Frank Charles Vojtik, age 80, passed away on December 5, 2020 at Fountainhead Homes in DeForest, Wisconsin from aspiration pneumonia/Covid-19. The son of Frank W. and Louise (Henzl) Vojtik, he was born on October 8, 1940 in Chicago, Illinois and as a young boy the family moved to Fairchild, Wisconsin. After graduating from Fairchild High School, he then moved to Madison, Wisconsin to attend the University of Wisconsin, where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in Botany with an emphasis on Plant Pathology. While at the university, he was a member of the University Marching Band and had the privilege of playing with the band at the 1960 Rose Bowl. On June 1, 1961, he was united in marriage to Betty A. Kohn of Fairchild, Wisconsin at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. They made their home in Madison, Wisconsin where they raised their two daughters, Debbie and Lori. While raising their young family, Frank and Betty also took care of over 20 foster babies until they were adopted.
After earning his degree, he continued to work for the University as Administrator for the Plant Pathology Department where he also continued his research and taught a few classes each semester. He left the University to join a team of scientists in developing and commercially growing Shiitake mushrooms, becoming the general manager of Golden Forest Mushroom Company. While working with Golden Forest, he was chosen to be a delegate to the National Agriculture Convention in China, where he and Betty spent a month touring mushroom farms in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. After several years with the mushroom farm, he went to Harland Sprague Dawley, a research company that raised genetically altered mice for cancer research. His time with Harland Sprague Dawley led him back to the University doing research isolating proteins for Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. His passion for research never ceased, publishing three scientific papers at the age of 70.
Frank had many hobbies including stamp and coin collecting, and a love of gardening, which was a major influence in his life. From the many heirloom plants in their backyard, to their property in Fairchild, he would spend many weekends planting trees and enjoying nature and of course inspiring his daughters, especially Debbie, for the love of gardening.
Frank will be dearly missed by his two daughters, Debbie (Dan) Jackson of Madison, Wisconsin and Lori (Greg) Troemner of Sylvania, Ohio; his grandson, Matthew Troemner of Houghton, Michigan and many relatives, friends, and his new “family” at Fountainhead Homes. Frank was preceded in death by his wife Betty (Kohn), his parents Frank and Louise (Henzl), and his brother Robert.
Services will be held on Saturday, August 21, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at St. John’s Catholic Church in Fairchild, with Father Dan Thelen officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Face masks will be required for all guests attending regardless of vaccination status. The family is assisted by Anderson Funeral Home in Augusta.