Date of Birth
Date of Death
NAME Frances "Fran" M. Colsten, age 90, of Aurora, IL, passed away peacefully surrounded by the love and prayers of her family at her home, Plum Landing, on Wednesday, March 31, 2010.BORN: Fran was born on March 16, 1920 the daughter of John and Margaret (Loerzel) Schmitt in Aurora, Il.EARLY YEARS :Fran’s path in life was to take many turns over the years. She celebrated many triumphs but also endured many tragedies and it all began in Virgil where she grew up on the family farm. Fran attended local schools and later cleaned houses for a time. RESIDENTIAL HISTORY: Although she was young, love knows no age and at the tender age of seventeen she was united in marriage to George Altepeter in 1937. They continued to live in Virgil where Fran busied herself making their house a home and began a family that would eventually include five daughters. After George passed away in 1979, Fran continued to live in Virgil before living for a time with several of her daughters. She was blessed with love a second time and with her granddaughters as bridesmaids, she married Gilbert Leadingham in 1984. Fran and Gilbert lived in North Aurora and would only share nine years together before he died in 1991. Love favored Fran one last time when she met Walter Colsten. They were united in marriage in 1993 and lived in Elgin while renting out her house in North Aurora. Fate would break her heart once more when it took Walter away in 2005. Fran, enduring yet another loss, moved back to North Aurora for a time before her need for a community brought her to Plum Landing, an independant living facility in Aurora.MEMBERSHIPS LIFE NOTES Though Fran only had an eighth grade education, she had a mind for business. Whether it was home finances or finding the best bargain while shopping for clothes and jewelry, Fran made the most of what she had. When at home she spent her time sewing clothes and in later years she made pillows and patch-work quilts which became special gifts for friends and family. Fran could bake up a storm in the kitchen and was especially known for her kitchen creations. No one could turn down the infinite varieties of her famous Christmas cookies. She had a kind heart and a Masters Degree in "hugging". Thousands were freely given to friends and family–sometimes even to strangers because no matter who you were, she could always tell if you needed a hug. In her words, she "raised five wonderful daughters" and no one could love them like she could. That love extended on to the next generation as Fran was a favorite among her grandchildren. She left a legacy of never saying an unkind word to anyone and a lesson to make the most of life, no matter what path you chose. Her many brightly colored memories filled with love and fun will be cherished by all who knew her.SURVIVORS Five Daughters:Helen Landrum of East Moline, IL, Ruth (John) Kenyon of Osage Beach, MO, Linda (James) Tarmichael of Aurora, IL, Victoria (Lawrence) Foley of St. Charles, IL, and Anita (Jimmie) Lewis of Aurora, Il.; One sister, Jean (George) Ramer of DeKalb, IL;Three brothers:Ralph Schmitt of Loyal, WI, John (Diane) Schmitt of Sycamore, IL and Bob (Janice) Schmitt of Hampshire, IL.Fourteen grandchildren,Twenty-one great-grandchildren andMany nieces, nephews and friends. PRECEDED She is preceded in death by her beloved husbands, George, Gilbert and Walter, her daughter Loretta, in infancy, her grandson Christopher Foley, her parents, five sisters, Esther, Betty, Margaret, Loretta and Kay and two brothers, Louis and Nicholas. VISITATION / FUNERAL Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. with a remembrance service to share in her memory from 7 p.m. until the end of visitation, Monday, April 5, 2010, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL 60119. A funeral service to celebrate her life will begin at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, April 6, 2010, also at the funeral home. Rev. David Bohyer, pastor Grace Evangelical Church, Elgin, with interment to follow at S.S. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Virgil. MEMORIAL A memorial has been established in her name to benefit Hearts of Hope, a substance abuse outreach program. Checks may be made to the "Frances Colsten Memorial" and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes and memories may also be forwarded to the family at the same address or through www.conleycare.com.
Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. with a remembrance service to share in her memory from 7 p.m. until the end of visitation, Monday, April 5, 2010, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL 60119. A funeral service to celebrate her life will begin at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, April 6, 2010, also at the funeral home. Rev. David Bohyer, pastor Grace Evangelical Church, Elgin.
Interment to follow at S.S. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Virgil.