Private family services for Frances "Fran" Watts, 86, formally of Eldon, Hannibal and Perry, will be held Thursday, July 2, 2020, at Bienhoff Funeral Home in Perry. Burial will be in Lick Creek Cemetery.
Ms. Watts passed away at 12:20 a.m. June 29, 2020 at Tri-County Care Center in Vandalia.
She was born in rural Ralls County in the St. Paul-Pleasant Grove community on July 18, 1933, the daughter of James Fay and Mae Emma Gregg Gay.
Survivors include: one brother, Jimmie (Jeanie) Gay of Perry; one sister, Kay (Cletus) Sparks of New Hartford; two brothers-in-law, Bob Willis of Cartersville and Matt Lane of Sedalia; and 15 nieces and
nephews; Leisa (Dalton) Reynolds, Rusty (Glenda) Willis, Tracy (Lane) Weiser, Terry (Lane) Brown, Debbie (Mike) Davis, Donna (Adam) Hudson, Pam Smith, Jim Sparks, John Sparks, Jeff Gay, Robyn Lovelace, Kristen Greenplate, Brent Gay, Tammy Pringle and Amy Macintosh.
She was preceded in death by her parents; two sisters, Emma Faye Lane and Rose Lucille (Rosie) Willis; and one brother, J.D. Gay.
Ms. Watts was primarily a lifetime area resident, member of the Eldon First Christian Church and 1951 graduate of Perry High School.
She worked for Stehle switchboard in Perry and the Perry State Bank.
She moved to Hannibal in 1955 and worked as an operator for Southwestern Bell and trained the first male operator. She moved to Eldon where she continued to work for Southwestern Bell until her retirement in 1987 after 32 years of service. Ms. Watts was active in church and civic organizations. She was a volunteer for Eldon Community Food Pantry, Lee House, the local school and Relay For Life. Her participation in Telephone Pioneers kept her busy sewing Hug A Bears for children and
pillows for nursing home residents. She won several honors in bowling and golf. She enjoyed working with people, dancing, crafts and flowers. She was a very creative person.
Pallbearers will be family members.
Memorial contributions may be made to Lick Creek Cemetery, Ralls County Cancer Society or Eldon First Christian Church.
Online condolences may be made at www.bienhofffuneralhome.com