MATTHEW V. FRANKENwas born on March 16, 1976 to Larry and Pamela (Harnack) Franken at the Luverne Community Hospital in Luverne, Minnesota. He was raised in town and attended Luverne Public Schools. While growing up, Matt enjoyed hanging out with his buddies and playing football, baseball and especially hockey. He affectionately became known as “Frankie” by those he hung around. He graduated from Luverne High School in 1994 and then attended Dakota State University in Madison, South Dakota for one year. He then went to Mankato, Minnesota, for a short time before returning home to Luverne. At this time, Matt went to work for Skattum Confinement constructing buildings and installing equipment. He then went to work at the Luverne Building Center and later joined his brother’s crew at Franken Construction. Matt eventually began his own business in 2014, working as a drywall finisher.
On Tuesday, April 21, 2020, Matt died peacefully in his home at the age of 44 years, one month and five days.
Besides coaching hockey, which he loved, Matt developed a love for playing golf and was a member of the Luverne Country Club for many years. He enjoyed spending time with his family and loved having lazy lake days. His nieces enjoyed jumping on his shoulders for a good game of ‘chicken’ at the lake. He adored those same nieces and attended their events whenever he could, offering advice and supporting them as their number one fan in the stands. Matt made a very big impact on life as he genuinely cared for others and was welcoming to all. He simply was a great guy with a kind heart and soul. His spirit will be well with the many people who knew and loved him.
Matt is lovingly survived by his parents, Larry and Pam of Luverne; three siblings, Tammy Crow (son Elijah) of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Travis (Kairie) Franken (children Hailey and Erik, Kenedee, and Tiana) of Luverne, and Abbey (Ryan) Behr (daughters Payton, Tenley, and Kendyl) of Luverne; Aunt Cheryl Edstrom and family (Amy, Travis, Marshal, and Tucker Dammann; Eric, Monica, Macie, Mallorie, and Eddie Edstrom; and Zach, Riley, Damen, and Hannah); Uncle Bryon and Kristi Franken and family (Carissa and Jason Spaar and Serena and Ronyell Whitaker); Uncle Ron and Jan Harnack and family (Jarrod and Shandra); Aunt Karen and Dale Bosch and family (Jason and Jody, Tim and Trista, Tom and Sandy); Uncle Alan and Zoe Harnack and family (Chris and Jodi, Scott and Shannon, Eric and Whitney). He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Howard and Wilma Franken; maternal grandparents, Vernon and Fanny Harnack; an uncle, Gene Edstrom; and cousin, Becky Crane.
To support Matt’s family during this time, please consider leaving a message to his family on the tribute wall. A video honoring Matt’s life will be uploaded to his tribute page in the coming days.