Frances J. Spain, 78, of Maquoketa, Iowa, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Thursday, November 19, 2020, at her home. A private family visitation and funeral celebrating her life will be held.
Frances (Fran) Jeanne O’Brien was born April 14, 1943 at the Maquoketa Hospital to Edward O’Brien and Lois (Evans) O’Brien. Fran married Duane Spain on June 15, 1963 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Maquoketa. They lived on their acreage in rural Maquoketa (2 miles north of Elwood) where they raised their three children.
Fran graduated from Maquoketa High School in 1961. She worked at J.C. Penney’s, Dolch’s Morning Glory Bakery, and Northwestern Bell Telephone Company (in Maquoketa). In 1980, she became the bookkeeper for their gas station (Zephyr) for 36 years until retirement.
Fran won the talent portion of the first ever Miss Maquoketa Pageant in 1961. She danced the Charleston.
To this marriage were born Todd (Joan) Spain, Tammi (David) Paulsen, and Chad (Christi) Spain and 13 grandchildren: Dan (Brooke) Paulsen, Kim (Tim) Duhn, Ethan, Levi (Emily), Auston, Isaac (Rebekah), Sawyer, Peyton, Lucas, and Jacob Spain, Brandi, Tonya, and Robin Seaberg. Her fifteen great grandchildren were Connor and Harper Paulsen, Liam and Mira Duhn, Atticus Spain, Madison, and Zachary Wichtoski, Tristan, Cheyanna, Paige, Harley, and Thomas Usher, Serenity, and Carter Edwards, and Bobby Seaberg. What joy this family brought Grandma Fran.
Fran’s siblings are Kathy O’Brien (Dubuque), Linda (Barry) Nudd (Bellevue), Frank O’Brien (Bellevue), Rhonda Radetzki (Dubuque), Kim Wiese (St. Paul, MN), Robin Ignatowicz (St. Louis Park, MN), and Cliff (Cathy) Morgan (Dubuque).
Fran was preceded in death by her husband Duane Spain, parents Eddie and Lois and siblings John O’Brien, Mary Rose O’Brien, Patrick O’Brien, Kevin Radetzki, and Steve Radetzki.
Fran delivered “Meals” to folks for many years. She enjoyed monthly luncheons with former telephone operators for 12 years (in 2018). She was an avid reader and loved the Maquoketa Library. Fran painted intricate coloring and did a lot of it. It was relaxing to her. She didn’t do any social media but used snail mail. Fran had a positive attitude and wasn’t a worrier. Her motto was “Do your best, and God will do the rest.”
Fran kept a detailed journal, enjoyed taking pictures, and collected rosaries. She never met a stranger.
Condolences may be sent to Todd Spain, 1806 160th St, Lost Nation IA 52254.