Obituary of Frances Leavell
Frances Leavell, a long-time teacher in the Grass Valley Elementary schools, passed away quietly in her home on Jan. 31, 2016, in the company of people that she loved. She was 97.
She was born Frances Lillian LaRue in 1918 in the small town of Boring, Oregon, south of Portland. That year her father contracted and survived the terrible flu that hit the nation, and for his health the family moved to Arizona. Frances had a happy childhood there, where her parents both taught school. They moved then to Baldwin Park, California, where she attended college for two years, then married the love of her life, Joe Leavell. Over the next years they had three children, spent several years in Chicago, then moved to a farm in the Ozark Mountains near Flippin, Arkansas. There child number four was born.
In Arkansas, she pursued her dream of teaching school by attending summer school at the teachers’ college in Conway, and taking correspondence courses. She taught there for several years, then the family moved to California. She was hired to teach sixth grade at Hennessey School in Grass Valley. There she spent many happy years teaching in various grades, most of the time at Hennessey and in her later years at Lyman Gilmore Middle School. She retired at the age of 70 in 1988.
She is survived by her beloved sister Rachel Nichols of Bradbury, California; her four children, Stanley Leavell of Castroville, California, Judith Leavell of Grass Valley, Gayle Ely of Etna, California, and Kenneth Leavell of Lakeland, Florida; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Frances was preceded in death by her husband Joe Leavell; and three of her four siblings, Eldon LaRue, Leonard LaRue, and Mary Etna (Sue) Kindred.
Frances loved her family, her friends, and her students, and was loved by them in return. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
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