Frances Ann was born in San Francisco, California, on November 6, 1921, the natural daughter of Frances Johnson, and later adopted and reared by her maternal aunt and uncle, Clarence and Olivia (Johnson) Conner. "Frankie," as she was always known, died in Milwaukie on March 26, 2012, age 90, under the expert care of Ivona Mihailescu of Home Sweet Home Adult Care, and with the additional loving assistance of Kathy Johnson, Frankie's daughter.
Frankie spent much of her childhood in Milwaukie, attending the parish grade and high school at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. Frankie also lived with her parents in several western Washington mill towns while her father, a shingle weaver, followed his trade. She was a 1940 graduate of the high school at Tenino, Washington.
In 1940 Frankie married Vernon Eutsler, a World War II veteran of the U.S. Army and a professional cook. They had three children, lived in Olympia, Washington, and were divorced in 1947. The following year Frankie began a 23-year marriage with Robert Fisher, a U.S. Army veteran of World War II and a heavy equipment operator in road construction. They had five children, lived in Milwaukie, and were divorced in 1971. After 1972 Frankie lived in Gresham with her third husband, Chet Abernathy, a retired civil servant.
Frankie worked for several years in the kitchen at Rose Villa Senior Living in Milwaukie. In her spare time she enjoyed painting, gardening, photography, dancing, and spending time with her many friends at the Gresham Eagles Lodge. In her later years she enjoyed an active retirement with her companion of 15 years, Matt VanderKaay, who shared her passion for dancing at FOE lodge gatherings. Frankie was a fun-loving person who enjoyed a good joke and an occasional cocktail, and who never took herself, of life's trials, too seriously. She will be missed by the multitude of family and friends who knew and loved her.
Frankie is survived by sons, Daniel Eutsler, of Milwaukie, OR., Edmund Fisher, of Gresham, OR, daughters, Elizabeth Rehder, of Woodburn, OR., Kathleen Johnson, of Milwaukie, OR., Martha Fisher, of Tigard, OR., 11 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; one great-great granddaughter; brothers, Thomas Leedham Jr., of San Diego, California, Robert Leedham, of Sebastian, Florida, Jack (John) Leedham, of Oregon City, OR., Ralph Leedham, of Aurora, James Leedham, of Chugiak, Alaska; sisters, Florence Ashby, of La Verne, California, Patricia Leedham, of Portland, OR., Jean Danielson, of Sandy, OR., sister-in-law, Sylvia Wilson Leedham, of Canby, OR., 36 nephews and nieces; many great and great-great nephews and nieces; companion, Matthew VanderKaay, of Florence and cousin Mary Kennard, of Milwaukie, Oregon. She was preceded in death by her three former husbands; daughters, Roberta Kartman, Barbara Ann Fisher, and Mary Clare Massey; brothers, Joseph Leedham, Timothy Leedham, and George Leedham; and three grandsons.
Recitation of the Rosary will be on Friday, March 30, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. followed by the funeral mass at 11:00 a.m. at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church located at 10955 SE 25th Ave. in Milwaukie, Oregon. Committal service will be on Tuesday, April 3, 2012 at 12:00 p.m. at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland. Viewing will be on Thursday, March 29th from 1:00 pm until 5:00 p.m. at Bateman Carroll Funeral Home located at 520 W. Powell Blvd. in Gresham, Oregon.