Lillie Marie (Lutes) Francis, 103, El Dorado Springs, was born Oct. 11, 1909, in a one room log house on her grandparents’ farm two miles south of Roscoe in St. Clair County. She passed away on Feb. 27, 2013, in Community Springs Healthcare Facility.
Her parents were Henry William and Mary Ann (Lines) Lutes. She had one brother, Willis. The family lived in Kansas for a few years and then returned to Missouri where she graduated from the Roscoe High School in 1929. She accepted the Lord Jesus as her Savior on March 26, 1926, at the Roscoe Christian Church where Bro. Strohm was pastor. She served as pianist and Sunday School teacher.
She was married to Alva Leroy (Pete) Francis on June 2, 1934. They lived on the Francis farm in the Riverview Community 29 years, then moved to El Dorado Springs in 1963. She taught school many years beginning at Virginia, near Oyer, in 1934-35. In 1935-36 she taught at Green Valley south of Roscoe; at Riverview from 1944-55, and the last 20 years in El Dorado Springs, two in the sixth grade, and then in the second grade the last 18 years of her teaching career.
After Lillie retired from teaching school, she began teaching piano in 1975 and continued until 1999 when Pete’s health failed and she devoted her full time to him when he entered the Community Springs Nursing Home.
A devoted Christian, Lillie loved to play hymns and did this for many years at the Riverview Bible Church, where she is a member, and at the Union Hall Baptist Church. She loved the scriptures and made Bible reading a daily habit.
She was preceded in death by Pete, her devoted husband of almost 71 years; her mother and her stepfather, Jack Perkins; her father; and her brother, Willis. She is survived by nieces and nephews.
Services were held Sunday, March 3, in Sheldon Funeral Home, El Dorado Springs, with Pastor Mike Norval officiating. The Greathouse family sang “How Great Thou Art” and “Heaven Medley.” Ruth Brown sang “Holy City.” Casketbearers were Eric Lutes, Christopher Lutes, Steven Lutes, Michael Lutes, Spencer Lutes and Tom Greenlee. Interment was in El Dorado Springs City Cemetery under direction of Sheldon Funeral Home, El Dorado Springs.