Cover photo for Wilbert James Franti's Obituary
Wilbert James Franti Profile Photo
1937 Wilbert 2024

Wilbert James Franti

February 11, 1937 — April 12, 2024

Wilbert James Franti, 87, of Watton MI passed away Friday, April 12, 2024 at Baraga County Memorial Hospital with his loving family at his side.

He was born February 11, 1937 at the family farm in Covington, MI, son of Martha Franti. Wilbert grew up in Watton and graduated from L'Anse High School in 1955. He married Marcella "Marcy" Kytola on March 26,1960 at Bethany Lutheran Church in Covington.

Wilbert owned and operated WJ Franti & Sons Logging. He enjoyed working in the woods and being outdoors. He was a hard worker and instilled that in his family. He taught them how to do things 'his' way. He could fix anything and often invented ways to do so with parts he kept in his garage filled with useful things. He was very proud of building his family home with his uncle Waino and help from others.

In his younger years, Wilbert enjoyed hunting and trapping. He was an avid Green Bay Packers fan. He loved listening to music, especially polkas. Wilbert enjoyed spending time with his family and loved them so much. He attended sports and school events and taught his grandchildren to drive and to speak Finnish. He was a great storyteller, even up to his final moments.

Survivors include his loving wife of 64 years, Marcy of Watton. Children Steven (Amy) Franti of Covington, Scott (Paula) Franti of Negaunee, Shelly Franti of Watton, Jerry Franti of Ishpeming, Jon (Julie) Franti of Escanaba and Sherry (Jason) Rice of Watton. Grandchildren Amber, Megan, Tanner, Allyson "Ally", Nichole "Niki", Cassandra "Cass", Amanda, Summer and Jackson "JJ". Great grandchildren Logan, Mackenzie, Jordi, Christian, Vayda, AJ, Austin, Bella and Andy. Brothers Ron (Diane) Risku of Watton and Gary Risku of Watton. Sister Shirley Younggren (John) of Covington. Sisters-in-law, brother-in-law, nieces, nephews and cousins.

Preceding him in death are his mother Martha and stepfather Isaac Risku, brothers Daniel and Eddie Risku, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nephews and a niece.

A graveside service will be held on Saturday, May 18th at 12:00 p.m. at the Covington Cemetery with Pastor Richard Little officiating. A luncheon and fellowship will follow at the Bethany Lutheran Church in Covington. The Jacobson Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Friends may sign Wilbert's guestbook or send condolences at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Wilbert James Franti, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside for Wilbert James Franti

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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