Christopher John Franzke

Franzke obit photo1

Christopher John Franzke passed away Friday, June 10, 2022, at the age of 34 in Lawrence, KS.

He was born in Topeka, KS to Mary and Mark Franzke and grew up with his brother, Tim in Prairie Village, KS. He attended Washburn in Topeka and later worked as a web developer in Kansas City and Lawrence.

Ask the Franzke family, the Parker family, or his many friends and you might receive many different views of Chris, whether as an artist, a creator, puzzle solver, hilarious cartoonist, respectable cook, and most certainly a masterful musician. An engaging father, a thoughtful companion, a son who imitated and sought to please, a loyal brother, an uncle, a good friend, and a garden builder who was always trying to grow the hottest pepper. Some remember that he was pretty slick on a skateboard.

He was a trusted catcher—in the swimming pool when his son wanted to jump and let his daddy keep his head out of the water. Emmett will remember his dad for the hours of shared creative projects wherein their two minds would meet. He had focus and intense curiosity—enthusiasm to think about and to do.

Chris was adored by those who knew him for his creativity, humor, and talent.

His ability to play music was astonishing. He could figure out any song in a matter of minutes. He knew how to keep the music going and lead if necessary on banjo, guitar, or keyboard. And maybe harmonica and flugelhorn if you asked him. His work as a songwriter was making sparks.

His biggest fans include his son Emmett, partner Emily Parker, parents Mary and Mark Franzke, grandmother Madelyn Franzke, brother Tim Franzke and wife Alyssa, nephew Max, niece Dylan, and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.


A private service for the family will be held for Christopher. A public memorial concert to benefit Emmett will be held on July 31 from 3-6 pm at the Bottleneck in Lawrence, KS.

Memorial Contributions

In lieu of flowers, contributions to a trust fund for Emmett would be greatly appreciated. Those interested in the Emmett Franzke Trust, please send your donations to the care of Mark Franzke 4412 W. 71st Ter, Prairie Village, KS 66208.

“Loves to give love and be loved.”


  1. Jen Heimlich on June 30, 2022 at 5:37 pm

    Chris we miss you. Thank you for sharing your humor, music, drawings, and easygoing nature with all of us. I’m so glad you got to visit us in Springfield! Until we meet again…we love you
    Jenny, Ike, Kieran and Logan

  2. Jen and Danny Regan on June 29, 2022 at 8:43 pm

    Danny and I are thinking of you all and sending love. Christopher sounds like an amazing man.

  3. Cindy Marion on June 27, 2022 at 9:03 pm

    So sorry, Emily! Love to you, your family and beautiful son. Wishing you beautiful memories
    Holding you in our prayers!
    Cindy and Mike Marion

  4. Jim Petrie on June 27, 2022 at 4:32 pm

    Mark and Mary, Kathy and I were so sorry to hear of Chris’ death. We no only too well the pain of losing a son. Mark, your inclusion of the IFAD sticker on the 2019 cow was the most thoughtful gesture anyone made in Jeff’s memory. I wish I was more creative and could reciprocate.

  5. Tracey on June 27, 2022 at 12:06 pm

    What a beautiful tribute. He will be missed by all who ever had the good fortune to meet him.

  6. Dan and Linda Thomas DeLancey on June 27, 2022 at 12:00 pm

    Mark and Mary,
    Sending condolences and prayers for you and your family.

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