Frances Ann Thompson Fell was born on August 9, 1928 to Albert and Bertha (Stephenson) Thompson at the family farm in Clarion, Iowa. She was the youngest of five sisters, of whom two remain, Marjorie Allen of Norris, Tennessee and Muriel Clutter of Clarion, Iowa.
Frances was a tomboy and enjoyed helping her dad on the farm. After high school graduation Fran attended Normal Training at Cedar Falls, Iowa. She taught elementary school in Laurens and Alleman. On weekends she would visit her sister, Lola, and husband Doc Sundberg in Newell, who introduced her to Roy Fell who was attending college at Buena Vista College in Storm Lake. The couple was married in Clarion at the United Methodist Church on May 28, 1950. Soon after Roy was accepted to Still College of Osteopathic Medicine & Surgery and Fran continued to teach. When Roy graduated, they moved to Mount Ayr upon invitation from Sylva Moffet whose husband had an established medical practice. Fran simultaneously ran the medical office, lovingly cared for their growing family and cultured relationships with patients and friends that only grew stronger throughout her life. Roy and Fran also developed a strong Christian faith and were devoted in bringing many others to share their faith in the Lord. They became role models of hard work, love and devotion for their six children, Fay (Terry) Howie of Mount Ayr, Iowa, Paul (Stephany) Fell of Pleasant Hill, Iowa, John (Sohila) Fell of West Des Moines, Iowa, Eric (Judy) Fell of Mount Ayr, Iowa, Mary (Mike) Robertson of Omaha, Nebraska and Jim (Rachael) Fell of Lee’s Summit, Missouri.
Fran worked for the Cancer Registry of Iowa for over five years in the late 1970s. The couple officially retired in 1986 and enjoyed wintering in Phoenix, Arizona for several years. They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary this past May with their children and a host of well wishes from friends. Fran had recently attempted to deal with chronic renal disease by undergoing dialysis but was unable to continue the treatment. She entered Clearview Home on June 15, 2010 and Roy and children faithfully gave their love and support until July 9 when her wish to be taken by the Lord was granted.
Frances was preceded in death by her parents; an infant brother; her sisters, Lola and Iris; her son-in-law, Terry, and brothers-in-law, Curt, Doc, Howard, John and Max.
Fran will be greatly missed by her devoted husband; two sisters; six children and their spouses; 16 grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.
A memorial fund has been established in her name to be decided later. Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr was in charge of her arrangements.
Services were conducted at the United Baptist-Presbyterian Church in Mount Ayr on Tuesday, July 13, 2010, with Rev. Michael Maddy officiating. Musicians were Nancy Sackett, Carol McCreary, Grace Warin, Barbie Belzer and Jodie Wurster.
Casket bearers included Brian Fell, Nathan Howie, Nolan Howie, Brandon Fell, Mike Still and Chad Peterson.
Honorary pallbearers were Carter Still, Trent Fell, Trevor Fell and Alex Fell.
Fran was laid at rest in the Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr.