Kenneth Miller Frantz
Kenneth Miller Frantz passed away July 9, 2012, at his home in Ashland, Ore. He was born on February 11, 1924, in Lima, Ohio to Harry and Annabelle Frantz, both second-generation European emigrants.
After graduating from high school, he joined the army, and served in World War II as a nurse medic, including seven months in Yamaguchi, Japan, where he witnessed the Hiroshima bomb victims. He graduated from the University of Michigan, and with the benefit of the G.I. Bill, he went on to New York University and Columbia University, receiving a Masters degree in English Literature. It was at Columbia where he met his future wife, Mary Ellen Purdy. After they married, they moved to the Bay Area where he became a public school teacher and attended San Francisco Art Institute (formerly called California School of Fine Arts), studying under the artists David Park and Clyfford Still. Inspired by his close friend William Everson (Brother Antoninus), he immersed himself in the world of the Beat Generation, developing a lifelong passion for poetry, Jungian psychology, and expressionist art.
In 1974, he and Mary Ellen, and their six children, moved their family home to Ashland, Ore. He spent his golden years enjoying the house and garden that he and Mary Ellen designed together in 1982. He has left a legacy of more than one hundred paintings, each painting telling an intimate story about his lifelong journey and quest for individuation.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Ellen, who died in 2003.
He is survived by his six children, Marlowe Frantz of Ashland, Ore.; Jacob Frantz, Litchfield Park, Ariz.; Luke Frantz, Ashland, Ore.; Mary Brooks, Ashland, Ore.; Rebecca Strabo, Seattle, Wash.; and Tom Frantz, Ashland, Ore. Also, his many nephews, including Webster Young, Santa Fe, N.M.; Doug Fine, Ashland, Ore.; Scott Young, Maui, Hawaii; and his many grandchildren, including Willow Frantz, Brattleboro, Vt.; Seena Frantz, Ashland, Ore.; Emma Frantz, Ashland, Ore.; Frederik Strabo, Seattle, Wash.; Sophia Strabo, Seattle, Wash.; Jason Frantz, San Francisco, Calif.; Ali De Gros, Berkeley, Calif.; his former daughter-in-law, Laura Howser Frantz, Ashland, Ore.; and his dear companions, Linda Waller, Ashland, Ore.; and Pauline Sullivan, Ashland, Ore.