Frances Bell Epley was born on December 1, 1912 to Guy and Edith Epley in Carpenter, Iowa.During early years her family farmed in Southern Minnesota and later moved to Austin, Minnesota.She graduated from the Rose Creek Public school in 1920.She then attended Teachers Training School in Austin and taught in rural schools throughout Southern Minnesota for the next 22 years.She continued her teachers training in several Minnesota Universities including St. Cloud, Winona and Mankato.In 1948 she married Wagner Christianson.God blessed her family with a daughter, Judy.They continued to live in Austin for the next 44 years. During this time Wagner worked for the Hormel Meat Packing Industry. He died June 16, 1992. Following retirement Frances used her talents by quilting, Hardanger, tatting, crocheting and reading.Throughout her life, she enjoyed serving her Lord by teaching Sunday school and quietly living her strong faith.She was very active in missions and helped to support a school in Tanzania East Africa by making and selling note cards and prayer shawls. She helped to build an educational facility there that will continue to serve young men and women as they prepare their lives for ministry and service.
Frances moved to Shorewood Senior Campus in Rochester, Minnesota at age 89.There she continued share her talents.There she enjoyed Bible studies, Sew and Sew, entertaining and caring for friends and family. Her former neighbors, students and new friends enriched her life at Shorewood.
In the past 3 months Frances was a resident at Samaritan Bethany Heights where she celebrated her 99th birthday, serving red velvet cupcakes and coffee to all who stopped in. She was loved and cared for by the staff and many special friends.
Frances was preceded in death by her parents, Guy and Edith Epley, two brothers, Earl and Guy Jr. and a sister Pearl. She is survived by one daughter, Judy (Allan) Trautman and 2 grandchildren, Chris and Laura, her sister Helen and two sister-in-laws, Margaret Epley and Marion Christianson.
A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, December 30, 2011 at Mount Olive Lutheran Church, 2830 - 18th Ave NW, Rochester, with the Rev. Laura Sutherland and Rev. Siri Strommen-Campell officiating.Visitation will be one hour prior to the service on Friday at the church.Burial will be in Blooming Prairie Cemetery.
Memorials are suggested to Mount Olive Lutheran Church for Tanzania, East African Missions.
Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes, 5421 Royal Place NW, Rochester, MN55901 (507) 289-3600 www.ranfranzandvinefh.com
Rochester, Minnesota 55901
You and your mom/grandmother were fortunate to have each other for so long. You'll miss her, of course, but she will still be with you! GOD BLESSED YOU ALL! Frances was such a friendly person, & her faith made her glow! I'm so happy I had the chance to know her.
When I think of my Aunt Francis I always picture her with a smile. I''ll always have that picture in my mind.
I am so happy I was able to meet and visit with Frances with my Mom a few years ago. She was such a lovely lady. giving and kind. I will cherish the prayer blanket she made me. My prayers are with the family. Hugs to you all!
As I looked at your Mother''s picture, Judy, I saw the sparkle of love that she had so much for life, her family, friends and her faith. Even though it''s been a while since I saw her last I can hear her wonderful laugh. She was truly a lady in all ways. So happy that she was able to be here with you for so many years. God Bless You All.
Love Vickie & Doug
My heart will be with you and your family tomorrow Judy. Your Mom was such a true lady in every way. Her love of life, family and her faith shines in her smiling picture. So glad you were to have her with you for as long as you did.
God Bless all of you.
Love Always Vickie