Big Rock, IL – Mark D. Fransen, 64 of Big Rock passed away March 28, 2019 at his home.
Graveside services will be Tuesday (April 2) at 10:00 a.m., at Troy Grove Cemetery, Troy Grove, IL. Merritt Funeral Home, Mendota, IL is handling arrangements.
Mr. Fransen was born August 21, 1954 in Mendota, IL to Logan and Cecil (Carney) Fransen.
He trained two horses which were inducted into the IHHA Hall of Fame: Plum Peachy (1995) and Broadway Preview (2001). Plum Peachy also earned honors as 1990 Illinois Horse of the Year. He trained the winners of nine Super Night races in Chicago and four winners of the prestigious Maywood Pace.
He also trained Illinois State Fair champions Buck and Wing and Skipalong Misty. He trained horses which set track records at Sportsman’s Park, Maywood Park, Balmoral Park, Quad City Downs and the Illinois State Fair. Mr. Fransen was known to racing fans across the state for his versatility as a trainer. His multi-faceted skill set enabled him to excel with colts and fillies, trotters and pacers, and both stakes colts and older horses.
He is survived by his daugher Melanie Fransen of Midway, KY; his sister Sandy (Stephen) Arkels of Princeton and his brother Terry (Ellen) Fransen of Utica.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Gary and his sister Judy.
Memorial contributions can be made to the family at Resource Bank in Mr. Fransen’s name.