Gerald Allen Franzel

July 30, 1929February 18, 2021

Beloved husband of Beatrice Franzel for 68 years; Dear father and father-in-law of Dee Mintz (Steven), Michael Franzel (Sue), and Aaron Franzel (Ellen). Son of the late Max Franzel and the late Esther Brasler. Loving grandfather of Rachel Mintz (Jacob Tarabar), Caryn Mintz, Rebekah Kutten (Robert), the late Jacob Franzel, Sarah Franzel, and Micah Franzel; Great-grandfather of Mason Tarabar; Dear brother of Marilyn Franzel; Dear cousin and friend. He was a wise, kind, and compassionate man in his profession and at home. Gerald was an optometrist in private practice for over five decades. His tireless efforts throughout the 1970s culminated in the founding of the University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Optometry and expansion of the profession into diagnostic and therapeutic management of eye conditions in Missouri. He continued to work for the betterment of the profession as Associate Dean of Continuing Education and E-Learning at the college until his retirement at age 85. Private Funeral Service Sunday, February 21 at 3:30 PM. Live Stream details below.

Memorial contributions preferred to Friends of Kids with Cancer.


  • Private Funeral Service Available via Live Stream at 3:30 PM CST

    Sunday, February 21, 2021



Gerald Allen Franzel

have a memory or condolence to add?

Stuart Richer

February 26, 2021

Ocular Wellness & Nutrition Society – 25 February 2021
200 + optometrists in attendance
It is my honor to pay tribute to Dr Gerald Franzel,
One week ago we all lost one of Optometry’s giants - Dr Gerald Franzel, and the Franzel family lost a husband of 68 years, father and grandfather. Beyond those accomplishments, during the 1970s Dr Franzel’ s individual efforts, along with 2 other men culminated in the founding of the University of Missouri College of Optometry and expansion of the profession into diagnostic and therapeutic pharmaceuticals.
I had known Jerry only during the winter season of his life, for about 15 years and during this time when our own OWNS society began in 2008, under the leadership of Dr Jeff Anshel. The yearly UMSL Ocular Nutrition Spring Weekend eventually merged into the OWNS Spring meeting, but Jerry was first with this concept, not me nor Dr Anshel. Even before our society was formed, I was asked by Jerry to create the concept of a weekend of Continuing Education specifically devoted to Ocular Nutrition and later ocular wellness, which Dean Larry Davis enthusiastically has continued into its’ 13th year. This was at a time when the entire profession would have laughed at Doctor Franzel. No one is laughing now, as we all attempt to build our immune systems, and those of our families and patients using natural medicine, based upon the education provided during these meetings.
Beyond his visionary status within the profession, Jerry was known as a quiet, unassuming, wise and compassionate man with a witty sense of humor. He was a great encouraging factor in my own life, always encouraging me to expand into subject matters that could play a difference in the health of the public, and health of our profession as well.
Dr Franzel above all was a truth seeker, seeking out other truth seekers. Most don’t want the truth but constant reassurance that what they believe in is truth. Those who have the will and passion to see will see.

Mary Migneco

February 24, 2021

My condolences to the family. Dr. Franzel was a great asset to the world of optometry. I feel privileged to have been his student with fond memories of his kind and gentle demeanor.
Class of 1991

Sneha Lin

February 24, 2021

I was in the class of 2007 and had Dr. Franzel as a professor for a couple of courses. Even after decades of teaching, he still had a passion for it and I made good use of my notes from his classes to study for boards.

Please accept my condolences for the loss of your father, Dr. A. Franzel. He was a great man.

Jodi Becker

February 21, 2021

Dr. Aaron Franzel,
We are so sorry for the lost of your father. Our prayers are with your family.

Sam Sanders, Jodi Becker, and Noah Sanders

Martha Menendez

February 21, 2021

Dr. Franzel welcomed me to an interview to join the College of Optometry, a few days later I received a letter from him encouraging me to accept the job and join the team, I did join the College of Optometry and Dr. Franzel (a.k.a. Deano) became my mentor, supporter and a friend. That was a blessing for 23 years, a blessing that I will cherish and treasure for the rest of my life.

Everyone should be that lucky, everyone should have a Deano in their life, a thoughtful, warm, smart, witty, pick-me-upper soul.

May the Franzel family be in peace and comfort by holding on to his memory forever

Janice White

February 21, 2021

Dr. G.A. Franzel was quick to welcome me to the College of Optometry in 1989. He was so kind, soft-spoken and had a wonderful calming presence. He was a quiet leader and so passionate about Optometry. He was very dedicated to quality continuing education programs for optometrists but I am going to say his most passionate service was to his family. What an amazing father and grandfather! His wit was dry and sharp. He was a joy to work with for 25 years. Wishing his family peace and love and wonderful memories to comfort them until they meet again.

Judy Franzel Rosenthal

February 21, 2021

I am so sorry to learn about Jerry's passing. He was such a kind person!!! I always loved seeing you and jerry at the mall when you would walk. Loved talking with you and catching up. Thinking about you and your family. Judy Franzel Rosenthal

andrew harber

February 19, 2021

I am so sorry to hear about Jerry's passing. He had such a warm inviting smile and was always genuinely interested in others. I really enjoyed my visits with him at Brooking Park when my mom was there for rehab. His face always lit up every time he saw me walking towards him. May his memory be a blessing.

Fei Fu

February 19, 2021

So sorry for your loss. I wish you and your family good health.