Francis J. Duszak

March 4, 1940 - August 20, 2020 Landenberg, PA | Age 80

Francis J. Duszak, age 80, passed away peacefully at his home in Landenberg, PA, on August 20, 2020. He is predeceased by his parents, Stella and Francis (“Hap”) Duszak, his sister, Mary Pazzi, and his brother Edward. Fran is survived by Kathryn, his wife of 53 years, sons Francis, Jr., and David, by his daughter, Frances Ann Jackson, his three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, as well as many nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his twin sister, Odilia (“Dee”).

Visitation and funeral service will be held at St. Hedwig Catholic Church, 408 S. Harrison Street on Friday, September 4. Visitation begins at 9:30am; funeral service at 10:30am. Interment will be held at 1:00pm at Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 2465 Chesapeake City Road, Bear, DE. Flowers may be delivered to St. Hedwig Church at 8:30am on the morning of the service. Donations may be made to Wounded Warriors Project, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, Kansas 66675-8516, National League of POW/MIA Families, 5673 Columbia Pike, Suite 100, Falls Church, VA 22041, or Tunnel to Towers Foundation, 2361 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island, NY 10306.

A reception celebrating Fran’s life will be held at a later date.

Fran was born and grew up in Wilmington, DE, on March 4, 1940. He attended St. Hedwig Catholic Elementary School, Colwyck Jr. High, and Brown Vocational High School. He was always very athletic and excelled in several sports, receiving awards for both wrestling and football. He played both offense and defense on Brown’s football team and played in the All-Star game in 1958.

After graduating from high school in 1958, Fran worked for Hercules Powder Company at the Research Center in Wilmington, DE. He entered the U. S. Army in 1964 and served in Vietnam before returning home in 1966. He continued to work at Hercules until his retirement in 1999. In the 80’s, he went to night classes and received an Associate’s Degree from Goldey Beacom.

Fran and Kathy met at Rehoboth Beach, DE, during Memorial Day weekend in 1966. They married in April 1967, and have been together ever since. Francis, Jr. was born in June 1968 and David was born in March 1974.

Fran is a past president of the local National Wild Turkey Federation chapter, The Laurel Long Beards. An avid turkey hunter for over 50 years, he enjoyed his 100+ hunts at his cabin in McConnellsburg, PA, where he shared many great and memorable times with his sons and some of his closest friends. He also hunted in South Carolina, where he could visit with his daughter, Francy, his grandchildren and great- grandchildren, all of whom he adored.

At the required age of 18, Fran became a member of the Polaski Legion in Wilmington, DE. He has been an active member ever since, and enrolled both sons as soon as they reached the required age. He enjoyed going to the Polaski Day Parade and the annual Polish Festival whenever he could.

One of Fran’s hobbies was gardening. Every year he planted a giant vegetable garden and got much pleasure giving most of his vegetables away to family and friends.

A runner for over 50 years, Fran remained athletic all his life. He was an active member of Hockessin Athletic Club and always exceeded expectations.

Aside from his many accomplishments, Fran was a wonderful husband, father and friend, and will be missed by many. Kathy called him “my warrior, my hero, who always made me feel safe.” His children idolized him. Each of his closest friends knew they could always count on him; he always had their backs. He was loved and admired for many reasons, including his loyalty, self-discipline and determination, his endless pranks and zany sense of humor. It was often said: “He is the toughest guy I know.”

Memorial Donations

Wounded Warriors Project

P.O. Box 758516
Topeka, Kansas 66675-8516

National League of POW/MIA Families

5673 Columbia Pike
Suite 100
Falls Church, VA 22041

Tunnel to Towers Foundation

2361 Hylan Boulevard
Staten Island, NY 10306.


  1. My heart goes out to my best friend Kathy and her family. I first saw Fran when he met Kathy in Delaware. My Polish background made an immediate connection and I will never forget him. My sincere sympathy to Kathy and their family.

    Sandra H. Strain | September 8, 2020 at 10:46 AM
  2. So sorry to hear about Franny. I lived across the street from the Duszaks growing up on Lovelace Ave. I knew the whole family and was friends with Franny’s brother Ed. Many times they were at my house. I have many fond memories of Franny and all of the Duszaks. My condolences to his wife, children, grandchildren and Dee. Sorry I will not be at his services in person. As a Vietnam veteran myself, I would like to tell Franny, “Welcome home”.

