Frances Asher

Written by on November 28, 2011 in Obituaries

E. Frances Asher

            E. Frances Asher, 108, Mt. Pleasant, IA’s oldest resident, died at 1:25 AM on Saturday, November 26, 2011 at the Park Place Long Term Care Unit in Mt. Pleasant.

            A funeral service for Frances Asher will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, December 1, at the First United Methodist Church, 309 North Main Street, Mount Pleasant. The Reverend Herbert G. Shafer, Senior Pastor, will officiate. Burial will be in the Winfield-Scott Township Cemetery, Winfield, IA. Friends may call from 9 AM to 9 PM on Wednesday, November 30 at the Kimzey Funeral Home, 213 North Main Street, Mount Pleasant. The family will be present to receive friends from 5-7 PM Wednesday evening.

            Mrs. Asher, the former Emma Frances Rickey, was born on a family farm 1 ½ miles north of Winfield on May 27, 1903. She was the daughter of John W. and Mary (McCulley) Rickey. She lived at her birthplace unitl age 8, when the family moved southeast of Winfield. She attended the Round Grove School, Scott Township. She then went to Winfield High School where she graduated in the class of 1922. On Christmas Day, December 25, 1934 at her parent’s home southeast of Winfield, Frances was united in marriage to Taylor Asher by the Reverend J. Gray of the First Presbyterian Church of Winfield. Mr. Asher died in May of 1944.

            Following her high school graduation, Frances received her Normal Training for teachers in Winfield. She taught at the country schools of Franklin for 1 year and Mid Prairie for 1 year. Frances then enrolled at the former Burlington Protestant Hospital School of Nursing, and graduated in 1928. Frances did private duty nursing until her husband’s death. On July 2, 1944, she moved into Mt. Pleasant and began a career as an OB and Maternity Ward nurse at the former Henry County Memorial Hospital which later became the Henry County Health Center. During her time, she was involved in the delivery of an untold number of children, and even delivered the second generation of children for some families. She retired from her nursing duties in 1971.

            Frances was a member of the First United Methodist Church and the United Methodist Women of Mt. Pleasant. She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), James Harlan Chapter and the Republican Women. She was an active organic gardener who loved to raise flowers and vegetables and can much of her produce. She learned many “handyman” skills out of necessity and even learned to refinish wood furniture.

            Frances was alert and active well beyond her years, and accomplished some very incredible events in recent years. After her 100th birthday, she took her first airplane ride, her first motorcycle ride and her first hot air balloon ride. When President Barack Obama toured southeast Iowa a little over a year ago, she was taken to Jerry’s Restaurant where she met him and shook his hand (she did, however, confess to her family that she wondered if President Obama knew she was a Republican!)

            Those who treasure having known Frances include 1 nephew, William Christie Ricky of Tempe, AZ; 4 great nieces – Linda Jacobs, Shirley Gillard, Arlene Truitt, and Carla Menees and 1 great nephew – Cleo Kephart, and a host of great-great and great-great-great nieces and nephews.

            Her parents, husband, 4 brothers – Harvey Rickey, Pearl Rickey (who died at 18 mos.), Ferrell, Rickey and James Rickey (who died in infancy), 1 sister – Nancy Ricky and 1 niece -  Amy Maxine Grothe, precede Frances in death.

            Those considering an expression of sympathy may direct memorials to the Van Vorhies Haus Activity Fund.

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