Photo courtesy Nate Grimm
June 16, 2017 – Slinger, WI – Keith Franz, the director of The Venerable Fire Museum Inc., on Hillside Road in Slinger has died.
Word of the death was initially posted by the Milwaukee Fire Bell Club.
Franz was well known in the Wisconsin fire service and in many national venues of fire service.
Under Franz’s guidance, inspiration, and direction his non-profit Cedar Lake Venerable Fire Museum was created and is maintained.
“Keith really worked to promote the history of the fire service,” said Ron Naab, President of Badger Firefighters Association. “He was very meticulous; he had furniture from old fire stations and he restored fire trucks to like new condition.”
Naab raved about Franz’s collection of fire boxes. “Keith lived and breathed fire history,” said Naab. “Even though he was never a career firefighter he was respected for his knowledge and dedication.”
On Labor Day of 1961, the Cedar Lake Fire Company was created and later became the Venerable Fire Museum, Inc.
This fire museum is considered as one of the five best fire museums in the United States.
Franz also served a number of years as the Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Association Executive Secretary, along with serving as Secretary of the Washington County Fire Chiefs Association.
The Venerable Fire Museum was featured in the John McGivern series Around the Corner on PBS.
Details on memorial services will be posted as soon as the information is available.
Photo courtesy Nate Grimm.