Mount Vernon News

Mount Vernon News
January 17, 2012 11:23 am EST


HOLLAND, Mich. — Frances L. “Fran” Crunkilton, 96, of Holland, Mich., and Ashland, Ohio, died Friday, Jan. 13, 2012, at The Inn at Freedom Village.

Frances was in a class all by herself. Born in 1915, her father was a coal miner in West Virginia, and she was raised with all of the traditions of the South. Frances saw a fire which closed the mine; her family then moved to North Liberty, Ohio. She experienced the Depression as a teenager. She fell in love with her high school teacher, Virgil, and they married. She worked in the factory as a “Rosie the Riveter” during the war.

She and Virgil had three children, one when she was 40. She started her first day of college when she was 42, taught school for 18 years, liking the fifth grade most. Frances received the envy of many, though often times she did not feel it. With Virgil, she celebrated 74 years of marriage.

She loved work, being busy, didn’t like the idea of vacations, pinched her pennies when it wasn’t necessary, and was an opinionated Republican who adored Ronald Regan. She was a skilled antique buyer and seller, a master of many crafts, and could entertain in memorable ways. She was the “mess wagon” for hired hands on a large dairy farm. Her control was her facial expressions and her directed finger; however, her smile and attitude always won her friends at every one of the 19 locations where she lived, including Freedom Village.

She wanted the traditional family that could meet on Sunday evenings, not one spread out all over the nation and the world. Her love for the little ones was precious. In summary, she was a “tough” but “shining” bird and will be missed by friends and family!

Frances was preceded in death by Virgil, her husband of 74 years (2007); and daughter-in-law, Linda Crunkilton (2011).

Frances’ loving family includes her children, Jane and David Armstrong of Holland, Mich., Robert and Terry Jill Crunkilton of Hood River, Ore., Larry Crunkilton of Ukiah, Calif.; 16 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; brother-in-law, Donald and Helen Crunkilton of Ohio; many nieces, nephews and cousins.

A memorial service will be Friday, Jan. 20, at 2 p.m. in the gymnasium at Freedom Village (fourth floor), 145 Columbia Ave., in Holland. Dr. William Brownson will be officiating. Burial will be in North Liberty, Ohio, at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Freedom Village Scholarship Fund.

Arrangements are by Lakeshore Memorial Services of Holland, Mich.

Please visit to leave a message or memory for the Crunkilton family.

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