Naomi Lee Franz
December 9, 1940 ~ February 26, 2019
Naomi Lee Gunelson-Templeton-Franz, fourth of five, was born on December 9, 1940 in Nevada City, CA to Adolph (Gus) and Evelyn Gunelson. Naomi has two sisters Mary Johnson of Minnesota and Beverly Davis of California. Brothers James Gunelson and Jerry Gunelson were of Minnesota.
Naomi peacefully passed away on February 26, 2019.
Naomi spent her early years in Leadville, CO, before moving to Ouray in 1953. While at Ouray High School, she was in the National Honor Society, on student council, a cheerleader, Pep Club President, the Snow Queen, in the Junior/Senior school plays, and a proud flautist in the band. In her summers, Naomi worked at the pool, the Vista Land Photo Store, and the miniature golf course. Naomi received a full-ride scholarship to Gunnison College earning her degree in Elementary Education in 1962. Naomi met her husband Virgil Lewis Templeton there and had daughters Thea and Tamara before moving to Thousand Oaks, CA and having son Michael. In 1966 they moved to Eugene, OR where Naomi taught third grade fulltime while also being a fulltime graduate student at the University of Oregon. Naomi received her Master’s in Special Education in 1970. She lived in Nebraska raising her three children after the death of Virgil Templeton, continuing her teaching career while making a home for her children.
Naomi and her children took a variety of long road trips to see relatives during the summer months and enjoyed many camping and fishing trips together. In Ouray visiting her parents, Naomi rekindled friendship with schoolmate Roy Allen Franz and became engaged. Naomi and her children moved and they were married on July 1, 1976. Their lifelong friends Elwood Gregory and Marge Yale stood up as Best Man and Matron of Honor. They had two sons Richard Allen and Robert Roy. Naomi worked at the Ouray Schools until retirement in 1996. She also worked at Box Canyon, a short order cook at Priccos, and at the Ouray Variety store. Naomi lived a very energetic life. Roy and Naomi were very active in the Elks Lodge, she was an EMT in Ouray for several years, a member of W.I.S.E., and a longtime member of the Friends of the Library where she immensely enjoyed the Fashion Show luncheons. She took great joy in acting in the melodramas. Many Ouray locals and visitors are familiar with Naomi’s smiling face as she worked at the Ouray Pool for many years—returning to the roots of her youth after her school retirement.
Naomi’s candor was lovely and refreshing. Zipping around in her little yellow car, Naomi’s presence always brought a smile. She loved the freedom of Ouray and was genuinely accepting of others. Naomi was a strong and independent woman. She loved a good laugh, good conversation, and a good Bingo card at the Elks Lodge!
Family was very important to Naomi. She was always eager to attend all get togethers. Naomi is preceded in death by her husbands, Virgil Templeton, Roy Franz, and her daughter Thea Franz Munzing. She is survived by her children: Tamara (John) Fedel, Mike Franz, Richard (Lindsay) Franz, Robert Franz, Stephanie Franz (Greg) Cambell, son in law George Munzing (Starla Jenson) along with Elaine and Krys Munzing. Naomi was blessed with many grandchildren: Nick Munzing, Chelsey (Thorn) Fedel Svendsen, Scott Fedel, Jace Munzing, Garret Munzing, and Jacob Fedel along with Morgan (Mitch) Jenson Long, Tanner Jenson and Tyler Jenson. She also has one great grandchild Xavior Svendsen child of Chelsey and Thorn Svendsen.
Naomi had many close friends she held dear to her heart. She was blessed with so many people who greatly enriched her life.
A memorial will be held on March 16, 2019 at 11:00 am at the Ouray Elks Lodge.