In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the American Heart Association and left at the funeral home.
Virgie Fae (Leonard) Francis, age 83, of El Dorado Springs, passed away on Friday evening, September 29, 2017. Virgie was born April 4, 1934, at Cedar Springs, Missouri, the daughter of Johnnie and Edna Mae (Schmidt) Leonard.
Virgie married George Ray Francis on November 1, 1953. They were married 59 years and to this union five children were born: Steven, Lynn, Mark, Georgie, and Gregg. Virgie spent her entire life living in either St. Clair or Cedar County.
Virgie and George lived together in St. Clair County, first on the Fisher place and then moving to the Brackenridge place in 1974 after remodeling the farm house. Virgie worked side-by-side with George to build a beautiful and prosperous farm. While George managed all of the farm aspects and Virgie kept the books, she also would work in the home taking care of the children and house, as well as many times working a job outside of the home. It was not unusual for Virgie to work a 40-hour week and come home and work for hours at such activities as milking cows, taking care of small children and completing household chores. In addition, it was not unusual to see Virgie driving a feed truck, or pick-up and cattle trailer if needed.
Virgie was a member of Pape Christian Church and very active in the community. She also was very involved in all of her children’s activities, as well as her grandchildren’s activities. There wasn’t an activity that her children were involved in that she missed. Whether it was a football game, drama presentation, marching band competition, or PTO activity, she was there watching, cheering or volunteering. She also volunteered and served in local 4-H activities, and was key in helping to organize local chapters and making cancer bandages for patients. In her later years, she enjoyed knitting hats for Newborns in Need as well. As her grandchildren and great-grandchildren have grown, she continued the tradition by attending as many activities as her health allowed.
Virgie was hard working and willing to do what it took to help support the family. Jobs she held included working at: the International Shoe Company, candling eggs for the Brown Egg Company, Casey’s Restaurant, serving on the election board for elections, and quilting custom quilts. She also served as a cook for the El Dorado Springs School District for many years where she enjoyed using her cooking skills and being around the kids. She also used her sewing and knitting skills to bless her family and friends. Everyone grew to know her as the dish rag lady, where she sold a few, but actually gave away more than she ever sold.
Virgie loved to garden. She always had a beautiful vegetable garden that she canned food for her family from, and grew beautiful flowers for all to enjoy. Many hours were spent working with her daughter and later on her daughter-in-law canning and preserving food for the family.
In her later years, she was involved in the Eagles, and playing bingo. She enjoyed attending Thursday night Eagles meetings as well as bingo several times a week where she made numerous friends. Her other fun activities included following El Dorado Springs football, Chiefs football and Royals baseball. She always enjoyed keeping her family updated on all that was happening during the games.
Virgie is preceded in death by her husband, George; infant son, Steven; her parents; and grand-daughter, Julie Francis.
Survivors include her four children: Donald Lynn Francis and wife, RexAnn of El Dorado Springs, MO, Mark Dale Francis and wife, Rhonda of Concord, North Carolina, Georgie Fae Cook and husband, Kevin of Urbana, MO, and Gregg William Francis, Carthage, Mo; six grandchildren: Shannon Francis, Joshua Francis, Steven Francis and wife, Shylea, Devon Francis and wife, Cindy, Kendra Cook, and Kaylee Cook; and nine great-grandchildren: Justin Brown, Gracie, Haylie, and Cameron Francis, Rylinn and Ella Francis, Maddy Francis, Kai Anderson, and Issak Coquillette. Other survivors include a brother, Jerl Leonard, of El Dorado Springs, and a sister, Rose Smith, El Dorado Springs; plus numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral services for Virgie Francis will be held on Wednesday, October 4, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. with Rev. Brent Bland officiating. Interment will follow at Hazel Dell Cemetery under the direction of Bland-Hackleman Funeral Home.
Pallbearers are Lynn Francis, Mark Francis, Gregg Francis, Kevin Cook, Joshua Francis, Steven Francis, and Jerl Leonard.