Sadness in Rice Lake Minnesota


This past week I’ve spent some time in Rice Lake Minnesota, a township that borders the north side of Duluth.  It is a sad time for the community who lost their Fire Chief, Matt Frantz, in a tragic death on Monday.  (click here for his obituary, and here for a local news story broadcast).  I ventured north on Wednesday, as chaplain for the Minnesota Fire Service Foundation, to assist and support the initial funeral planning efforts, and again yesterday for the procession from the funeral home to the church for the visitation.  There was wonderful attendance from many family, friends, community members and fire service professionals.  The funeral will be held this morning at 11:00.



As I’ve said before, I spend a lot more time dealing with the deaths of our public safety professionals that I expected when I started Public Safety Ministries.   Unexpected work, but so critical to promoting the spiritual health and fitness in our professions.  Lots of emotions come out in these hard times, but by far the most prevalent, is a feeling of sadness.  Sadness for the loss of those who dedicate their lives to caring for and protecting our communities, our families and our selves, just as Chief Matt Frantz has done.  So as difficult as it is as we mourn our loss, let us always remember to celebrate the blessed life of the one we lost.  Matt’s spirit will live on forever in the lives of the Rice Lake Fire Department, as well as in the entire community.

photo courtesy of MFSF


  1. Dawn Frantz said:

    Thank you very much for all that was done for Matt. His family can not begin to express their gratitude. Matt was truly a wonderful person and the outpouring we saw was truly remarkable.

    December 15, 2013
  2. Pastor Dan Carlson said:

    Dear Dawn,
    It was our pleasure. The credit for the wonderful response honoring Chief Frantz goes first and foremost to the Rice Lake Fire Department. The Minnesota Fire Service Foundation (of which I am a very small part) was responsible for coordinating many of the other outside resources. The MFSF was honored to have the opportunity to support the Franzt family in this very challenging time and will continue to do so as long as needed.
    Take Care, Pastor Dan Carlson
    Chaplain, MN Fire Service Foundation

    December 16, 2013
  3. Jen Frantz said:

    When I was going through the Minnesota Fallen Firefighters website, I came across the link to this article. For some reason I don’t recall seeing it beforehand, but then again, so much has been on my mind in the last 3 months that I’m surprised I remember much of anything. I wanted to thank you for helping to organize what was an amazing tribute to the love of my life and for being there for his fire family when they needed comfort and support. These pictures are wonderful and it is so nice to be able to have them as well as the article. I know that one day I will be showing them to his future grandchildren and telling them what a wonderful man he was.

    March 4, 2014

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