Franda, Marcus Francis

August 16, 1937 - September 30, 2019

Dr. Marcus Francis Franda (1937-2019)

It is with profound love, respect and sorrow that we share with you today that our father, Marcus Francis Franda, passed away on September 30, 2019. He died peacefully, in no pain, and in the arms of his beloved wife, our mother, Vonetta Jane Franda (nee Pedlow). His children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were physically and virtually beside him. 


The following celebration of his life’s work will be familiar to those who knew our father well. For those who knew our father, but perhaps not the totality of his accomplishments, including some of his grandchildren, we hope this serves to deepen your understanding of this brilliant man. To those who are reading this but did not know our father well, it is our intent that this serve as a testament and perhaps inspiration to the power of education, passion, dedication, hard-work and love, in the making of a life well lived. 


Our father was born on a farm in Nassauaupee Township in Wisconsin on the evening of August 16, 1937. He was the third child and only son of John Samuel Franda “Sam”, and Mary Esther Schailly. He was preceded by two sisters, Mary Jane (deceased) and Norabelle. His younger sister, Carole Jean, joined two years later. During his formative years, Marcus attended St. Joseph Catholic School in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, and Beloit Catholic High School in Beloit, Wisconsin. Growing up, Marc worked three jobs starting at age 11 and found a life-long interest in writing, baseball and music. 


In 1956, our father was awarded a full scholarship to Beloit College. He was the first in his large extended family to attend college. It was here that our parents met, courted and later married. Marc graduated from Beloit College, Departments of Government and History, with a Bachelors of Arts, B.A. cum laude, in January 1959 (with Honors in Government). 


Marc and Vonnie married on August 16, 1959 and together they moved to Chicago, where Marc would attend graduate school at the University of Chicago. This was the beginning of an illustrious career and a lifelong love story. As our father put it so well, “Courtship with Vonnie and our marriage launched me into an entirely new world, unlike any I had known before…..Settling down with Vonnie was peaceful, fun and well ordered…..With Vonnie, I found it easier to have dreams and plans for the future that could realistically be linked to expectations that they would be actualized. Most important among these dreams that I had often had about traveling the world and escaping from my insular family roots. Vonnie and the University of Chicago gave wings to those dreams.” 


Dr. Marcus F. Franda’s career certainly soared upon his graduation from the University of Chicago with an A.M., from the Department of Political Science (1960) and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)(1966)  and culminating in a lifetime achievement of having published 25 books, 78 scholarly reports and over 200 articles. 


India and the sub-Indian Continent were the focus of Dr. Franda’s scholarly endeavors. After a two year research trip to India and Bengal as a Carnegie Foundation Teaching Fellow through the University of Chicago and the successful completion of his doctoral dissertation, he spent two years as a Research Associate at the Center for International Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). During this time he finished his first book entitled “West Bengal and the Federalizing Process in India” (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1968). 


Professor Franda took a teaching position at Colgate University (1965-1977), spending some of those years teaching at the campus in Hamilton, New York with the bulk of his time spent conducting research in Asia or Africa and lecturing around the United States as a Senior Associate for Asia with the American Universities Field Staff/Universities Field Staff International (headquartered at Dartmouth College) based in Asia (1971-1977). 


Of the 78 Field Staff Reports Dr. Franda authored, he explained to us during his retirement years that he was most proud of 7 of those reports. The first was a three part series “India’s Double Emergency Democracy” (1975), a title he took from a name Indira Gandhi had given to the Emergecy. The second series he found great pride in was devoted to the Indian press during the Emergency (1978). Lastly, in 1977, he published “Slogans of the Indian Emergency”, which captured, in both words and images, the socio-political climate of the region at that time.


As his career continued, Dr. Franda was the Director of the Institute of World Affairs in Salisbury, Connecticut (founded by Maude Miner Hadden and Thomas J. Watson) from 1980-1983. 


Dr. Franda was also the Head of the Asia Foundation Office in Bangkok, Thailand, as Representative for Thailand, Burma, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam from 1983-1986, before becoming the Head of the Asia Foundation office in Washington, D. C. (1986-1988). During this time in his career, he was awarded Officer of the Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand, appointed to him by his Magesty, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, a title he was most honored to receive.


In 1998, Dr. Franda became the President of World College West in Marin County, California. The World College Movement was founded by Lord Mountbatten, Armand Hammer and Laurence Rockefeller. 


The last decade of his sweeping career, Professor Franda taught at the University of Maryland, College Park as the Director of International Affairs. 


In one of his final books, “Governing the Internet: The Emergence of an International Regime” (2001), Marc poignantly wrote a dedication to his cherished wife, our mother. “To Vonnie, an extraordinary lifetime companion, who made this and so much else possible”.


Marcus Francis Franda is survived by his wife of 60 years, Vonetta Jane Franda (nee Pedlow), as well as:


Charles Arthur Franda (Joyce Oehrlein)

Stephanie Jane Hartley (nee Franda)


Emily Elise Zanco (nee Franda) “Emi” (Lincoln Zanco)

Timothy Charles Franda “Timmy” (Erin Franda)

Nicholas James Harrison Franda “Nikki” (Alexandra Tamayo)

Andrew Emerson Hartley “Cookie”

Laura Vonetta Hartley “LaLa”

Grace Harper Hartley “Baby Grace”


Caden Rae Hartley (Andrew)

Niklaus Trinidad Franda (Nikki and Ale)

Please leave the family condolences and share memories on this website.


Arrangements under the direction of:

Aria Cremation Service and Funeral Home

19310 Preston Road

Dallas, Texas 75252

(214) 306-6700

One condolence on “Franda, Marcus Francis”

Bill Richter says:

We are saddened to learn, belatedly, of Marc’s death, and send our condolences to Vonnie and family. We have fond memories of the Franda family that go back roughly half a century, especially of conversations in New Delhi, but also of briefer encounters in California, Georgia, Texas, Costa Rica. Marc was a model scholar, a caring mentor, and a thoughtful friend.

Leave a Condolence

Your email address will not be published.

R. Driver

Excellent customer service, they made you feel like you were their only customer. Very helpful and explained what we should expect during the process. They basically took care of our needs during this time. They contacted DFW National Cemetery for us which made it a smooth experience. Definitely will use them again.

View more testimonials.