January 19, 1923 - May 30, 2018
Laura Frances Groves (Francie) Lichtenwalner, 95, of Jacksonville, Oregon passed away peacefully early on May 30, 2018 at her home, after a short illness. She was grateful to be at home, supported by her family and caregivers. She was gifted with a full and happy life, and she loved nothing more than to share that gift in celebration with others.
Francie was born on January 19, 1923 in Cunningham, Kansas. She attended college in Hutchinson, Kansas, enjoyed singing for the troops at USO events to boost morale during World War II, and had her own radio show on a Hutchinson station, "Irish Songs with Francie Groves."
Her world opened up when she joined Trans World Airlines (TWA) as a hostess. Her flights spanned the nation, from Boston to Los Angeles. The job opened many doors, including the one that led to her future husband, John, who was a promising art student at Art Center School of Design in Pasadena, California. Their 66 years of marriage began in a quiet ceremony at daily Mass on November 7, 1949 in Manhattan Beach, California. They moved north to San Francisco for John's career in commercial art and didn't leave the Bay Area until 20 years and six children later, when they migrated north again to Southern Oregon's Rogue Valley. John passed away in 2016 after a 20-plus-year career at Bear Creek Corporation, where he retired as Executive Art Director.
Both Francie and John were lifelong Catholics, strong supporters of Sacred Heart and Shepherd of the Valley parishes, and valued members of the Augustinian Seculars in the Rogue Valley.
Francie treasured her time serving the sick and dying, visiting hospital patients, and distributing Holy Communion. She was honored to serve as lector at Sunday Mass at Sacred Heart and Shepherd of the Valley churches, and worked as secretary of Sacred Heart School for several years.
Laughter and love were a constant in the Lichtenwalner household, along with Francie's "famous" spaghetti! Her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren are comforted, knowing she is with her heavenly Creator, and reunited with her precious John.
A funeral Mass and celebration of Francie's life will be held Tuesday, June 26 at noon at Shepherd of the Valley Church, followed by interment at Eagle Point National Cemetery at 3 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made in Francie Lichtenwalner's memory to St. Vincent de Paul, Rogue Valley Council, 2424 N. Pacific Highway, Medford, OR 97501.