Sorry this is so late. But, yours truely had the flue for all of December and most of January. Back to the museum feeling better.
Jane has cleaned the storage room and it is now presentable. She will be inventoring it this month. Then on to the Post office.
Virginia Johnson donated two nice occasional chairs for the museum nice to sit in comfy chairs while restoriing textiles and having chats about history.
We were very sad when on of our members went to live in Heaven. Francis Lewis was just 7 months from her one hundreth birthday. She attend the Historicals society's meeting in November and had attended most of them for the last few years.
Below is a brief history of her life and the dedication to the City she loved Wheat Ridge Colorado.
FRANCES W. LEWIS EULOGY
July 20, 1915 –
January 2, 1015
LeAnn Richards, Idella Lewis, Robert Lewis & Norene Hawthorne
Frances born in Burress , NE, July 20, 1915, parents Herbert & Edna
Roberts and one brother, Wesley, three years younger.
Wes & Frances walked two miles
each way to attend country school.
- 4-H member & 4-H leader, teaching canning, sewing,
- Canning won her a trip to National 4-H Club Congress in
- Selected as the girl delegate from the state of NE to
attend 4-H Citizenship Short Course in Washington DC Chosen to lay a
wreath on the grave of the Unknown Soldier
- Boarded in town to attend high school. Graduated
in 1933 as Valedictorian of the class
- Taught in country school one year
- Attended Business
college in Lincoln, lived with roommates. Mom lived in the basement
of the Boyz family home along with other roommates. They would call
the local radio station to request a song to be played on the radio.
The announcer would say, "This next song is dedicated to the girls at
the Boyz house." They really got a "kick" out of
doing that & had a lot of fun living together. The girls would
sell apples and popcorn in the stands at the Nebraska football
- Became acquainted with Leon, a cousin of a roommate.
- Worked in State Capitol in Lincoln in State
Dept./Vocational Education. Boss asked her to work for him in
- Worked during the WWII years in D.C. & when war was
over married Leon in NE & moved to Wheat Ridge.
Leon and Frances married September , 1946. She worked at the Federal center before first
child LeAnn was born the next year. After
living for 7 years in a small rental home the family moved into a new 3 BR
ranch style home on Christmas Eve 1953 with a newborn baby, Norene (4th child). Four
kids were born within 6 years .with Robert landing in the middle of the last 2. Mom & LeAnn called the younger 3, “the little kids” until all were in school.
Early in the marriage, Jefferson Ave. Methodist Church
and construction of the Maple Grove Grange were on the agenda. Mom sold raffle tickets on the streets of
West Denver to raise funds for building Maple Grove Grange. Social events included: square dances, potlucks, drill teams and
The family lived 200 ft. from Leon’s mother Ida (kids’
grandmother whose husband died in 1950).
Grandma and our family shared a vegetable garden big enough for a home site.
From the garden, Mom canned green beans, sauerkraut,
pickles, tomatoes. Also seasonal fruit
for winter. She baked angel food cakes
using egg whites, 4 loaves of bread weekly ---- what a treat after school to
have warm bread & churned butter! Mom also baked cookies, cakes and quick
breads as well as pies.
Dad had a fulltime job with Western Union but on the
side ------ farmed Grandma’s land and adjoining rental land, kept 2 to 5 dairy cows,
some beef cattle, chickens for eggs, and occasionally pigs for meat. We drank unpasteurized (raw) milk and ate
organic food before knowing its value.
Extra eggs, cream, and milk were sold. Mom milked 2 or 3 cows 2x/day; & alone in the winter mornings
when Dad took night shift for Western Union @ Stapleton for several years. The farm was sold and developed in 1969.
Our family enjoyed a unique treat occasionally on
Sunday evenings. Popcorn & 1 ½ gallons of (hand cranked) Homemade
ice cream from our eggs, milk and cream.
Driver/Chauffeur for Grandma Lewis –to meet the bus for work &
pickup after work, from 1956 to early 1960s.
Grandma Lewis didn’t drive! Mom
transported her places, took her on shopping trips, and ate meals once /week
Mid 1970s – both of Mom’s ailing parents, Herb and
Edna Roberts from Exeter, Nebraska moved to CO & lived in the home several
years before their deaths.
Leon died in 1989, Mom continued to be a caregiver and chauffeur for
Grandma Lewis until her death several
Mom gave volunteer service to a variety of
- 69 year member of Maple Grove Grange
- Member of Maple Grove Grange Drill Team involving lots
- Maple Grove Grange Matron ( Leader ) for Jr. Grange
- Colo. State
Grange Matron (Leader) for Jr. Grange members
- Colorado Stage Grange
Outstanding Grange Member Award 1990
- Treasurer of Maple Grove Grange for many years
- Delegate to State Grange Sessions. Attended this
past Sept. because she said she "wanted to know what was going
- Prepared many Pomona dinners.
