Frances Ellen Burgess, 89, passed away on the morning of Friday, February 9, 2018, at St. Alphonsus Hospital in Baker City after suffering a stroke.
Frances was born in Rupert, Idaho on May 10, 1928 to Fred and Anna Schodde of Burley, Idaho. Fran and her younger sister Colleen spent their youth on a ranch near Burley. Despite the Depression, they had a happy childhood; Fran excelled in school and became an accomplished pianist.
Fran graduated from Heyburn High School in 1946 and attended the University of Idaho, earning a degree in Education in 1950. Later that year, Fran came to Baker to interview for a job and was offered a position teaching sixth, and then ninth, grade English. Many of her students still live in Baker and became life long friends.
A fellow teacher, Dorothea Burgess, introduced Fran to her son John. They were married in 1952 and spent the rest of their lives in Baker City.
Fran taught school until she became a mother in 1957. After that, she became very active in the community: she served on the board of the Red Cross, Hospital Auxiliary Scholarship Board, the 5J School Board for 9 years, helped organize the YMCA, and worked to establish the Baker County Library District; one of her proudest accomplishments. In later years Fran and John volunteered at the Heritage Museum, the Adler House, and on the Christmas Parlor Tours. In 1997 she was named the Chamber of Commerce’s Legacy Woman of the Year in recognition of her service to the community.
Fran and husband John were very active in the First Presbyterian Church of Baker City. She was an elder and a deacon, and spent much time helping with church functions. She joined PEO chapter AX in 1959; she held many offices in the organization and always treasured the love of her PEO sisters.
Fran always said her greatest legacy was her family. She was a devoted wife, mother to 3 children and grandmother to 5. Her children and grandchildren have many memories of special birthdays, holiday events, and family outings—always lovingly planned and prepared. She and John organized many memorable trips with their young children throughout U.S., and enjoyed trips across the U.S. and abroad in their later years.
Fran was preceded in death by her parents; Fred and Anna Schodde of Burley, Idaho; her son, Robert Burgess and her husband, John Burgess of Baker City, Oregon; her brothers in law Dean Mahoney of Lewiston, Idaho and Bob Burgess of Portland, Oregon.
She is survived by her son Jim Burgess; her daughter Amy Clarke and her husband Nelson Clarke and their children Peter and Anna Clarke; her daughter in law Tara Warren and her three children Cole, Erin, and Jack Burgess. She is also survived by her sister Colleen Mahoney of Lewiston and her four children Nancy Mahoney of Spokane, Judy Mahoney of Seattle, Jim Mahoney of Pasco, Jill Kennedy of Spokane; and her sister in law Della Jean Burgess of Portland.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Baker County Library District or the Friends of the Baker Heritage Museum, through Gray's West & Co., 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.
Memorial services will be held at the First Presbyterian Church of Baker City, 1995 4th St., on Friday, March 9, 2018 at 2 pm.
Fran lived for, and loved, her family, her friends, and her community. That love will endure forever in the hearts of those who knew her.