Frances (Francie) Crawford, 69
Frances "Francie" Ruth Crawford age 69 of Fredericksburg, IA, died Saturday, May 16, 2020, at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, MN.
Private funeral services will be held Wednesday, May 20, 2020, at the United Methodist Church, Fredericksburg with Rev. Michael Christie and Hugh Mackintosh presiding. Interment will be at the New Barclay Cemetery, rural Dunkerton, IA.
Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home and Crematory of New Hampton is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences for Francie's family may be left at hugebackfuneralhome.com
Frances “Francie” Ruth Crawford was born January 12, 1951, in Cudahay, WI, the daughter of Charles and Barbara (Burkitt) Vickers, and she was the second of four girls. Her family moved to the small western Iowa town of Mapleton, where her father owned the Maple Theater. It was a family business, and all four girls worked at the theater, which is where Francie definitely developed her taste for popcorn.
During the middle of her junior year of high school, the family moved to Sioux City, where Francie was a member of the Class of 1969. Her old school, Maple Valley, remained close to her heart; in fact, she attended reunions for both schools.
She attended the University of Northern Iowa, obtaining her degree in Elementary Education and meeting her future husband, Steve. They were married on July 27, 1974, at the Barclay United Presbyterian Church, rural Dunkerton, IA. Their wedding took place in the same church and on the same date of Steve's parents, 30 years later.
The couple welcomed two daughters, Leslie and Laura, mainly settling down in Waterloo, IA before moving to Fredericksburg in 1987 when Steve took a job teaching and coaching.
Francie found her calling at St. Joseph Hospital in New Hampton, where she served as the Community Outreach and Education Coordinator for 22 years before becoming the Volunteer Coordinator at Iowa Hospice, which later became St. Croix Hospice.
Francie was a people person, and she never uttered an unkind word to anyone. She loved to cook and only God knows how many people requested Francie’s recipes.
She was a big supporter of her husband and daughters. Steve traveled throughout the Midwest and sometimes further to play softball, and Francie was always with him. Leslie and Laura were involved in volleyball, basketball, track, golf, softball, and music, and Francie rarely, if ever, missed a chance to support her daughters in their endeavors. They point out that they got their “athletics” from Dad’s side of the family and their “music and golf” from Mom’s.
Francie and Steve also hosted a foreign-exchange student in 2000, Louise McGoldrich, from Scotland, and they loved the chance to reconnect on one of their four trips to Europe — three of which were taken when they took girls' basketball teams to Ireland. Francie’s love of travel allowed her to visit 49 of the 50 states, missing out only on South Carolina.
She was first diagnosed with cancer in 1988 when doctors found she had Hodgkin’s. Four years later, the cancer returned, but like the first time, Francie won the battle against the disease. In 2006, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and again, she showed remarkable strength through another health crisis. She never complained; she just kept fighting.
She was a member of the PEO and active in the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life. In 2004, she was selected to be the Iowa recipient of the organization's Profile in Courage award. She served as an ambassador for their National Relay for Life in Washington, D.C. on three occasions. She also was involved in the Fredericksburg community and served Fredericksburg United Methodist Church in a variety of ways.
Francie never lost her zest for family. She made as many of her grandson Tristan’s games as she could and loved to video call her grandchildren in Colorado.
There are an infinite number of ways Francie will be remembered by her husband, her daughters, her grandchildren, her dear friends who were like family, and her communities, but maybe the best way to sum up her life is that she made the world a better place while she was here.
Survivors include her husband, Steve; two daughters, Leslie (James) Winder of Waterloo, Laura (Jim) Kopaska of Westminster, CO; six grandchildren, Tristan Wright, Lilly Winder, Hadley Kopaska, Lawson Kopaska, Brody Winder, Abbey Winder; three sisters, Jeanne Braun of Medina, OH, Charlene Burgess of Rogue River, OR, Barbara Jo “Bobbi” of Woodward, IA; brothers-in-law, William (Elaine) Crawford of Glidden, IA, Richard (Patricia) Crawford of Waterloo, Jeffrey Crawford of San Antonio, TX.
She was preceded in death by her parents; a granddaughter, Laney Winder; and a dear niece, Tonya.