Funeral Details

Herbert H. Franks

January 25, 1934 - October 31, 2023


Date and Time

Friday, November 3, 2023 at 10:30 AM


Congregation Kneseth Israel
330 Division Street
Elgin, Illinois 60120
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Rabbi Margaret Frisch Klein
Congregation Kneseth Israel


McHenry County Jewish Cemetery
14307 Kishwaukee Valley Road
Woodstock, Illinois 60098
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Franks Residence
19324 East Grant Highway
Marengo, Illinois 60152
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Immediately following the interment until Shabbat.
Saturday 6:30PM- 9PM
Sunday 11 AM-6PM

Memorial Contributions

Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces
PO Box 4224
New York, New York 10163


Herbert H. Franks

Farmer, Lawyer, Visionary

Herbert H. Franks, the Jewish pig farmer from Marengo, went down swinging on October 31, 2023. He was a friend to all, a giant in the legal profession, a pillar in the community and a force of nature. Herb, 89, beloved husband of Eileen (nee Pepper), loving father of David Franks, Jack Franks, Eli Franks (Robin), cherished grandfather of Kevin Crews, Samuel Franks, Henry Franks, Miriam Franks, Olivia Franks and Joseph Franks, dear brother of Helen Lindow (nee Franks), Betty Sobelman (nee Franks), Judith Farah (nee Franks) and the late Sheldon Franks. He was born in Joliet, Illinois on January 25, 1934. He was raised in Marengo, Illinois on the family farm, in an old farm house with limited in-door plumbing, and a two-hole outhouse. He graduated from Roosevelt University, served in the U.S. Army achieving the rank of Sergeant, and graduated from the American University Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C. While on serving on active duty and attending law school, he worked on “The Hill” for Congressman Barrett O’Hara, where he forged many life-long friendships. After graduating law school, he returned to the cornfields of Illinois, and worked as a partner in the law firm of Canfield and Canfield, and later Franks and Wylde, in Rockford, Illinois. He became active in local, State and national politics, eventually being elected as President of the Young Democrats of the State of Illinois. In 1976 he built a law office building on farmland in Marengo that his family owned and he plowed as a young boy. He achieved the first one-million-dollar personal injury jury award in McHenry County, establishing himself as a premier personal injury and worker’s compensation Attorney. In 1979, he and his wife, Eileen, and four other families, established the McHenry County Jewish Congregation. He, along with his sister, Helen Lindow, formed, built and chaired the First National Bank of Marengo and started the Wonder Lake State Bank Group. In 2000, he was sworn in as President of the Illinois State Bar Association, the largest voluntary Bar Association in the world. As the ISBA President, he successfully challenged the unauthorized practice of law in the State of Illinois.

Then Governor Rod Blagojevich appointed him to the State of Illinois Judicial Review Board, investigating and adjudicating complaints of judicial misconduct. An avid fisherman, he was chosen as a field tester for the Abu-Garcia fishing equipment company and participated in professional walleye tournaments across North America. He loved to play the ponies at Arlington Race Track, and poker at Ceasar’s Palace. He loved the Marriott Lincolnshire Theater and Chicago theater. When he was not planning and taking his family on annual international vacations, he planned and took friends and family on annual fishing trips to Ontario, Canada, where one could hear him calling for northern pike and walleye as if he were calling for pigs to eat at trough.

He was a die-hard White Sox and Bears fan. He loved reading, traveling, fishing, mentoring, investing in the stock market, and spending time with his family.

Memorial Service will be Friday, November 3, 2023, 10:30 AM at Congregation Kneseth Israel, 330 Division Street, Elgin, Illinois. Interment at McHenry County Jewish Cemetery, located at Oakland Cemetery, 14307 Kishwaukee Valley Road, Woodstock, Illinois 60098 following the Memorial Service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces, To attend the funeral via live stream, please visit our website. Arrangements by Chicago Jewish Funerals - Buffalo Grove Chapel, 847.229.8822,


