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In Memoriam: Francis Joseph Piatz (June 7, 1934 – Feb. 27, 2024)

Francis Joseph Piatz of Mount Angel, Oregon, died Feb. 27, 2024 at the age of 89. He was born at home in the small town of Napoleon, North Dakota on June 7, 1934, to Joseph and Rose (Gross) Piatz. Francis was the middle child in between two sisters. The family moved to Mount Angel when he was two years old.

Francis attended St. Mary’s Grade School, and his high school years were spent at Mt. Angel Prep at the Abbey. He was schooled by the Benedictine monks and excelled in sports, particularly basketball and baseball. It’s no surprise he was the sports editor of both the school newspaper and annual. It was also during that time he picked up the nickname “Cisco,” something that stuck the rest of his life.

He attended Seattle University to pursue a teaching degree, graduating in 1956. In 1958, he returned to Mount Angel to begin a 36-year teaching career and a 40-year coaching career. Through teaching and coaching he left his mark on thousands of young people. 

He was a member of the inaugural class of inductees into the Mt. Angel Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012, named Oregon High School Coaches Association Jr./Mid-High Coach of the Year in 1993, received a Master’s Degree in Education from Oregon State University in 1965, and over the years served on the Mt. Angel Library Board the Mt. Angel Planning Commission.

Francis married Mount Angel native Carol Wachter in St. Mary Catholic Church on June 24, 1961. They lived lives of faith and service to the Catholic Church and the community.

Francis is preceded in death by his beloved wife of 54 years, Carol; his parents; and sisters, Leonora Beyer and Marilyn Seiler. 

He is survived by daughters, Judy (Steve) Carbone of Indianapolis, Carolyn (Terry) Connolly of Tigard and Ruth (Philip) Wehby of Nashville; six adored grandchildren, Sarah, Abigail, Joseph, Maggie and Rachael Wehby, and Mary Grace Connolly; brother-in-law, Fritz Beyer of Salem; sister-in-law, Judith Lujan of San Francisco, nieces, nephews and extended family.

A Rosary and Funeral Mass were held at St. Mary Catholic Church with interment was at Calvary Cemetery. Memorial donations can be made to St. Mary Catholic Church or the Francis & Carol Piatz Scholarship to benefit the future education of a graduating senior at John F. Kennedy High School. Arrangements were by Unger Funeral Chapel in Mount Angel.

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