Obituary of Frances Patricia Yarborough |

Obituary of Frances Patricia Yarborough

Frances Patricia Yarborough, nee Niles, passed away peacefully at home in Grass Valley on Aug. 17 surrounded by family, immediately after receiving a priest’s blessing. She was 96.

Born in San Francisco on March 10, 1922, youngest child in a large family, Frances had interesting memories of her youth: she modeled in the San Francisco World’s Fair in the 1930s, and a few years later she saw big names like Stalin when she worked at the UN Peace Conference in San Francisco.

Frances and her parents eventually moved to Mooney Flat near Smartville, where she worked in the restaurant still located on the corner of the highway. It was there that she met a customer who became her husband, Arthur Yarborough. Frances later recalled how whenever Arthur patronized the restaurant he’d put some coins in the jukebox and play the song, Hey Good-lookin’! while making eyes at her, which

much annoyed her. Yet, somewhat paradoxically, the two of them married in 1952. They had two children: Edward, born in 1953, and Patricia, now Patricia Dowling, in 1956.

Frances was known by the nickname “Kinkey” or “Key” to all her old friends and relatives, and for a surprising reason: in her early childhood King Tut’s tomb had just been discovered, and so she frequently heard people mentioning his name; but when she tried to repeat what she’d heard, she tended to mispronounce his title as “Kinkey,” and so that’s what other children called her. The name stuck. Although Frances’ life was marred by her father, husband, and some of her brothers and sisters being alcoholics, she never drank or smoked herself and outlived her entire family. Her most recent job was in the Environmental Services Department at Sierra Nevada Hospital, from which she retired in 1988.

Frances loved to go for walks, and her children and grandchildren have many good memories of walking with her. Her grandchildren loved to spend the night at her house and would sometimes pretend to be asleep when their mother, Patricia, went home so they could stay over. Despite suffering from dementia in recent years, Frances never lost her essentially humble and friendly spirit. She never read the Bible, but she never wavered in her basic Christian beliefs. After an argument she once told her son, “You make me mad sometimes and I know I make you mad sometimes, but I love you anyway and I know you love me too.”

Frances was preceded in death by husband Arthur in 1985 and granddaughter Serena Vian, nee Moser in 2011; she is survived by her two children, three living granddaughters, fourteen great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild, all of them residing in either Nevada County or Boise, Idaho. Graveside services will take place at 11am on Tuesday, Aug. 28 in Forestview Cemetery, Nevada City.

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