    Bob Fioravanti

    Bob fioravanti | September 4, 2020 at 7:49 AM
  3. Kathy and family
    So sorry for your loss and it is our loss as well.His sense of humor was indeed legendary.The picture captures him beautifully.
    Not once but many times when you would be talking with Fran he would suddenly say “are we done yet” and he would just
    walk away.Exasperating but very funny also.

    James Ciritella | September 3, 2020 at 8:19 AM
  4. My condolences to the family. I went to Colwyck with Fran and “DEE” and worked with him at Hercules Research Center. What a pleasure to be around him. Always wearing a smile and carrying a pleasurable attitude, he had an ornery way . Always the athlete, he enjoyed
    his sports. Sorry I lost track of hm in these later years.My loss. To the Family you lost a good one.

    PAUL ELDRIDGE | September 2, 2020 at 3:10 PM
  5. I knew Fran at the Hercules Research Center and then renewed contact with him at the Hockessin Athletic Club where my wife, Jane, met him, too. Fran always was friendly and we enjoyed his hunting/camping stories. Our condolences to his family.
    Ernie and Jane Linsay

    Ernie & Jane Linsay | September 1, 2020 at 4:28 PM
  6. We extend our condolences to Frannys wife Kathy and family.
    He certainly will be missed by so many people who loved him.

    Many of the guys at work will remember the weekend trips up to the cabin and how much fun was had.

    Jim and Sheila Kirwin

    James Kirwin | August 31, 2020 at 7:59 PM
  7. Mrs. Duszak – Our hearts are with you during this difficult time. With Deepest Sympathy, Dr. Calhoon, Robin, Tashira, Peggy, Nicole, Tina, Beth, Debbie, Denise

    Dr. Charles Calhoon | August 31, 2020 at 9:33 AM
  8. My condolences to the family. I went to Colwyck with Fran and Dee and then Brown with Fran. Have not had any contact with ether after High School. They were both great schoolmates.

    Eugene Matthews .(Smiley) or (Mattie) | August 31, 2020 at 3:48 AM
  9. Hi, Franny: This is “Woody”. I am glad to have known you, worked with you, and to have known your wonderful wife Kathy. Your great humor and friendly personality will surely be missed by me and all your friends. Rest in peace, my friend.
    Dr. K. F. Lin: August 30, 2020

    Dr. K. F. Lin | August 30, 2020 at 6:40 PM
  10. So very sorry to hear of Franny’s passing. I worked with him at Hercules and always enjoyed his sense of humor!! He was so much fun to work with and my sincere condolences go out to his family and friends. One of a kind! If you knew him, you’d never forget him ❤️

    Mimi McMillin | August 30, 2020 at 2:26 PM
  11. To All the Family,
    Mom and I are so sorry to hear about the passing of Franny. Please accept our deepest most sincere condolences.
    Mom remembers him as a devoted military man, funny, and compassionate. He will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved him.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

    Barbara Lunsford | August 30, 2020 at 11:51 AM
  12. I worked with Fran at the Research Center also. My condolences to his family. Jay Kocher

    Barry J Kocher | August 29, 2020 at 7:47 PM
  13. I worked with Fran at Hercules and he was one of the funniest guys I ever knew. Rest In Peace my friend.

    Frank Kriss | August 28, 2020 at 7:41 PM
  14. Ii am so very sorry for your loss. I am one of Dee’s closest friend’s.
    May he rest in peace!

    Sandy Todd | August 28, 2020 at 5:44 PM
  15. Dear Dave, Fran Jr. & The Duszak Family,

    We are so sorry for the loss of Francis. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. Remember that we, and all of your friends, are thinking about you, and love and care about you.

    Robert Fanelli & Karin Morris | August 28, 2020 at 12:46 PM
  16. I’ve known Fran since high school and always enjoyed his company and his unique sense of humor. I’ll always remember our senior prom and how we waxed and polished my car so our dates would think we were hot stuff. How Franny and I booked ocean view rooms while in FL on company business. Man we had some fun times. Will miss him, but will know that we will meet up again in a better place and continue our friendship. God bless Fran and his family at this difficult time.
    Ed Lukowski

    Ed Lukowski | August 28, 2020 at 12:40 AM

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