Frances Semple passed gently from us Wednesday morning, December 22, 2010. She lingered only a day after suffering a massive stroke. She went quickly, without pain, without the weight of being a burden to others, which concerned her. She was in a coma for all of it, unresponsive, but at the end something happened, a miracle perhaps. At the moment of her last breath, a smile spread across her face, wondering in awe at something, or maybe greeting a loved one only she could see. She was truly at peace.
She was born as Frances Liberty Glover on July 23, 1919, in Enid, Mont. She moved young with her family to find a better life in Oregon. One of 10 brothers and sisters, Fran learned early the virtue of hard work, and the value of family. The Glovers of Phoenix stuck together through hard times. They looked out for each other, loved each other. They celebrated their lives together, and as they grew older, collectively mourned the deaths of those that fell away, one by one.
Fran was many things, but mostly she was a warm, friendly soul. Her generosity of spirit even shaped her face with the lines that smiles make over time; smiles bestowed on
everyone she met for all her 91 years. Always perfectly groomed, nearly Southern in her gentility, she also had a great sense of humor, and to her last day, got tickled at things and laughed infectiously like a young girl, sometimes to tears and near-accidents.
So, Fran is gone from us now, this lovely woman. We are
deprived of the warmth of her smile, the comfort of her laugh and the gentleness shown to all she knew. But she is with us always, remembered as the friend, the auntie, the grandma with the candy dish, the mother who always gave her kids unconditional love, emotional support, and baked cookies after school. She is gone, but as her daughter, Sandy, said, "Grieve, yes, but just think of how lucky we were to have had her all these years."
Fran embraced a quiet, yet deep faith, a constant foundation for her life. She, along with her late husband, Jim, had been longtime members of the First Presbyterian Church, on Holly Street, just a few blocks north of where they lived and raised their three children. She and Jim worked hard all their lives, and as they approached seniority were able to travel the world, vacation in Hawaii and visit many exotic places that a true daughter of the Great Depression may only dream of.
Fran is survived by her sister, Barbara Hall, of Medford, Ore.; her three children, Sandra Doe, of Medford, Ore., Tom
Semple, of San Diego, Calif., and Christine Spafford, of
Medford, Ore., and Phoenix, Ariz.; as well as six
grandchildren; and six-and-a-half great-grandchildren.
A memorial service to celebrate her wonderful life will be held in Medford, Ore., at the First Presbyterian Church, Holly Street and 8th, at 2:00 p.m., on Thursday, January 6, 2011. In lieu of flowers, it was Frances' wish that donations be made to the Shriner's Hospital, of Portland, Ore., First Presbyterian Church, of Medford, Ore., or Providence Home Care and Hospice, of Medford, Ore.