Franklin Darrell Biernat, 72, of Rice Lake, formerly of Marinette, Wis., passed away unexpectedly Sunday, March 15, 2020, at home from a heart attack. Born May 6, 1947, to Frank and Ceil Biernat, he graduated from Marinette High School in 1967 and served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War until an honorable discharge in June of 1973.
 Franklin married the former Marlene A. Fritz on Oct. 2, 1971, at Zion Lutheran Church in Peshtigo. He worked at American Excelsior in Marinette until its closing in 2000, when they relocated to Rice Lake to continue his career as a machinist for American Excelsior in Rice Lake, where he retired from in 2015. While at American Excelsior, he earned a trip to Texas for being employee of the year. He was a member of VFW Post 1887 Menominee, Mich., and VFW Post 0194 Cameron, Wis. With his love of music, he enjoyed being a guitarist in many local bands as well as church bands, but especially loved spending time with family on camping trips. He also enjoyed gardening, campfires with their Rice Lake friends, cooking, making pickles and canning vegetables from their garden, woodworking and puttering in his shed and was well known for making a good old fashion. They enjoyed vacationing in Sault Ste. Marie and loved the scenic view of the Mackinac Bridge from their hotel balcony.
    Franklin is survived by his wife of 48 years, Marlene Biernat; two daughters: Kimberly (Dale) Wendt of Rice Lake and Nicole Lange of Marinette; grandchildren: Hope, Grace and Faith Kamin, Hannah Jacobs, Madison Kamin and Hunter and Kira Wendt; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law: Joe and Lynette Brosig, and Mike and Diane Fritz; sister-in-law, Markie Fritz; many nieces and nephews; and special friends and neighbors: Patty Jervais and Jeff Brault, and Leann and Bruce Hensel. Including his parents, he was preceded in death by two sisters and brothers-in-law: Gladys and Jim Marcus, and Elaine and Blair May; brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Sophie Miller; brother, Gary Miller; sister-in-law, Charlotte Miller; mother and father-in-law: Harold and Mary ‘Liz’ Fritz; and a brother in-law, Dennis Fritz.
    Visitation will be held on Saturday, March 21, at Berth and Rosenthal Funeral Home, 331 S. Ellis Ave., Peshtigo from 1 p.m. until time of the service at 3 p.m.  
    Burial will be at a future date in Glenwood Memorial Gardens in Marinette.