Charles Eben Franz, 85 of Hendersonville passed away peacefully on Monday, January 25th at home. Born in Garden City, NY, he was the first son of Francis Storer and Charles Franz of Garden City, NY. Eben was a 1957 graduate of St. Lawrence University, where he studied History and Government.
For 37 years Eben was employed by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company rising to Claims Manager of the Manhattan Construction Office where he developed his love New York City and all of its chaos and diversity.
He served as an Army Engineer in Germany for two years and returned to service again when the Berlin wall was erected. He remembered his service and time in Germany fondly, having loved the local Jazz clubs and travels throughout Europe with his Army buddies.
Eben devoted his life to the service of others. During his 37 year career, he supervised the training of countless recent college graduates readying them for their careers in business and the law. Upon his retirement he devoted the next 20 plus years advocating for the working poor by helping families transition from welfare to work and participation in several youth support organizations. He served on the Board of Mission, as a Sunday school teacher and an usher at the First United Methodist Church in Hendersonville. His service earned him the honor of running the Olympic Torch through Asheville for the 1996 Olympics.
A natural, life-long athlete, Eben wrestled his way through college, ran and bicycled all over long island, climbed all of the south’s 40 tallest peaks, and swam countless miles at the local YMCA well into his 70’s.
An avid nature an urban photographer, Eben captured and displayed thousands of images of his travels throughout the US, and was a life-long supporter of National Geographic and the Sierra Club.
Eben’s dedication to his work and avocations were only surpassed by his devotion to his wife and daughters to whom he gave his whole heart and soul as well as his boundless energy throughout his life.
He will be remembered for his kindness towards everyone he ever met, always noting that, “Everyone you meet you either were, are, or will be; so be kind.”
Eben is survived by his wife of 59 years, Dorothy Franz of Hendersonville, his brother Langdon Franz and wife Loretta of Hendersonville, his sister Althea Robinson and husband Jack of Garden City, his two daughters, Pamela Susan Ellis and husband Daniel of Hendersonville, and Beth Franz and husband Bob Kretz of Brooklyn New York along with his two granddaughters, Emily Grace Ellis of Hendersonville and Georgia Gayle Kretz of Brooklyn. He is also survived by his special “girls” Terri Mothershead and husband, Derek of Hendersonville and Ovidia Wheeler and husband Chris of Georgia, and his “little brother” Chris Snyder of Mills River.
The family would like to thank Dr. Eric Byrd for his love, friendship and incomparable care.
A memorial service will be hosted on Zoom with a graveside service anticipated this coming summer in Greenwood Cemetery, in Brooklyn, NY. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Erin Johnson at Action International Ministries for street children in the Philippines, The Sierra Club or The American Heart Association.