Francis “Fran” T. Rapacz – Obit

Francis “Fran” T. Rapacz, age 97, of Grand Forks, ND passed away on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 at Valley Senior Living in Grand Forks, ND.

Francis Thomas Rapacz was born on March 13, 1926 in Argyle, MN the son of Joseph and Maggie (Pawlowski) Rapacz. Fran grew up and attended school in Argyle, MN and worked on the family farm. In 1944 he joined the United States Army and was honorably discharged with a Purple Heart medal in 1946. On October 26, 1948 he married the love of his life Emily Vasek in Tabor, MN. They recently celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary. He worked for Red River Motor Company in East Grand Forks and also with the US Border Patrol in Grand Forks as a mechanic. In 1960, he began employment as an Officer with the East Grand Forks Police Department, retiring in 1981. Following retirement, Fran worked for Polk County Group Homes.

Francis was a soft spoken, kind and gentle man. He was a man of deep convictions, and his lifestyle was an example for all who knew him. His faithfulness to his wife was the greatest gift he gave his children. As a patriot, he valiantly served in World War II. He protected our local community as a police officer. His love of God was passed on to his family as he instilled Christian values in his home. He was a long time member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in East Grand Forks. He loved music. He could play several instruments, enjoyed dancing with the Polka Lovers’ Club, and cherished family sing-a-longs, especially with his brothers. He loved to play cards, and Smear was his favorite game. Francis was an avid gardener and his favorite place to be was at the Vasek family farm. He always had open arms to run to and a soft lap for his grandchildren and great grandchildren to cuddle. They always put a twinkle in his eye. To know him was an honor, he will be greatly missed.

Family members who survive Fran include his wife, Emily Rapacz of Grand Forks, ND; children, Randy (Diane) Rapacz of East Grand Forks, MN, Karen (Jack) Atkinson of East Grand Forks, MN, Dale (Pam) Rapacz of Eveleth, MN and Allen (Kristin) Rapacz of Billings, MT; 9 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.

He is preceded in death by his parents; son, Thomas Rapacz in 2018; brothers, Floyd, Anton, Donald, Adolph and Joe Jr.; sisters, Bernice, Adele, Margaret and Lucille and son-in-law, Larry Johnson.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Rapacz Family Endowment at Sacred Heart Catholic Church or a charity of your choice.

MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: 11:00 AM, Monday, November 20, 2023 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 200 3rd St. NW, East Grand Forks, MN. Service will be live-streamed on Fran’s page at

VISITATION: 1 hour Prior Funeral Mass on Monday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

INTERMENT: Resurrection Cemetery ~ East Grand Forks, MN.

Military Funeral Honors Conducted By: Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #3817 ~ American Legion Post #157 and the Minnesota Army National Guard. Online Guestbook: Arrangements By: Dahl Funeral Home, East Grand Forks, MN

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