Cover photo for Milton E. Franke's Obituary
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1931 Milton 2023

Milton E. Franke

April 7, 1931 — February 9, 2023

FRANKE, Milton E. (Milt), age 91, of Washington Township, OH passed away on Thursday, February 9, 2023. He was born April 7, 1931, in Springfield, IL to the late Milton and Dorothy Franke. Milt was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Barbara. He is survived by his daughters, Susan (Andrew) Krott of Cincinnati, OH and Judy Franke of Fort Lauderdale, FL and grandchildren Matthew and Sarah Krott.

Milt was a distinguished military graduate of the University of Florida. He graduated in 1952 with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree with honors and a commission as second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. He received a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1954. He earned his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from The Ohio State University in 1967.

As a civilian, he worked for Westinghouse Electric Company, DuPont, and the Power Plant Laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) specializing in aircraft fuel systems.

He was appointed to the highest academic rank of professor at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) and named Professor Emeritus upon his retirement in 2007. As a professor, he conducted research, advised the research of graduate students, published and presented papers, and developed and taught graduate courses in mechanical, aeronautical, and astronautical engineering. He received awards for integrating teaching and research, professional leadership, enhancing student education, and advancing aerospace technology. He authored (or co-authored) over 130 publications and 5 patents.

After receiving his commission and employed at AFIT, Milt continued his Air Force Reserve commitments for 30 years until he retired as colonel. He directed the laboratory reserve programs at several Air Force bases while he was assigned to Air Force Systems Command, Andrews Air Force Base in Washington, D.C.

His awards include the National Defense Service Medal, the Air Force Longevity Service Award, and the Air Force Outstanding Civilian Career Service Award. He was listed in several “Who’s Who” publications, and he received an outstanding alumnus award by the Mechanical Engineering Alumni Society of The Ohio State University.

Milt was active in many professional societies including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) for which he held numerous editorial and leadership positions. He was elected as an ASME Fellow and received the ASME Dedicated Service Award. He also was active in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and was named AIAA Associate Fellow. He was elected to the national honorary engineering societies, Sigma Tau and Tau Beta Pi. He also was a member of the fraternity Delta Tau Delta.

Milt married the love his life, Barbara in 1955. One of the highlights of his career was when Barb and his young daughters would accompany him on his teaching and conference tours throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Milt enjoyed handball, fishing, cross-country skiing, golf, bridge, and travel. Milt and Barb were avid supporters of the Dayton Performing Arts. They were long-time members of Normandy Church and the Miami Valley Cross-Country Ski Club.

A funeral service will be held on Saturday, February 25, 2023 at 11:00AM at Normandy Church, 450 W Alex Bell Rd, Dayton, OH 45459. Family and friends may visit from 10:00AM until the time of service. Milt will be laid to rest at David’s Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Endowment Fund of Normandy Church. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be made at

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, February 25, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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