COUDERSPORT, PA—Erika Frank Lentz passed away on Sunday, January 28, 2024. She was born in Vienna, Austria to the parents of Anna Hopfinger Frank and Koloman Frank on August 26, 1928. She had 4 siblings, Eda, Elfie, Koloman and Walter. She had 4 half-siblings, Ernestina, Koloman, Heidi and Hans. Her family lived and siblings grew up during World War II. Erika was 10 years old when the war started.
Her half-sister Ernestina married after the occupation and left with her family for Australia with no contact from then on. Her brother Koloman at age 17 was required to serve in the military and after only six months was reported as missing in action and assumed killed.
In 1947 after being liberated by the United States she met a soldier and his name was Lawrence M Lentz from the little town of Austin, Pa. They were a couple…Lawrence was discharged from the military and came home in December 1946. His bride followed in January 1947. They were married in the little town of Austin. She was welcomed by the Lentz family with kindness, love and compassion.
Erika became a citizen of the United States in 1955. Erika’s sister Eda and brother Walter left their homeland as well and relocated to Canada sometime after. Her mother, Anna, and her sister, Elfie, came to the US around 1960. At this point, Erika had not seen her mother for those 13 years and there were NO cell phones, NO internet, and virtually no international calling. After a short visit in the States, her mom and sister relocated to Canada.
Erika and Lawrence raised seven children and one grandchild in Austin; Katherine, Lawrence, Mark, Vera, Liesa and her daughter Tara, Brenda and Melinda. It was an awesome time for us her children…we had so many relatives and it was a great family. We were not rich or rocket scientists but we were all FAMILY…we all loved each other and laughed at each other and took care of each other.
My mother never worried if we were gone all day playing with our cousins because she knew one of our aunts or grandparents would be watching out for us, feeding us or sending us home if we got into mischief. I think my mother didn’t realize how her children loved our family life until the past several years. It’s funny how parents and children see things differently. We as parents are striving for better for our children when in reality they already have the best because we love each other…..you can’t beat that!!
Erika is survived by 5 loving children, Katherine (Irvin) Saler, Lawrence K. Lentz, Vera Pesock, Brenda (Steve) Erway and Melinda Monroe. They all live in Coudersport…she had 14 grandchildren, 26 plus great-grandchildren and 12 plus great-great-grandchildren. Also survived by her sisters, Elfie and Eda, both of Canada; and her brother Walter of Emporium.
Erika was predeceased in death by her parents, her always loving and endearing husband Lawrence, her daughter Liesa who died in a motor vehicle accident in 2013, her son Mark who died unexpectedly in 2018, her grand baby Joey and her loving and caring son-in-law, Paul Pesock.
She will truly be missed by all of us who knew her and loved her…we as sisters are especially grateful to our awesome brother Larry who was a constant in our mother’s life. You were every minute with her and attentive to her. You are the best brother ever. And mom knew that…..We thank everyone who spent time with her on her last days. Who came and made us laugh. Who came and brought us food (they know we eat anything). Who called and offered help and concern. We won’t forget her many hats (she loved wearing hats), all the raisins you put in baked goods because they made it better, your scolding us (rightfully so), your accent, your Goodwill shopping, your always grocery shopping (when you needed nothing), we all have our favorite memories…don’t forget them and talk about them and pass them on..
We thank Hospice who helped us in her last days, her doctors who always tried to keep her at her best, Palliative care who gave us support at a time we needed it…her neighbors who stopped in with goodies and ‘buggy’ rides and visits…the prayers of our friends and family, anyone who touched us and her in her last days…THANK YOU… We appreciated it all. Also special thanks to her sister, Elfie, for staying with her as Erika recovered in June from surgery.
If you so desire, memorials can be made to Special Olympics (PO Box 25, Coudersport, PA 16915, ATN: Pam Walasquez) or a charity of your choice….
In keeping with Erika’s wishes there will be no public visitation or funeral services.
Erika’s family entrusted her care to Kevin J. Dusenbury, funeral director/owner of the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, Shinglehouse.
To express condolences, light a candle or share a fond memory of Erika, please visit www.virgillhowardfuneralhome.com or the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home Facebook page.