Lincoln Highway icon Franzwa passes

I’m sorry to report that Lincoln Highway Association pioneer and stalwart Gregory Franzwa passed away late Sunday night. Franzwa was instrumental in founding both the Oregon-California Trails Association and the modern Lincoln Highway Association. He edited the LHA’s Forum for most of its 17 years, and in 1995 he began a series of state-by-state guidebooks to the Lincoln Highway that covered the western portion of the route. His Patrice Press carries the numerous books he has authored about western trails.


His wife Kathy wrote that “he left us peacefully, at home, with me at his side. I cannot stress strongly enough how much his friends in OCTA and the LHA meant to him. All of the letters, emails, and cards brightened his last days very much. He asked that I scatter his ashes on the Oregon Trail.”

The last note he sent to me was an endorsement for my forthcoming Lincoln Highway Companion book. Even ailing, he was willing to lend a hand to a friend and to the highway. I appreciate his unending help and support in the two decades I knew him.

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3 Responses to “Lincoln Highway icon Franzwa passes”

  1. Denny Gibson Says:

    I never met Gregory Franzwa but did speak with him on the phone a few times and know he’s a fellow I’d have liked in person. He will be certainly be missed even though he has left some wonderful books to be remembered by.

    Is there a successor at the Forum?

  2. Melinda Newberry Says:

    I had the privilege of knowing Gregory personally. He was an unofficial grandpa to my two oldest kids, and had such fun playing with them. Melody and Marshall both adored him, as well. He taught my son to swim in the pool behind his house in the foothills of the Tucsons. We sometimes played his tuba. (Did you know he was a mucisian also, and played in the Tiger Rag Forever band?)

    I worked with him at Patrice Press, briefly, and always admired his ability to write about his passions. He was a great guy, always eager to share his vast knowledge of western history.

    Thanks for the memories, Gregory.

  3. Rick Sebak’s Blog » #1. Getting the Gregory Says:

    […] Lincoln Highway News blog, I remembered reading about Mr. Franzwa’s failing health and his passing (an apt term for a highway enthusiast!) and the tributes to him from other members and current LHA […]

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