Stevensville – Our earth angel took her wings on March 13 and departed on her journey to rest and find the peace she knew would await her. She was as elegant and dignified in her passing as she was in life. Her circle has been completed and so many have had the benefit of knowing a true lady in knowing our Frances.
Frances Haley Cote was given to this world on April 3, 1925 by her mother Ruth Bolin Haley and her father Albert L. Haley. There was much scarcity in her early life and her mother Ruth instilled in her 5 living children, a sense of dignity and pride, “just because you are poor, you don’t have to be dirty or shabby”. This philosophy stayed with our Mother who sacrificed much herself to make sure her own family would never have to experience the pain she knew and made sure “her girls” were always well dressed in new clothes and enjoyed the opportunities she had missed out on. Her impeccable sense of fashion and dress was a joy to watch as she enjoyed shopping very much and was very accomplished at “spinning the racks.” There are no words of gratitude to describe the privilege of being one of Franny’s daughters.
While attending a dance her senior year of high school, she met her future husband Bud Cote who thought she was the prettiest girl ever and had pretty knees. Thus began their 60 year dance through life and brought them their own family of 4 girls, Carol Jean, Diane Lynn, Virginia Ann and Michelle Darlene. They never got a boy but we all knew how to milk cows, feed, hay and take care of the calves. Mom was lucky to teach us how to cook but left her mark as being the best cook around and Dad never had trouble finding a haying crew with four daughters and a wife who made dumplings and apple pie for dessert. It was a great life. They were a true team and partners in the dairy, cattle ranching and the Victor hardware store, with Mom as head bookkeeper, keeping all things on track and operating smoothly. That was a trait she carried with her up to the very end, tithing and signing checks just 24 hours before her passing. Her house was in order and she could leave knowing the chores were done.
In the 1970’s, Bud and Frances joined the Seventh Day Adventist church in Stevensville as Mom had been raised Adventist and was longing to reclaim her spiritual life. They were instrumental in helping build the new church on Pine Hollow and were very dedicated members. Mom published the church bulletin for many years and was very involved in charitable activities the church supported, here and abroad, all the while enjoying the fellowship of their church family. Later, when she moved to Missoula after Dad’s passing, she was a devoted member of the Missoula Seventh Day Adventist church and made many long lasting friends there. Her church family will dearly miss her presence. They were able to enjoy numerous trips after their retirement. They were members of the Good Sam Club and hosted events in the river bottom property they owned and had many wonderful meetings with their travel companions. They made trips to the East Coast, West Coast, the South and all points in between, Canada, Hawaii and Alaska. Mom had the chance to experience many well deserved excursions and we are fortunate to have those memories preserved by her diligence with the video recorder. Those are just some of the treasure she left for us.
She was preceded in death by her husband Lyndell (Bud) Cote, parents, Ruth and Albert, baby sister Grace, young brother Charles, cherished sisters Alene Krumpnick, and Doris Dahmen, loving and funny brother Ted Haley, cherished and adored bother Don Haley, precious great grandson Nathan Hixon, and son in law Kevin Schreier.
She is survived by her daughters, Carol Schreier, Diane Romero, Virginia Rae and Michelle Kuntz (husband Roy Kuntz) and son in law Lou Romero. Grandchildren Mark Barteaux (Beth), Valerie Hixon (Rick), Angie Johnson, Bandi Johnson (Steffen) and their children, great grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren. Grandson Cameron Romero, granddaughters Raquel Romero (Michael) and Rebecca Golden (Peter), their children and grandson Ryan Rae. There are also many nieces and nephews from both sides of the family and their children and grandchildren not to mention the dear friends who were like family.
Mom was the last living person from that Greatest Generation of family members, just shy a few weeks of 89. They have all left a great void in their passing but also a great legacy of love and family for which we shall be forever grateful.
Special thanks to Rocky Mountain Hospice for making it possible for Mom to remain in the comfort of her home, Liz Houston and Sarah of Missoula Elder Care for their wonderful care, our “other sister”, Bobbi McEwen for always knowing the right time to appear and share her love, Jim Finch for being Mom’s favorite handyman for so many years and Pastor Ritterskamp for his caring and concern.
A graveside service is planned for May 9, 2014 at the Victor Cemetery. Notification will precede the date. Moms wishes were in lieu of flowers, please share that money with a charity of your choice, The Missoula or Stevensville Seventh Day Adventist churches or the Humane Society.
We love you and miss you Mom, more than you will ever know.
Carol, Diane, Ginger and Michelle
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.whitesittfuneralhome.com.