Deaths Death Notices
FRANZEK, Dr. Phyllis J.
FRANZEK - Dr. Phyllis J. Age 65, of Los Angeles, CA, passed away January 3, 2016, after a short illness. Born in Lewiston, NY, she was the daughter of the late Raymond and Eugenia (Deskiewicz) Franzek. Phyllis was raised in Lewiston, NY, and was graduated from St. Peter Roman
Catholic School and Lewiston Porter Central High School. She began her teaching career at St. Peter Roman Catholic School in Lewiston, NY. She further pursued her interests in English Studies, earning two MA degrees, one each from the University of Virginia and the University of Southern
California. She later achieved a PhD at the University of Southern California. Phyllis was employed as a Professor for many years at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, Writing Program, active there until the time of her death. Her many research interests and publication topics included: Niagara Falls as an iconic force in the national imaginary and American literature; Native American Tuscaroran art and mythology; Islamic influence on contemporary American poetry. She served as a Professor, English at Dogus University in Istanbul, Turkey from 2004 to 2006. She was loved and respected by her students at each
academic institution at which she taught, earning her top reviews from her students. Phyllis was the fourth of six children and grew up as part of a large and raucous group of siblings and extended family. She was very bright and intellectual and would often quote many authors and poets, confounding the rest of the family. As her mother, (Jean) was the Church organist at St Peter's Church in Lewiston, she was conscripted early to be part of the church choir, to sing and turn the music pages for many and varied church services. She had a wonderful musical ability, and keen sensitivity for Literature, Arts and Letters. Phyllis also loved nature and the outdoors and spent several summers working in Yellowstone National Park as well as a year in Alaska pursuing various
adventures. Phyllis also worked at
Artpark in the early years of the Park. Dr. Franzek is survived by sisters Sandra Switzer Rueter of Lewiston, NY, Patricia A. Walton of Sebring, FL; brothers Ronald R. Franzek of Youngstown, NY, Michael J. (Mary) Franzek of Tierra Verde, FL, Peter (Janet) Franzek of St. Petersburg, FL; She is also survived by aunts Dolores
(Leonard) Zabrocki of Geneseo, NY, and Adeline (late Frank) Noon of Amherst, NY, and several nieces, nephews, and many cousins. She was predeceased by her brothers-in-law Edward Switzer and William Rueter of Lewiston, NY, and uncles Col.
Theodore (late Bobbie) Franzek and Clement (late Pauline) Deskiewicz. A memorial service is planned for a later date. Please visit www.hardisonfuneralhomes.com for online condolences.