Francis enlisted in the Navy Air Corps on October 13, 1942, and entered active service on May 13, 1943. Following graduation from naval air training in Corpus Christi, Texas, Francis was commissioned an Ensign on December 13, 1944. He received his Certificate of Pilot Status on April 23, 1945, from Jacksonville, Florida, and went on to advanced PBY training in Hutchinson, Kansas. Francis was assigned to a unit in Miami, Florida, August 12, 1945, flying reconnaissance missions over international waters. He was transferred to San Diego, California, on October 30 and honorably discharged from active service on December 22, 1945. Francis also served as a Lieutenant Junior Grade in the Naval Reserve following his active duty.
A Little Prayer for You
A Little Prayer for You
The family wishes to express their gratitude for your kindness evidenced in
In Loving Memory Francis J. Zerwas
The Mass of Christian Burial
Celebrant REVEREND JAMES MCALPIN
Lectors Brian Beck Iola Muhlbauer
Mass Servers SHELBY HANSEN ERICKA TANK
Eucharistic Minister MARGARET FREESE
Gift Bearers Grandchildren ALLISON GRANER SCOTT WANNINGER RACHEL WANNINGER
Music "You ARE MINE" "PRAYER OF ST FRANCIS" "LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH"
Interment SACRED HEART CEMETERY, MANNING, IOWA
Casketbearers - Grandchildren MATT GRANER, STEVEN GRANER, BRIAN BECK, MICHELLE GRANER, STEPHANIE BECK, KATIE BECK
Francis (Frisco) James, son of Philip and Agnes (Brunnier) Zerwas, was born November 27, 1922, in Manning, Iowa. He graduated from Manning High School in 1940 and attended Iowa State University. From 1943 to 1945, Francis served in the Navy Air Corps as a pilot. He flew missions over international waters out of Miami, Florida. After his honorable discharge, Francis returned to Manning and worked in the family business, the Manning Telephone Company.
On July 8, 1952, Francis was united in marriage with Rita M. Theobald at St. Mary's Church in Mapleton. Four children were born to this union. The family made their home in Manning where Francis continued to work in the family business. After Manning Telephone Company was sold in 1967 he became the area manager for United Telephone Company until his retirement in 1982.
Francis was active in the community. He was a member of Sacred Heart Parish and the Parish Council, as well as the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, City Council and Rotary where he served as president. He was a charter member and director of Manning Development Corporation and served on the golf course and ambulance boards. Francis served for many years as a member and past chief of the Manning Volunteer Fire Department and a director of the Manning Trust and Savings Bank. In his spare time, he enjoyed golfing, bowling, woodworking, yard work, playing cards, and trips to the casino.
After a number of years of health problems, Francis' health began to seriously deteriorate around Christmas 2003. On Thursday, February 5, 2004, Francis died at Manning Regional Healthcare Center in Manning at the age of 81 years, 2 months and 9 days.
Preceding Francis in death are his parents, three brothers Eugene, Robert and LeRoy (Dick) Zerwas and sister Sister Agnese, FSPA, (Alice Zerwas).
He is survived by his wife Rita Zerwas of Manning; four children: Jennifer and husband Robert Beck of Omaha, NE; Jessica and husband Gary Graner of Omaha, NE; Brad Zerwas of San Diego, CA; and Joanna and husband Jim Wanninger of Des Moines; 9 grandchildren: Matt, Steven, Michelle and Allison Graner; Brian, Stephanie and Katie Beck; and Scott and Rachel Wanninger; sister Sister Mary Philip (Phyllis Zerwas) of LaCrosse, WI; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Manning Monitor articles ------ 1945
Corpus Christi, Texas.
He is a former student of the Iowa State college, Ames.
Types of planes in Naval aviation include fighters, dive bombers, scout and observation,
multi-engined bombers, patrol planesĄ and air transports.
Ensign Francis Zerwas, son of Mrs. Agues Zerwas, has a 15-day leave enroute from Jacksonville, Fla., to Hutchinson, Kans.
He is in the navy air corps.
Ensign Francis Zerwas of the Navy Air Corps went to Hutchinson, Kansas after spending a leave with his mother, Mrs. Phil Zerwas and other relatives. Ensign Zerwas came here from Jacksonville, Florida and left Tuesday morning.