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Obituary Listings

Jeanne Francis Darnell

January 28, 1929 September 26, 2023
Jeanne Francis Darnell
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Obituary for Jeanne Francis Darnell

Jeanne Francis was born January 28, 1929, at Blair in Jackson County, Oklahoma. Her parents were Lillie May (Neil) and Raymond Thomas Francis. She passed away on September 26, 2023, in Elk City, Oklahoma.

Jeanne started grade school at age 5 at Blair. When she at 12, the family moved to Vinson, Oklahoma where she graduated from high school in the spring of 1946. She was valedictorian of both her eighth grade and her senior class.

Some years later, after the death of her husband, Napoleon Ferdinand (Happy) Darnell, she was accompanied by her two small children, Sherri Gay Nicky Francis, as she entered college at Weatherford, Oklahoma, graduating Summa Cum Laude in 1960 with a Bachelor of Arts in Education. Her mother, Lillie May Neil, had also graduated from the college and taught at Union Hill Southeast of Vinson and then at Vinson.

Jeanne began her working woman career teaching English at Southeast High School in Oklahoma City.

In 1968 she moved to Dallas, Texas to civil service positions with the U.S. Department of Labor and with the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW). With the Department of Labor, she held federal oversight of the Manpower Development Program for the five-state region of Texas, Oklahoma,

Arkansas, Louisiana, and New Mexico. With the Department of “HEW”, she held oversight of the “WIN” program, a program to help women on welfare to be placed in jobs in the same five states. Then she moved to HEW Regional Office for Intergovernmental Relations assigned to the states of Louisiana and Arkansas. These years held much travel both to her assigned states and to regional meetings in the other regions and in Washington D.C.

In 1970, she met Fred Howell in Dallas where he was working for the “GAO”, a federal unit assigned to Congress to conduct audits of whatever Congress wished. For the next 48 years, he and Jeanne, who were both born with the “I want to go” travel bug, visited throughout the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Europe, and twice to the British Isles.

Fred and Jeanne had both been exposed to rodeo early in life and became fanatics after retirement. In addition to major rodeos in the states, for nineteen years they went to Las Vegas in December for the last three performances of the National Finals Rodeo. Then when the professional Bull Riders began their national finals in Las Vegas, they added an early November excursion each year for sixteen years before age caught up with them.

Fred died in 2017 and is buried in his hometown of Temple, Oklahoma

In 2018, Jeanne moved from Dallas to “back home” near Vinson at Mangum, Oklahoma to live with her daughter, Sherri. They had many memories to share and enjoy. Her son, Nicky, very often visited from Florida so all was complete. She was out of the big city now, back where she could enjoy the gorgeous sunrises and sunsets of Southwest Oklahoma.

She is survived by her daughter, Sherri Gay Williamson Darnell of Mangum, Oklahoma, and her son Nicky Francis Darnell of Boynton Beach Florida, also by her niece, Carolyn Mae Francis of Oklahoma City and her Nephew Gary Don Francis of Sugarland, Texas.

Burial is to be at Cave Creek Cemetery, Vinson, Oklahoma on adjoining lots with her brother Raymond Wayne Francis, with her parents, with both sets of grandparents, James Thomas (Jim) and Beulah Lee Francis and Hamilton and Zettie Neil, and her sister June and nephew Larry Lynn Francis.


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Previous Events

Visitation

Saturday

30

Sep

11:30 AM 9/30/2023 11:30:00 AM - 12:30 PM 9/30/2023 12:30:00 PM
Greer Funeral Home

235 South Pennsylvania
Mangum, OK 73554

Greer Funeral Home
235 South Pennsylvania Mangum 73554 OK
United States

Graveside

Saturday

30

Sep

1:00 PM 9/30/2023 1:00:00 PM
Cave Creek Cemetery

Vinson, OK 73571
Vinson, OK 73571

Cave Creek Cemetery
Vinson, OK 73571 Vinson 73571 OK
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Cave Creek Cemetery Final Resting Place

Vinson, OK 73571
Vinson, OK 73571

Vinson, OK 73571 Vinson 73571 OK
United States
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