rockford, IL 61108

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