Franz Hermann Raetzer

Mr. Franz Hermann Raetzer, of Kingston, died peacefully on July 4, 2019, under the gift of hospice care, at Greenfield Senior Living in Oak Ridge. Franz was born May 18, 1941 in Dintikon, Canton Aargau, Switzerland. He and his young family immigrated to the United States in 1971, and shortly thereafter he began work for Magnavox – later Philips Consumer Electronics – as an Electrical Engineer. At Philips, Franz pioneered the use of laser disc technology, earning a key patent in his name. In his free time, Franz stayed constantly busy with both his carpentry projects and his volunteer activities. A resident of Kingston, Tennessee since 1979, Franz was an active leader with Roane County Habitat for Humanity, Save Our Cumberland Mountains, the Victim Offender Reconciliation Program, and Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church. His thousands of hours of hands-on service reflected his deep commitment to protecting the environment and helping those in need.


He is survived by his wife of 57 years: Annelies Neѐ Weiersmüller

One daughter: Dr. Brigit Villines (Joshua)

One grandson: John-Francis Villines

Two siblings: Karl Rätzer (Lisbet) and Rose Rätzer


The services will be private within the family.


In Lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment (


Davis Funeral Home in Harriman is honored to serve the Raetzer family.


Condolences may be sent to the family at