Francene Lynne “Fran” Keith, age 71, of Brookings, passed away Dec. 16, 2018. Francene was born May 15, 1947, to Leoice Franklin “Pat” and Carmen Sanders in Enterprise.
For a short time, Sanders’ were residents of San Jose, California. Returning to Brookings, they built a new home up the Chetco River where Francene attended the Upper Chetco School. Neighborly friends shared Fran’s grade school years through the eighth grade. Fran graduated from Brookings-Harbor High School and from a vocational school of cosmetology in Eugene.
On Jan. 20, 1968, wedding bells rang for her marriage to Lester Sidney Nelson. They were blessed with two sons, Chris Lee and Keith Michael Nelson. As a beautician, she lived in Eugene and later moved to Brookings to own and operate the Chetco Barber Shop for many years. She was delighted to occasionally “cut hair” free for relatives of needy, certain special, elderly, homebound and seriously ill friends. She was always cheerful and eager to please others.
A second marriage on her birthday of May 15, 1993, was to Charles Richard Keith in Enterprise. As a retired building contractor, he and Fran visited relatives and toured many parks and points of interest within the U.S., Canada and Alaska. Fran and Charles also traveled to Indonesia where they toured and visited. Their souvenirs were there treasures.
Her first love was fishing! Being a descendant from the Oregon Trail emigrants, she had a true pioneer spirit. She enjoyed hunting, mushrooming, and crafting prize-winning stained-glass animal and flower figures. As an avid gardener and cook, she was always cooking, baking, and delivering food or produce to neighbors and loved ones. Her love and generosity went out in sharing to those around her.
Fran was preceded in death by her parents, Leoice Franklin “Pat” and Carmen; son, Keith Michael Nelson; stepmother, Mary Ellen (Beard) Sanders; and husband, Charles Keith.
Surviving are her son, Chris Lee Nelson of Portland; stepson, Michael Keith; stepdaughter, Paula Hochstetler of Vicksburg, Michigan; former spouse, Lester S. Nelson of Bokeelia, Florida; sisters, Mary Pat Sanders and Linda Ekes; brothers, Kolin Sanders of Brookings and Steve Sanders of Montana; brother-in-law, John Keith of Washington; aunt, Lita Inman; cousins, Daniel Berry (Tina), Craing, Royal (Sandy), Debra and others from Oregon; and companion, Mike Griffith Sr.
She will be missed here but in eternity with God and through Jesus Christ, Francene will be her healthy and happy self again.
A Celebration of Fran’s life will be held 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019, at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, 401 Fir St., Brookings.
Redwood Memorial Chapel is assisting the family.