April 23, 1959 - May 6, 2022
On Friday, May 6, 2022, the Francka family lost their greatest farmer to a battle with lymphoma. Bernard Leo Francka, Jr., “Bern,” fought for over a year with the support of his loved ones and medical team. Bern was a strong man, with a love for God’s green Earth and his family. Born in Springfield, Missouri, April 23, 1959, to Barbara (Horton) and Bernard Francka, Sr. Bernie was raised on the family farm, shadowing and learning the trade from his dad. He attended Bolivar High School, Class of 1977. He participated in football and baseball and he was also an active member of the Bolivar FFA, where his love of farming continued. During this time, he began courting his high school sweetheart, Cindy Barham. They were married August 14, 1981, and were blessed with three children; Bernard Leo III (B.L.), Mallory Ann, and Samuel Clark. He was a faithful member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Bolivar. In the local agricultural community, Bern was one of the greats. He was his family’s fourth generation to farm their land. From milking cows, growing and harvesting crops, carpentry, and mechanics, there was very little he couldn’t do. Bern began his own custom harvesting services, where he loved being behind the wheel of his John Deere equipment. He held various positions over the years, including being a board member of the Bolivar Farmers Exchange, county committee-man for Polk County FSA, and an active member of the Bolivar Young Farmers. Over time, he became a self-taught explorer of the world wide web; from online farm equipment auctions, to farm YouTube channels, Bern could be found late evenings, at his basement desk, with a salty bowl of popcorn searching online for his next big idea. Bernard is survived by his loving wife, Cindy; mother, Barbara; brother, Raymond (Jane); sister, Amy (Brian Perkins); son, B.L. and wife Keli; daughter, Mallory and husband Jesse Ramsey; son, Sam and wife Faith; grandchildren: Boe, Jax, Gabe, Kellsey, Annie, Dal, Landon, Tucker and Holden; brother-in-law David Barham (Lisa), and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his father, Bernard Francka, Sr.; brother, Daniel Francka, and in-laws, Randy and Janice Barham. Visitation for Bernard will be held 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM Sunday, May 15, 2022 at the Butler Funeral Home in Bolivar, MO. Funeral Mass will be held 10:30 AM Monday, May 16, 2022 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Bolivar, MO. Burial will take place in St. Wenceslaus Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Wenceslaus Cemetery. To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Bernard Leo Francka Jr. please visit our Sympathy Store.
On Friday, May 6, 2022, the Francka family lost their greatest farmer to a battle with lymphoma. Bernard Leo Francka, Jr., “Bern,” fought for over a year with the support of his loved ones and medical team. Bern was a strong man,... View Obituary & Service Information
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