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Enterprise Journal

Obituary: Frances Morse

Frances Margaret Morse

 Surrounded by family, Frances Morse, 100 left this world on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 to begin her next journey.

 A funeral will be held for Frances Morse on Saturday, April 17 at 10:30 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Osage, Iowa. Masks and social distancing will be required.  Visitation will be from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Friday at the Champion Funeral Home in Osage. Inurnment will be in the Osage Cemetery.

Born at home in Little Cedar, Iowa on a blustery winter day January 19, 1921, Frances fought to survive from the very beginning. Twice she stopped breathing and the nurse put her on the cookstove door and pumped her arm to get her to breathe. Little Cedar was always a special place for Frances. She went all 12 years to school with four of her cousins, graduating in 1938 in a class of 12, one of the largest classes to graduate. She went to Luther College for one year, only the 3rd year women were allowed. 

In 1940, she met Beverly Morse at a card game in Burr Oak Hall. After a whirlwind courtship, they were married on February 1, 1941 in Chapin, Iowa. Frances wanted a favorite minister to marry her, so they got married at the parsonage in Chapin.

Frances was always a partner in working on the farm, helping milk cows, driving the tractor, and raising the chickens. She always had a huge garden and canned food to last a year. Three children were born to Beverly and Frances and brought in on the operation: Charles, Mary, and Penney. Everyone had a job and worked on the farm.

Many people were welcomed to their humble farm home. City cousins would come every summer to learn about the farm. Foreign students came at Thanksgiving. No one ever left hungry.

Beverly and Frances retired from farming in 1973 and moved to their house in Osage. Frances worked at Faith Lutheran Home for a few years when her father was a resident there. Beverly and Frances enjoyed playing cards and going to Texas for many winters. She was known for her rolls and pies.  There was always a cup of coffee and a piece of pie ready for anyone who stopped to visit.

A lifelong member of the United Methodist Church, Frances was active in the United Methodist Women and various committees of the church. She was also an avid Democrat and participated in the caucuses in 2019 and voted in the 2020 election.

Frances had many hobbies. She made quilts for all her children and grandchildren, she knit dozens of slippers for friends and family, knit dozens of hats for the children at Ngong Road in Kenya, where she sponsored a child, and she collected stamps. In later years she began repurposing cards by crocheting around them. She was an avid letter writer and if you were on her birthday calendar, you were sure to get a card from her every year. She loved her children and grandchildren. 

After Beverly died in 1998, Frances enjoyed several years of companionship and travel with special friend Louis Ahrens, who had also lost his spouse. 

In 2007, her daughter Penney and son-in-law David moved in with her, allowing her to stay in her own home. Before the pandemic, she loved going to the Senior Center to play cards. She wanted to make it to her 100th birthday, and this January, she did. She continued to write letters and crochet around cards, right up to the end. Her presence will be missed by many friends and neighbors and by her family.

She is survived by her children Charles Morse (Jere) of Osage, Penney Morse (David Miller) of Osage; her grandchildren Melissa Morse of Stacyville, IA, Dan Morse (Pam), of Cottage Grove, OR, Casey Payne (Magada Vince) from Taipei, Taiwan, Elliott Payne (Lindsay Labahn), of Minneapolis, MN and Caleb (Natalie) Miller, Oconomowoc, WI; great-grandchildren Lexus DeMay (Brandon Anderson) of Albert Lee, MN, Anthony and Aurora Morse of Cottage Grove, OR and Milia Miller, Oconomowoc, WI; and great-great-grandchildren Gannon DeMay-Konkel and Paisley Anderson of Albert Lea, MN.

She was preceded in death by her parents Wilbur Clyde Elliott and Mary Elizabeth Penney Elliott, her brother and sister-in-law Ivan and Lindy Elliott, her sister and brother-in-law Beda and Dean Dodge, her daughter Mary Morse, her daughter-in-law Joanne Bristol, and her granddaughter Mandy Morse.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to United Methodist Women, the Osage Senior Citizens or to a charity of your choice.

www.schroederfuneralhome.com

Champion Funeral Home, Osage (641) 732-3706