We encourage you to share your personal condolences and stories of Herbert H. Franks below and we will share them with the family.
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There is a Jewish proverb that says “Say not in grief 'he is no more' but in thankfulness that he was. As long as we live, they too will live; for they are now a part of us; as we remember them.." In G-d's book in heaven I am sure there must be a page that is reserved for only very special people. Herb Franks' name will not only be recorded on that page, but he will be the only person listed. I met the Franks family soon after Herb's son Jack was elected to the Illinois Legislature in 1999. I instantly fell in love with the family and was blessed that they loved me back. There was not a day of the now 24 years of friendship, that I ever doubted for a moment that if I ever needed anything, Herb Franks would be there for me. While his generosity with his love and friendship was felt by thousands of people, he made each person feel like they were the only one. Herb was a bit of a flirt but his wife Eileen never worried for a moment about his flirting, because his family was his primary love. His second love was his practice of law. He won so many honors and held so many important positions, there wold be no room to list them all. Becoming President of the Illinois Bar Association and having all three of his sons become lawyers are testaments of how much he loved the legal world. To celebrate his 50 years of becoming a lawyer, a "roast" was held in his honor and the list of "roasters" was every prominent person in Illinois politics. At that occasion when asked if would ever retire, he hook his head and said, "When they carry me out." Sadly, he is now being carried out. While the veneration of saints is not a practice one normally associates with Judaism, Saint Herb shall there be. With my deepest love, Kathy Posner

Kathy Posner
November 1, 2023
We have known Herb and his family for many, many years. I even worked for Herb's father unloading bricks from a semi with a forklift. Herb has been not only an excellent attorney, but a valued friend to Carol and me. We have sought his advice on numerous occasions and he always responded with warmth and intelligence. We are better people for having known him and our community is better for his being a part of it. Our thoughts and prayers are with Eileen and her family.

Richard and Carol Piwonka
November 1, 2023
I’m so sorry to hear about Herbie. He has been part of my childhood and good friend to me. He was always willing to help. He will be missed by all. He was a great man! You are in my thoughts and prayers. I’m here if I can do anything for any of you.

Connee Meschini
November 1, 2023
Eileen, Jack and family - we are keeping you and your family in our thoughts and prayers during this most difficult time. Herb was such an incredible person with the kindest heart and always knew how to make us smile and laugh. He will be deeply missed. The world has lost a great one. Sending love and big hugs your way. May his memory be a blessing. Love, Jill, Jason and family

Jill Knepper Shenitzer
November 1, 2023
So sorry for your loss. Herb was my father, Jim Simon’s best friend. He and Eileen were like family to us, Simon kids, growing up. I, Myself, babysat for the three boys when Eileen and Herb went out of town. Eileen and I took the kids to Lake Geneva. So many memories, especially the young, Jackson. I know that Herb will be greatly missed. Love to all the family. Lynette (Simon) Fassbender, Blue Mounds, Wisconsin.

Lynette Fassbender
November 1, 2023
So sorry for your loss your father was a great man he is who introduced me to you Jack me Amy my son Frank our heart goes out to you and your family and your brothers and your children we loved your father very much he was a good friend he was always there to help you in any way may he rest in peace forever

Thomas Ganka
November 1, 2023
Herb was a great guy friend to all whom knew him, When he would come into Dino’s for breakfast always had a smile and kind words . He will be missed. Deepest condolences for his entire family and friends.

Sheryl Laporte
November 1, 2023
With Love and prayers.

Stella Black
November 1, 2023
We are so sad to hear of your loss. Herb was such a wonderful, welcoming, friendly, generous person, and will be missed by everyone that knew him. May his memory be a blessing to you all.

Jeff Raizen
November 1, 2023
Herb was a wonderful friend and mentor. I would never have made it through the University of Illinois without his assistance (not financial). He was funny and always made me laugh. I know he was as proud of me as I was of him. He was a wonderful man who will be greatly missed.

James Waddell
November 1, 2023
Herb, you will be missed my friend. The fishing trips you put together were amazing, awesome and provided lasting memories. God will enjoy your wonderful smile and contagious humor. Rest in peace Herb

Marvin T. Keeling
November 1, 2023
Herb was a wonderful person. He beamed with the love and pride he had for his family. I will always remember his wit and his easy way with a story. A welcoming man that didn’t know a stranger. Rest in peace and in Gods warm embrace Herb. Prayers and hugs for all of the Franks family.

Doug House
November 1, 2023
Herb was a wonderful man, and he will truly be missed.

Michael Cortina
November 2, 2023
I am so sorry for your loss. Herb will be missed by many. My favorite conversations with him always involved wonderful fishing stories. I will miss those times!
Love you all
Patty kling

Patricia Kling
November 2, 2023
I have great memories of Herb from many years ago. After moving to Barrington, I met Herb at the occasional Sunday Bagels group, bonding with fellow Jews in far northwest suburbs. After asking me to host one Sunday, he invited newly elected Senator Carol Moseley Braun. She stayed at our home long after everyone left because her flight to DC was delayed, entertaining our kids by playing piano.
Herb was a great political inspiration to many including his son Jack.
May his memory be a blessing.

Mark Rosenberg
November 2, 2023
May the God of all bring you comfort. Joyful memories of him help to ease your sorrow.

