Cover photo for Franklin Delno Jorgensen's Obituary
Franklin Delno Jorgensen Profile Photo
1933 Franklin 2021

Franklin Delno Jorgensen

May 20, 1933 — November 13, 2021

Franklin D. Jorgensen of Audubon, Iowa passed away on November 13th, 2021 at the age of 88. Born 5th of 12 children on May 20, 1933 to H.P. Sr and Carrie (Christensen) Jorgensen, during the FDR era - hence, he was given the name Franklin Delno Jorgensen. His infamous work ethic and trademark stubbornness will not be forgotten.

Enlisting in the United States Navy at the ripe old age of 17, he had to convince his parents to sign his enlistment papers. He headed off to basic training at Great Lakes Naval Base and spent time overseas getting to see several European ports while working mechanics and refrigeration on different warships. His time in the Navy taught him many things, mainly learning he didn’t much like being bossed around - that never changed. Upon returning stateside, he promptly headed back home with a Navy buddy and both were set up on a double date. Frank found his wife Carol, on that very date. No, not HIS date, but his buddy’s date, Carol Densmore, to whom he was married for 62 years. Together they built a life filled with hard work, good times with their family, and much laughter.

As a mechanic, truck driver, school bus driver, and a fixer of all things, he truly loved helping people. Many have said - “nobody knows a truck like Frank”. His hobbies included reinforcing decks, doors, and cabinets - not even a tornado could take out. He was a self taught welder, carpenter, electrician, and small appliance repairman, but he most enjoyed helping anyone with a stalled out car or flat tire. He was known to drive several hours at the drop of a hat to help friends and family trim trees, install windows, and get their vehicles safely back on the road. His Dodge Charger served as a rolling toolbox on wheels - always prepared for whatever needed repaired.

Frank wasn’t fond of the weighboys on I-80, nor any popo he ever met. He was also not fond of potholes, dumb drivers, Chinese food, Mexican food, Italian Food or anyone that gave him the stink eye.

But Frank had many loves, too. He dearly loved his wife and kids - Jodi & Dwaine and Jamie & Stacy and “had the best grandkids in the world” - Erin & Jason, Kirk, Cara, Grace, Gunner, and Jett. He was affectionately known as Grandpa Frank by his great grandkids Lexi (10), Beck (9), Briea (8), Mallory (7), Nolan (5), and Addi (2). He loved pickled herring, WD40, cooked cabbage, a darn good bargain, sardines on crackers, a good meat and potato meal purchased at HyVee in Ankeny, political memes, salmon patties, putting pepper on everything, Boss Hog from Dukes of Hazzard, fried eggs, pearl snaps, anything made in the USA and spending time with his beloved toy poodle, Ellie.

His fondness of Spaghetti Westerns was only surpassed by the FOX channel, Molly B’s Polka and vanilla bean ice cream. He enjoyed country music: Hank, Johnny and Jones. Oh, and Kitty Wells, too. Some of his best years were spent working on his brother’s racecar and years later with his son doing the same thing. He loved old semi-trailer boneyards, all salvage yards and would drive miles out of the way for a classic car show. He truly loved his blowtorch, always sitting on his counter ready to light the stove, a candle, or de-ice his sidewalk or windshield. He loved solving local and world problems while drinking coffee with his friends at Darrell’s and Southside.

Nothing was trash to this man born during the Great Depression. His garage was proof. It stored more reclaimed wood than “Menards, Home Depot, and Lowe’s” combined (says Carol). It was home to every size nail, screw and drill bit as well as any hand or power tool you could ever want. And a box of old trampoline parts - only to become a muffler on his sister-in-law’s car. Frank was the original “MacGyver” - unlocking car doors with coat hangers, making motor gaskets from left over rubber, securing foundations with jacks and vice grips, attached fenders with pop-rivets and welding anything that needed extra reinforcement. His daughter-in-law learned his ways first hand when he utilized a chainsaw to cut a hole in the side of her house to make room for a window install.

Frank was well known for not holding back his political opinion, a knack for telling it like it is and yet generous to a fault. He gave back every gift that was ever given to him. He gave back towels, gift certificates, coffee mugs, lawn chairs, coffee pots and flashlights because the gift-giver “needed them more than he did”. He made the best pancakes. Frank was a math whiz and a really good artist. In early life he did pencil drawings in school and most recently he sketched out his ideas for building modification plans on napkins, boards, and scraps of cardboard full of more detail than an elaborate architectural plan. His memory was locktight, never losing a tool or a memento saved. He was a living GPS navigation system - having driven a truck for so many years, he knew every road. He told stories that started with “someone tipped over an outhouse on Main” or “when I was nine and driving the Model A” and ended with “he got thrown in the paddy wagon”. We always wondered if it was actually him.

Frank's life was spent working daylight to sundown, but he always made time for family making endless trips to Des Moines and across the midwest. Distance never stopped Frank, nor did the thought of driving several hours or days just to meet up with someone to buy them a cup of coffee or a meal. Frank lived his life with loyalty and consistency, always truly being there, often before you really even knew you needed him. He will be greatly missed but fondly remembered by all who knew him. His life was a life well lived until the moment he didn’t.

Frank lived for his family and his country - he will certainly be missed.

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, November 23, 2021

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

St. Patrick's Parish Center

102 Market Street, Audubon, IA 50025

A Celebration of Life Memorial Gathering will be held Tuesday, November 23, 2021, at the St. Patrick’s Parish Center from 5:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M. for food and fellowship with the family. A private family Celebration of Life Graveside Service will be held at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery in Adel.

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