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Life in the Motor Cities Gruppe

Frances M. Darragh, 1917-2015

September 17, 2015
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Dear Friends and Family of Frances Means Darragh,

My Mom passed away on Monday, September 7, 2015 in Naples Fl.   Mom was 97 years 8 months and 17 days old on this earth.   Frances M. Darragh, born December 20, 1917 to Robert Means and Anna Carr.  Robert Means was improving his 80 acre property homesteader ranch in Clayton, New Mexico died in November of 1918, during the influenza epidemic.    Since Robert had not lived on the property for the mandatory 5 years the US Government seized his property, house, barns and livestock leaving Anna and Frances homeless.

Anna moved to Kansas to live with a brother, she later re-married Logan Donaghue  who owned a small farm, he also had a daughter Edith; Logan and Anna had two more children, Marie and Harold “Bud” Donaghue, both predeceased Frances.   Logan and Anna lost their farm to foreclosure during the early 1930’s they then lived at a neighbors rental house while Logan worked as a laborer on their farm.  In the mid 1930 they moved to Mississippi to live on Anna’s uncles dairy farm, Frances left the dairy farm at age 17 after a dispute with the Uncle over never paying her Step-Father or her for their work,  he was taking advantage of her family and basically using them as slave labor.   Frances never got the opportunity to graduate from High School.   Anna gave Mom the only $20.00 they had and she took a train to Kansas City, KS to work for a Drs. Wife who had just given birth to twins.  After that job was over she continued to live in KC in the WMCA and worked at the local hospital.

Around 1937-38 she and her room-mate decided to take jobs offered in Trona, CA at a hospital.  She met Joe at a local restaurant, and they were married on April 8, 1939.  My parents both worked in the aircraft industry during WWII in San Diego, and Long Beach, CA.   My Brother Bob and I were born in Burbank, CA. 

Over the years Frances lived in New Mexico, Kansas, Mississippi, California, Michigan, Missouri, Texas, Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida during her lifetime.    Joe passed away in September of 2005.  She leaves as messengers into the future daughter Barbara Marie, husband Victor Skirmants, son Robert Joseph, wife Angela Darragh and granddaughter Nicole Josephine Darragh.

Frances lived a full life and traveled extensively in the US.  She and Joe lived in Naples for 26 years and were faithful and active members of the East Naples United Methodist Church. 

Her family is most grateful for the care by Naples Community Hospital and Avow Hospital in Naples.

There will be a memorial service in December in Naples, there will also be a small Memorial Service in Lapeer, Michigan in October.   If you would like to make a contribution to Avow Hospice, 1095 Whippoorwill Lane, Naples, FL   34105 this is a non-profit foundation and all contributions are tax deductible.

If you would like to participate in either of these services please contact me, for further details.

Barbara Skirmants

3359 Kings Mill Road

North Branch, Mi   48461

Skirmants@hughes.net

Cell 810-358-7313

3 Comments

  1. Dear Barbara, we are so very sorry for your loss; you were such a good daughter and friend to your mother. I know how much you will miss talking to her. She is in a good place, and we wish you peace as well.

  2. What a journey. Here’s to Francis, a great lady. May she rest in peace.

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