Michael Vijuk
November 2, 2023
With a heavy heart for your loss, I wish you and family, prayers and condolences at this time,
Your Dad and family always close to my heart ..
Hugs n Prayers
Donnie Tomczak jr

Tomczak jr Donald
November 2, 2023
Eileen, Helen, Jack, and family: Deepest condolences to you.

We want you to know that we knew what a wonderful man Herb was to us as well:

Herb helped my daughter "Rio" (law student) in so many ways, there's not enough room here to write it all down. He was so kind, gentle, and inspiring to Rio, who had the honor of working for him since high school. Now attending law school, and after a conversation regarding Herb last night, while she really wanted to come to the funeral, she is in Knoxville Tennessee and has her "Kimsey Cup" trial this weekend, and must prepare for it. Rio wanted to come home anyway to say goodbye, but I asked her what she thought Herb would want. She told me that he would want her to do well in the Kimsey Cup, so I advised her not to make the trip.

Rio said that she feels so fortunate to have had his gentle guidance through the years, was able to go on Herb's last fishing trip with him and the law office staff, and was able to hear him read the "Night Before Christmas" for the last time at the last Christmas party at the firm. As Rio's mama, and with the help of FaceTime, I could see the sadness in her face as she told me that.

Rio said she knew Herb was looking forward to seeing her practice law, as he has helped guide her through her bachelor, master's degree, and has given her guidance through law school as well. While we know that Herb can't be here with her physically, we both take comfort in knowing that somehow, he will see it. And while we are saddened to hear of this great loss, we want you to know that Herb will remain alive in our hearts forever.

Deepest sympathy,

Kristin Ottolino
November 2, 2023
I’m shocked and saddened to hear of Herb’s passing. I met him way back in the ‘80s when I was a reporter for a local weekly paper. He gave a talk that was so full of wit and humor, I knew I would like to make this man a friend. I’m proud that I did. I have so many memories of our encounters, I feel I could write a “Little Book of Memories.” Perhaps I should. One thing about Herbie is that he was everyone’s friend. Age, religion, social status, education - it didn’t matter to him. He could always see the person inside and accept that at face value. Another is that he was always a teacher. I recall him telling me little tidbits he learned in law school, some of which I’ve actually retained. He was kind enough to introduce me to some people I never would have had access to without him, and I will be forever grateful for the opportunities and wisdom he afforded me.
When my parents retired and moved to Marengo from the near western ‘burbs, I introduced them to Herb and Eileen and they became fast friends. My parents cherished them. Their friendship extended to other family members, and my folks were greatly enriched by the experience.
Herb was more than just a man, more than just a lawyer - he was an institution around Marengo and McHenry county. He will be sorely missed by many. My thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time of loss and mourning. May his memory be a blessing.

Tracy Doyle
November 2, 2023
We are so sorry to hear about losing Herb. He was always very kind to us and the first person I (Rita) met when moving to Marengo along with the Eileen and the boys . Will never forget his laugh.

Rita and Barry Mishler
November 2, 2023
My condolences to the Franks family for their loss. I remember Herb from my time growing up through his relationship with my father Jerry. One of my favorite memories is a trip that some of the Franks and Tuite families took to Russia through the Illinois Institute for Continuing Education back in 1978. All I can say is that it was an unforgettable experience. Herb was a mentor to me starting in 1978 and through my beginnings as a lawyer. He and his family will be remembered in our prayers.

Greg Tuite
November 2, 2023
I'm very sorry to hear of the loss of Herbert Franks. My heart hurts for his family, the FGPG law firm, and for the world. We lost a great man! HF hired me first as a legal intern and then out of law school. As my first mentor, Herb embodied integrity, wisdom, kindness, and humor. I still keep my signed offer letter from him framed in my office. His impact on my life and countless others is immeasurable. While I am certain he knew how much I adored him, I still wish I had expressed my admiration one last time.

The last time I saw him was August 2022, and we shared chicken pesto sandwiches at Flatlander's. He had never had that specific sandwich (which was my favorite) and thought it was delicious. He looked so healthy and perfect that day. I remember it like it was yesterday, and I wish I could go back in time and hug him for even longer.

Thank you for providing the information on submitting a memorial contribution to Friends of the Israeli Defense Forces. I have made a donation in his memory, and I am heartbroken that he had to witness such ugliness and terror in his last month on earth. Thank you to HF's family and to the Congregation Kneseth Israel for live streaming this event, as I cannot get back to Chicago in time but will be watching and grieving from home.

Rest in peace, Herbert. Thank you for being such a great leader and lawyer here on Earth!

