Franzi Manilla

January 30, 1925 – June 1, 2019

Franzi was born to Johann and Maria Reisenbichler January 30, 1925, in Ebensee, Austria. Following Business School graduation she was conscripted into the German Air Force as a teenage aircraft spotter. Her experiences during the war included being bombed and strafed. On one occasion, she reported a disabled B25 bomber that was straggling below its returning squadron. It appeared that this aircraft would not clear the Alps mountain range. It later failed to do so. One day she met this wounded aircraft’s pilot, Bill Wunderlich. He was her insurance carrier in Elko, Nevada.

She was selected to work for the United States Occupation Army Air Force because of her English competency. She studied English by reading newspapers from the United States with a dictionary at her side. Her English soon became impeccable. She turned down a Canadian visa after waiting six years. One year later her United States visa arrived. Franzi immigrated through Ellis Island to Salt Lake City, Utah, because she had been told the skiing bordered on great and she loved to ski. While working as a secretary for the head of the Department of Pathology at the University of Utah School of Medicine, she met a medical student, George Manilla. They were married and later moved to Elko, Nevada, where Dr. Manilla became the sixth member of the Elko Clinic.

She loved gardening, playing bridge and knitting very detailed gloves and stockings. She had to make these gloves and stockings for herself as a youngster. She did many years of service at St. Joseph Catholic Church’s Alter Society. She considered participation in the Doctors Wife’s community activities a privilege and a way to return back to the community. She won numerous blue ribbons at the Elko County Fair for handmade quilting, knitting and gardening produce.

She was preceded in death by her father, mother, and one sister, Mitzi Tiderencel. Surviving sisters include: Finni Fieweger, Wien, Austria: Fritzi Rod-Horak, Wien, Austria: Hilda Quatember, Ebensee, Austria: and Greti Gillesberger, Gmunden, Austria. Also surviving are her husband George Manilla, daughters Mary Manilla, Portland, Oregon, Kathy (Mark) Mulhall, Atlanta, Georgia; and son Andrew (Christy) Manilla, Park City, Utah; grandchildren Georgie, Hank, Andrew, Christy, and Emily.

A Rosary at Burns Mortuary will be on Thursday, June 13, 2019, at 7:00 PM. Funeral services are on Saturday June 15, 2019, at 11:00 AM at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. In lieu of flowers, please send donation to St. Joseph Catholic Church, Elko, Nevada.

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