THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Ellen (Gillis) Francois, 105, of Oconto Falls, passed away early Tuesday morning, May 16, 2017 at Atrium Post Acute Care of Oconto Falls.
Born Dec. 13, 1911 in Wausaukee the third child of eight children, to Archie and Anne (Hubard) Gillis, they lived in Wausaukee and Wabeno before moving to Oconto Falls when she was three years old. She graduated from Oconto Falls High School in 1930 and worked at Metzler Lumber Co. and as a waitress in downtown Oconto Falls. While working at the restaurant, a young man came to visit her and bought cigarettes, even though he didn't smoke and on Nov. 25, 1930, she married "that man", August Francois.
The couple moved to the family farm which they owned and operated for 43 years in rural Oconto Falls where they would raise their seven children and she sewed most of her children's clothing. In perspective, the sinking of the Titanic happened four months after her birth.
They enjoyed fishing, hunting, camping and traveling together for most of their years until he passed in 1992. A longtime member of St. Anthony Catholic Parish in Oconto Falls and the PCCW, she was known her card playing and wasn't shy to say you messed up or cost her some winnings.
She stayed active in Senior Citizens Card Club and enjoyed volunteering at the local nursing home into her 90's. She enjoyed going to exercise class and traveling with friends to social gatherings.
In 2011 she moved in with her son and daughter-in-law, Ron and Carol Francois, where she was well cared for and felt at home. She remained an avid reader until the end of life.
She will be remembered for her good attitude about life, sense of humor and ability to make others feel good about themselves and others.
Survivors include five children, Melvin (Dorothy) Francois, Dunbar, Janet (Donald) Beardsley, Menominee, Mi., Ronald "Bozo" (Carol) Francois, Oconto Falls, Susie (Clarence) Jarmuskiewicz, Green Bay and Rodger Francois, Gillett; a son-in-law, Lucien Burleaud, Texas; a daughter-in-law, Sue Francois, Waukesha; 20 grandchildren, 38 great-grandchildren and many great-great grandchildren.
Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by four brothers,; three sisters; her husband; her first child, Marilyn Burleaud and fifth child, Jim Francois.
Visitation will be held at St. Anthony Catholic Church Saturday, May 20 from 10 a.m. until time of a Mass of Christian Burial at 12:30 p.m. Rev. Fr. Joel Sember will officiate with burial to follow in the Church cemetery. Jones Funeral Service of Oconto Falls is assisting the family with arrangements.