Love always,


Sheila Amiry
November 2, 2023
Mr. franks was the kindest man I have ever met and the privilege of knowing. He was a friend of our family

JoAnn Knake Family
November 2, 2023
I don't know where to even start with this and am struggling to find the right words to say. Please accept my sincere condolences to the entire Franks family. From the time I met Debby at MCJC preschool where our oldest kids attended to the garage sales we went to or ran into each other at Country Donuts I couldn't have met or known a nicer family. When our home needed all new appliances the best and only place I was told to go to was Lindow's in Marengo. I then learned that Mr. Lindow's (Gene) was Helen's son, and that Helen Lindow was Herb Franks' sister. I was never so confused in my life!! But it turned out to be great. When we fell on hard times MCJC was there for us. I remember Herb always being so positive about everything and he and my husband became fast friends as it seemed they were the only White Sox fans at MCJC!! When my Melissa and I went to the same hair salon on the square we would see Eileen used the same salon.
After Melissa passed away the entire Franks family rallied around me and I distinctly remember Her putting his hand on my shoulder and saying "we are here for you, whatever you need". I felt so comforted by those words and will never forget them. As I had more free time on my hands I became more involved with the synagogue, becoming a teacher (a convert to Judaisim from Catholicism) which didn't work out too well but I tried. I became a board member and loved it. I really enjoyed attending Saturday morning services and looked forward to Herb and Eileen attending and hearing their perspective on things; I was actually bummed when they weren't there for whatever reason because Herb always gave an interesting viewpoint of the Torah portion that was always totally opposite of what I was thinking but that was OK. What I loved the most was almost always after services Herb invited pretty much everyone that stayed for kiddush to lunch at either Around the Clock or Andy's which is where we usually ended up. This is where the fun started as he knew every waitress, host/hostess, cooks, and definitely the owner. He had conversations with everyone; usually fishing stories but what I found fascinating was that he knew everyone, and I mean everyone...not just in the restaurant but in all the communities/cities/ villages in McHenry county. I realized that Herb Franks wasn't just someone in the community that a lot of people knew.....he was the community.
May he rest in peace and may his memory always be for a blessing.

Kathleen Mayber
November 3, 2023
My deepest condolences to the family of Herb. What a wonderful man he was. Always so friendly and kind.

Patricia A. Knepper
November 3, 2023
I am so grately sorry for your loss. Herb was not only a wonderful mentor to me, but he was also a friend. He will be remembered by me as being so vibrant and full of life, and I will forever cherish the memories of being a part of the firm family with him. I’m so grateful that I got to go on the fishing trips and be a part of the holiday parties with him, and I’m so so grateful for everything he has done to upstart my legal career because he really did put that in motion for me, I’m very heartbroken that he won’t be able to see me as the capable practicing attorney he believed I could be, but I know he will always be there in spirit guiding me. To know him was to love him and he will be missed. All my love and condolences, Rio.

Rio Ottolino
November 3, 2023
Dear Eileen, Jack. and Family, My heart is breaking , I am so sorry for your loss . Herb was such a phenomenal man! I will always cherish the many wonderful memories and fun times that were had with him. From fishing in Arkansas and Canada to Cruising in France , Searching for the best pies or playing rummy . Herb loved deeply and his legacy will continue to live on through all of you . Sending you lots of love, hugs, and prayers . I’m sure Jim is welcoming Herb to heaven , and can only imagine the adventures they will share .
Love , Pattie Knepper

Pattie Knepper
November 3, 2023
Eileen ,David,Jackson,and Eli. . I’m so sorry to hear of Herbs passing . You all were an important part of my childhood , And Herb was our Fathers best friend . We enjoyed you all so much and have many memories of the fun we all had much at the expense of Herb ! What a charming charismatic guy he was ! No one could tell a story like Herb! We truly loved him , Eileen you and Herb were such great friends to my Mom and Dad , and I never forgot how you both were there for her when they divorced . You all are simply “good people”. We love you all and pray that you’re memories with Herb ,a great Husband , Father and friend , will give you comfort now . All my love Roxanne (aka )Rocky Marshallsay

Roxanne Marshallsay
November 4, 2023
I will never forget my dads story about herb and fishing trips to Canada.

Gary Simon
November 6, 2023
A sad, but fond farewell to a very successful and kind man of humble beginnings who never forgot his roots, or the community from where he came. God's speed and "tight lines".

Steven L. Weskerna
November 8, 2023
Dear Jack,

I'm sorry to hear about your dad. May his memory be a blessing. Hope everyone is doing well. Sheryl.

Sheryl Kravitz
November 8, 2023