Frances “Frannie” Lula Uken of Columbia Falls passed away Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, at the age of 78 due to complications from Parkinson’s disease. She left this life gently and gracefully.
Frannie was born April 21, 1941, to Frances and Lula Shreve in Kellogg, Idaho. Frannie was the oldest of five children and grew up taking care of and herding her siblings as older sisters are apt to do. Frannie graduated from Kellogg High School in 1959 and started her nurses training at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula. During this time Frannie met her first husband Dave Sime and had two boys, Davie and Darin. Frannie then met her second husband, Paul Uken. Frannie, Paul, Davie and Darin then made their home in Plains in 1975.
Frannie always had a loving, adventurous, spirit in all parts of life. She loved hiking, camping, traveling, hobo camping and cooking, chopping wood, planting gardens in even the hardest of clay soil, repairing vehicles, putting on the roof and various tasks at the Plains house, picking berries, hunting, canning and making butter.
As an accomplished musician, she played with local bands and sang for weddings, music festivals and local venues in the lower Clark Fork Valley. Her love of music extended to her two sons. Davie was an accomplished banjo player and Darin loved to play the drums. Frannie wore many hats over the years. Frannie most enjoyed being at the schools in Columbia Falls interacting with the students in the lunchroom line, and finishing up her working career at Glacier National Park at the Lil’ Red School House in Apgar telling the tourists how to respect and revere the park and Montana.
Frannie felt her main purpose in life was to be a mother and give her children the tools they needed to be strong in life. She tragically lost both of her sons long before they could have families of their own. However, her stoicism, positive attitude, and belief in her God carried her through many painful times. Frannie was a caring, kind soul who saw the positive in people she met and did her best to help anyone in need. She always had a smile and had a knack with helping people feel good about themselves and finding the positives in life.
Frannie was preceded in death by her parents, Francis and Lula Shreve; brother, Darrell Shreve; sister, Joni Lindsey; and her two sons, Davie and Darin Sime.
She is survived by her husband, Paul Uken; brother, Duane Shreve; sister, Penny Haakenson (Richard); and cherished nieces and nephews.
There will be a celebration of life for Frannie’s friends at the Montana Logging Association Office (MLA), located at 2224 Hwy. 35 Kalispell, from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2.
Donations instead of flowers are requested and can be sent to support Log Jam at P.O. Box 3193, Kalispell, Montana 59903.
Friends are encouraged to visit the website www.buffalohillfh.com to leave notes of condolence for the family. Buffalo Hill Funeral Home and Crematory is caring for the family.