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Frances D Burgess

October 27, 1920 ~ July 6, 2017 (age 96)

Frances D. (Wilson) Burgess, a decades-long resident of Beaver Dam, died on July 6, 2017 at The Medical Center in Scottsville, Ky.  She was, as she would usually declare her age after she reached her 80s, “going on 97.”

“Frances” or “Frances Dee” or “Dee” (she had no middle name, only an initial) or “Granny” or “Granny Dee”, as she was known to scores of friends and relatives throughout Kentucky and other states, peacefully passed away in her sleep in the presence of family members only minutes after midnight. She had untreatable respiratory failure caused by rapidly advancing pulmonary fibrosis. 

Frances was born On Oct. 27, 1920 at Cromwell, Ky. where she spent her childhood on her family’s farms just across the Ohio County line in Butler County.  

She attended the Cromwell School but was a 1939 graduate of Hartford (Ky.) High School, which she attended while living with her mother’s parents a few blocks from the school.  Her mother and father had decided that she would be better educated at Hartford because the school was better funded and equipped and getting to it in winter by walking a few blocks was more certain than by the horse-drawn “school bus” that transported outlying rural students to Cromwell School in the 1930s.

She was a daughter of the late Chester A. and Maurine (Martin) Wilson.  Her father was born in Butler County to Robert D. and Quintura Frances (Whitaker) Wilson; her mother in Cromwell to Ransom B. and Delilah (Flener) Martin, who later became long-time Hartford residents.

Her sister, Grace Maurine Wilson (Brown), was 10 years younger than Frances. She died in Dallas, Tex., where she resided, in July, 1960 following heart surgery.

Frances was the widow of Henry E. Burgess, a native of Beaver Dam who was the town’s long-time watchmaker and jeweler.  She met him at the 1938 Ohio County Fair and minutes later declared to a girlfriend who was with her that “I’m going to marry that boy.”  They were married in Beaver Dam on June 28, 1939.  Henry died on October 12, 1994.

Following World War Two, with their (then) two young children, she followed Henry from Beaver Dam to Kansas City and northeast Kansas where he attended watchmaking school and worked as a watchmaker before the family returned in 1950.  Over the years before both retired in 1983, Frances worked at the General Electric tube-turn works in Owensboro in the 1950s, as a popular nurse’s aide at the Ohio County Hospital in the 1960s-70s, and clerked at Rice Drugs in the 1970s-80s. Family joked that if she didn’t know most people in Ohio County, it was the fault of those whom she didn’t know.

She was an avid and incessant crocheter, turning out scores of throws, blankets, garments, and other creations as gifts over a several decades.  She broke retirement about 10 years ago and started producing baby throws and blankets that she sold directly to clients and through Young Hardware in Beaver Dam.

For 60 years Frances was an active and important member of Beaver Dam’s Grace Chapter #37 of the Order of Easter Star.  She served in most Grace Chapter leadership and ritual positions and a number of state-level OES positions from 1953 to 2013.

Conducting and/or teaching in OES schools in which members receive training in conducting rituals took her from Paducah to Pikeville, often in company with husband Henry, who as a Mason served as her chapter’s worthy patron during the near-10 times she was its worthy matron.  

As a child, Frances was a member of the Green River Baptist Church at Cromwell.  She had been a member of the Beaver Dam Baptist Church since the early 1950s.  For many years she was a choir member.

Frances was a member of Louisville’s Corn Island Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). Although her membership was based upon only one of her ancestors helping the colonies break away from England to form a new country, research by one of her granddaughters has revealed at least 10 patriotic ancestors who joined in the fight.

In 2013 she sold the Beaver Dam home she and Henry moved into in 1963 and improved over the years. She moved to Scottsville to live with daughter Patricia Ann and her husband.  Health issues took her to living at Chandler Hall assisted living home in Bowling Green a year ago.

Frances is survived by son Joseph Burgess and wife Mary Ann of Frankfort, Ky. and their daughter, Grace Burgess (Halmhuber) Anderson and husband Larry of Lawrenceburg, Ky. and their children, William Henry Halmhuber and Sarah Anderson;

Also, survived by Patricia Ann (Acquaviva) Parke and husband Al of Scottsville and their daughter Pamela Dee Acquaviva Kalbfleisch and husband Craig of Louisville and their daughter, Alicia Marie of Danville, Ky; their son James Acquaviva and wife Melissa (Hoskins) (Porter) and their son Darren Michael Porter of Louisville, daughter Janeanne Porter of Bowling Green, daughter Marybeth Acquaviva, and son Chandler Acquaviva; their daughter Catherine (Acquaviva) (Culligan) Green and husband Jason of Franklin, Tenn., and their daughters Caitlin Culligan of Knoxville, Tenn., Margaret Culligan, and Patricia Culligan and sons Leo Culligan, John Paul Culligan, and Ilan Green; and their son Tracy Parke and wife Molly (Hastings) of Louisville and their daughter Fianna.

Also, survived by Vicki Jayne Hanson and husband Paul of Bowling Green (previously Beaver Dam) and their son, Jeffery Hanson and partner Ronda Cox of Beaver Dam; their daughter Natalie Hanson and partner Brian Holland of Caneyville, Ky.; their son Evan Henry Hanson and wife Sarah (Clark) of Cromwell and their daughters Allison Grace and Caidence; their daughter Sarah Kathryn “Kate” Hanson Monheimer and husband Edward of Frankfort and their daughter Bailey Elise.

Frances is also survived by special great-nieces Judy (Jones) Law of Beaver Dam and Susie Howard of Morgantown, Ky.  They are daughters of the late Ruby Nell Burgess of Beaver Dam, a niece of Henry with whom Frances had a near-sister relationship.

Visitation preceding Frances’s funeral is scheduled for 4 to 8 p.m. (CDT) on Monday, July 10 at Bevil Brothers Funeral Home, which is handling arrangements, located at 226 Louisville Road in Beaver Dam and from 9 to 11 a.m. (CDT) on Tuesday, July 11 at Beaver Dam Baptist Church, 343 South Main in Beaver Dam, with funeral services at the church immediately following. Burial will be at Beaver Dam's Sunnyside Cemetery on Louisville Road.

The services are to be conducted by retired Beaver Dam Baptist Church pastor the Rev. Glen Armstrong and current pastor the Rev. John Cashion.  Frances’s grandsons and grandsons-in-law are to serve as pallbearers.

 Service Information

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