Edmund “Franz” LaMacchia, 74, Kenosha, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on December 1, 2022.
Franz was born in Kenosha, WI, on April 16, 1948, the son of Edmund and Emma (Franz) La Macchia. He graduated from St. Joseph High School in 1966, and attended Northern Michigan University in Marquette, MI, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and University of Wisconsin-Parkside.
In 1973, Franz eloped to Las Vegas, NV, to marry the love of his life, Judy Barnett. They were inseparable and would do almost everything together for the next 49 years. Franz’s love for Judy was one of a kind. Their example of what a marriage was supposed to be like was one that many people would look up to. They have two children, Shane and Sara.
Franz was a man of many talents. After a short-lived career as a house painter with his younger brother Rob, his entrepreneurship mindset kicked in while managing his brother Eugene’s grocery store, 5th Avenue Foods, throughout the 70s.
Franz and Judy opened Kenosha’s very first sandwich shop, The Yellow Submarine. Their signature sandwich was The Godfather, which led to their success, opening a second location. Franz also worked at Modern Building Materials from the late 70s into the 80s, where he made an eclectic group of friends. One of his greatest sources of pride was to work for his brother Bill, most notably as Director of Property Management for the Mark Travel Corporation, for almost 40 years.
From his childhood home on 35th Avenue, filled with heartfelt memories and mischief with his siblings and neighborhood friends, Franz had an adventurous spirit. He once got lost with his brother on his way to Chicago, almost missing the 1966 Beatles show, his absolute favorite band, and spent many days protesting at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
In the summer of 1969, Franz found a flyer for a music festival in upstate New York that he knew he could not miss, heading to Woodstock a few weeks later with three of his friends. The following year, he hitchhiked to California and found himself in some precarious situations along the way due to his long hair. In the early 70s, Franz and Judy would travel to Europe to backpack, a trip cut short as they quickly ran out of money.
As Franz got older, he never lost his lust for life. He enjoyed traveling and would often go to Las Vegas with family. Franz was an avid golfer, getting not only one, but two holes in one in his lifetime. He loved the Chicago Bears and Chicago Cubs. A true Stephen King fan, Franz always enjoyed a good book, but possibly even more so, he loved movies, especially classic ones. Never one to miss a concert, Franz saw many throughout his lifetime, but his most memorable ones might have been all the times he took Judy to see her favorite band, The Rolling Stones. In 1997, they even got to meet Keith, Charlie, and Ron.
Throughout his life, Franz enjoyed riding his bike. He rode often with his children while they were growing up. Later in life, he continued to take leisurely rides around the neighborhood whenever the weather allowed. As his family grew, he shared his interests with everyone. Shane and Sara love all the things their dad did, even more so when doing them together, most notably, golf, concerts, movies, and traveling. He would also swap stories of life and adventure with his son-in-law, often laughing at their respective mishaps; while his daughter-in-law took up the family game of golf, letting Franz know before each round that it was her time to beat him.
But his true passion came later, when his grandchildren, Payton and Lucien, were born. He adored playing with them, teaching things only a grandpa could, which always included a fun game and a little mischief. He was so proud to share his hobbies with them as well, buying their first bikes and getting some help in the yard picking up sticks, taking advantage of the free labor.
Franz was often described as easy to love. He was kind, affectionate, sincere, and generous. He had a way of making people feel special whether they were a member of his immediate family or if they had only met him briefly. Many times, Franz would be known as a father figure to people who were in need of one no matter their relationship. He was a friend to all, known for having friends from many walks of life. Always with a smile on his face, Franz certainly left an imprint on all those who were fortunate enough to meet him.
Survivors include his wife, Judy; two children: Shane (Jody), Sara (Jeremy) Regnier; three grandchildren: Payton, Lucien, and Logan; siblings: Mary (Bob) Karnes, Bill (Chickie) LaMacchia, Patty (Terry) Constant, and Rob (Candy) LaMacchia; brother-in-law, Kenneth Barnett; as well as a wonderful and loving extended family, whom he cherished very much.
Franz was preceded in death by his mother and father, Emma and Edmund LaMacchia; in-laws, Mildred and Clyde Barnett; his brother, Eugene; and sister-in-law, Anita; his brothers-in-law: Douglas (Roselie), Lanois (Jane), Trice, and Gary Barnett; sister-in-law, Judith Barnett; and his nephew, Jeffrey Kappus.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Franz’s 75th Birthday, April 16, 2023. Details to follow.
“And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make.”