- In Mom’s
childhood she was a 10 year 4-H member and attended Club Congress in Chicago with
her Canning Project. She also was selected
to represent Nebraska at the National 4-H Conference in Washington D.C. She had great pride having been selected to
place a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
year 4-H Leader of Working Hands 4-H Club
to it that projects were finished & ready to enter in the county fair. (Her own kids as well as members of the club)
- Chaperone to 4-H events---State Fair in Pueblo.
One time her own son was missing when the bus was ready to return & he
was found looking at livestock at the fair!
- Chairperson of Children's Barnyard at Eastertime.
Tent was set up at Westland Shopping Center and she would find all the
mother/baby animals from county 4-H members to have on display as well as
arrangements for care, bedding & feeding.
- Chair for
annual Chicken Barbecue Fundraiser
at the fairgrounds. Purchased food and organized leaders and members
to help prepare, and serve. Served 1000-1200 people.
- Organized leaders and members
to manage the concession stand during county fair, supplied all the food,
drinks and even made sloppy Joes at home!
- Directed her club members presenting a skit for
the county play contest
- Judged clothing and food items
at Denver, Adams, and Arapahoe county fairs
Kids Lesson Activities
- The girls took weekly dancing lessons & she sewed their costumes for when they
performed in shows at Christmas time at Ridge Home, Boy's Detention Center
in Golden, Girl's Detention Center in Morrison & other
organizations. Not only sewed for her own 3 girls, but made costumes for others whose
mothers didn't sew. Imagine making all the ruffles on the can can
dresses on a straight stitch machine!
Many times mom also sewed dresses for the girls as well for others.
- Girls also took weekly piano lessons – there was a lot of commuting to and from our lessons
during the week including Saturdays.
- Weekly Denver
Jr. Police Band practices for Robert and then 3 concerts/year. Mom loved the concerts!
- Midget football practices–games
- The sisters would attend as the cheerleaders.
Church - Church participation increased
when the kids left home
- Member of Jefferson Ave. United Methodist Church 69
- Always saw to it the kids would attend Sunday School
every Sunday & Bible School in the summer, and MYF (Methodist Youth
Fellowship) on Sunday evenings.
- Always helped with church dinners. She, Dad &
Grandma would prepare the annual Fall Bounty Dinner. She made ~ 150
yeast rolls, picked green beans from their garden, and made a tender/tasty
- She & Dad would cut a Christmas tree for the
sanctuary & mitten tree every year from their ranch in Golden Gate
- Worked at the church rummage sales, sorting items for
- Well known for her lemon meringue & chocolate pies
donated for church events.
- President of United Methodist Women & attended
- 20 yrs. worked for RSVP Program as a volunteer (Retired
Senior Volunteer Program)
- Handed out commodity foods
- Sorted/mended clothing for Jeffco Action Center
- Helped fit women who came in to get clothing at the
temporary buildings set up behind the church. Altered clothing for
the small Vietnamese women who came in.
- Worked as an election judge for the county elections.
- Donated blood up until her 80’s.
.Mom’s joy was her kids. She
loved all our school, church, grange and 4-H activities and supported us in
all. She was more about
simplicity than elegance. We have heard
repeatedly from acquaintances and family how “helpful and
sharing” she lived her life. Mom willingly shared
her time and talents with others. What
good fortune for us to have a role model such as “Mom”. Her kindness, patience, and work ethic
demonstrated she truly lived in the light of the Lord.
It’s a homecoming to be in the church where we all
attended an active MYF program. All 4 of us have been married once --- all 4 in this church, between 1968 and 1988 (20 year spread). We remember attending Sunday School
and Bible School in the original
Jefferson Ave. diagonally across the
Mom shared that she had rheumatic fever before 8th grade, and was
bedridden, worried she wouldn’t get to
attend High School. And in her later
years –was amazed that her heart remained strong for so many years!
Mom loved life, loved the beauty of Colorado, although always considered
herself a “cornhusker”. She also loved
to be on the “go” and in her later years enjoyed Idella taking her various
places in the car, never falling asleep as she wanted to see everything.
Jefferson Avenue United Methodist Church nominated
Frances Lewis for the Quiet Disiple
award. In December Mom was told that
she would be the recipient. This honor
will be awarded posthumously the end of February