Frances Doudna Lewis died on June 27, 2013, at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, Washington, two days before her 98th birthday. She was born Frances Emery Doudna on June 29, 1915, in Stoughton, Wisconsin, to Frank I. and Lennie Lenore Emery Doudna. She was the youngest of their three children.
The family lived on a farm outside the tiny town of Poynette, Wisconsin, and Frances rode the three miles to school on her Shetland pony, Bunny. An excellent student, she graduated as valedictorian of the Poynette High School class of 1933. She went on to the University of Wisconsin, where she earned numerous honors and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics in 1937. After graduation, Frances taught Home Ec in Baraboo, Wis., for a year.
On July 14, 1938, Frances married Earl A. “Red” Lewis in Madison, Wis. Red’s career with the U.S. Soil Conservation Service took them to posts in Idaho and Washington. While in Elma, Wash., Fran taught a year before the couple welcomed their son, George. They lived for 18 years in Montesano, Wash., where they had two more children, Mary Frances and Richard. In 1957, Red was transferred to Maui, Hawaii. There, Fran resumed teaching until Red retired in 1969. Then they made a circuit of the mainland before eventually resettling in Montesano. From this base they traveled extensively to be with their children, visiting Europe, southern Africa, South America, Alaska and Indonesia. They also explored widely throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Fran enjoyed being a homemaker. She loved to cook, bake, garden and can; and she was an excellent seamstress. In both the Montesano Methodist Church and the Wailuku Union Church, she taught Sunday School, took leadership roles in the women’s group, and sang in the choir. She had an outstanding lyric soprano voice and was an accomplished pianist. Because she and Red loved the out of doors, their vacations were usually camping or backpacking trips with the family. Both were active in the Olympians Hiking Club. Fran was also a member of the Order of Eastern Star.
On July 14, 1988, Fran and Red celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary with all their children and grandchildren present. Sadly Red died in November of that year. Fran continued to live life to the fullest. In addition to maintaining her church activities, she traveled to Indonesia, Thailand and New Zealand. Her 89th birthday was spent camping!
Fran moved to Channel Point in Hoquiam in the fall of 2007, and then a year later to The Hampton in Tumwater. She had a very brief final illness with their son, George, in faithful attendance.
Fran will be remembered for her devotion to her family, her selflessness, her personal strength and her abiding faith. She had a warm smile, bright eyes, and a deep conviction that everything would turn out just fine. She expressed gratitude to all those who assisted her in her later years.
Fran is survived by her three children, George E. (Ann) Lewis of Vashon, Wash., Mary Frances Lewis of Montesano, Wash. and Richard J. (Tamera) Lewis of Selah, Wash.; her grandsons, Matthew A. Lewis of London, UK and S. Zach (Monica) Lewis of Rochester, N.Y.; and her great-granddaughter, Madeline Lewis. Frances was preceded in death by her husband, Earl A. Lewis; her brother, Quincy Doudna and her sister, Maude Lenore Healy.
In Fran’s memory, gifts may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 100 W. Harrison, North Tower Suite 200, Seattle, Wash. 98119; or to the Montesano United Methodist Church, 410 East Spruce Street, Montesano, Wash. 98563.
A Commemoration of the Life of Frances D. Lewis will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, July 22, 2013, at the Montesano United Methodist Church. A catered picnic will follow at Lake Sylvia State Park.