EvaDean Reeves Francisco, our beloved mom, grandma, and great grandma, passed away the morning of April 1st, 2021, at her daughters’ home, in Parowan, Utah.
She was born on November 9th, 1930 in Cedar City, Utah to William Otto Reeves and Wealth Unthank Millett Reeves. She was raised in Cedar City and also spent time in Kanarraville, at the home of her grandparents. She would often share stories of her love for the Kanarra Mountain and the memories she had of spending time there as a child.
One summer, while working at the lodge in Bryce Canyon, EvaDean took the Bryce Canyon Trail down to Topic to attend a dance. At the dance, she met the love of her life, Charles Smith Francisco. The couple eloped in Fredonia, AZ on December 23rd, 1948. Their marriage was later solemnized in the St. George Temple on May 26th, 1960.
Mom and Dad first settled in Henrieville, Utah. In the early years of marriage, she traveled with Dad while he worked in road construction. Mom was the only woman in the Henrieville area who had a Driver’s License. This meant she was the ‘go to gal’ for a variety of transportation needs throughout the area. She served as an ambulance, bus, and taxi driver, always getting everyone where they needed to go. She also helped local farmers by driving their trucks during harvesting season. Later in life, Mom drove the Senior Citizen bus, serving the communities of Tropic, Cannonville, and Henrieville. And who could forget her famous Volkswagen Bus, the “crought-wagon!”
Mom was an incredibly hard worker. After moving to Tropic, the family ran a dairy behind their home where Mom worked long hours tending to the animals as well as the fields. After building a home on Francisco Lane, Mom used her green thumb to build a wonderful greenhouse business, which helped increase the beauty in the area with flowers and trees. She dearly loved her time with her flowers, however, health challenges prevented her from spending the needed time in the greenhouses. Mom and Dad then started a new adventure, operating the Francisco Farm Bed & Breakfast, where she loved to visit with guests from around the world.
Mom had a variety of interest. She loved reading with children and volunteered her time at the Bryce Valley Elementary School. She also loved reading to her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She loved to quilt, crochet, and color and would often chose the brightest colors for her projects. She taught herself to play the guitar and sang at family holiday parties. She spent hours tending to her beautiful rose gardens and flower beds. She loved sitting on her front porch watching hummingbirds and visiting with family and friends.
Mom was a devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She had a fierce testimony and deep understanding of the Gospel. Throughout her life, she held a variety of callings within the Church. Her favorite calling was serving as a Family History and Genealogy teacher. Through her efforts, both family and friends have been blessed with a greater knowledge of their ancestry. Mom loved to serve in the temple with Dad and was a dedicated temple worker for many years. She was a missionary throughout her life, sharing a Book of Mormon with as many people as she could, and she was instrumental in her husband’s father joining the Church.
She is survived by her daughters Helena (Lloyd) Mortensen, Sandrea Francisco and son-in-law Sharon Griffin, grandchildren John (Lynn) Mortensen, Donald (Suzanne) Mortensen, Charles (Jené) Mortensen, William Mortensen, Shad (Melissa) Griffin, Sheri Ann (Justin) Springer, and Shane Griffin, 13 great-grandchildren, and 18 great-great-grandchildren, with 2 more on the way. Her sister Fae Wiser, brother William “Golden” (Cynthia) Reeves, sister-in-law’s Lillis Francisco and Sharon Francisco along with many nieces and nephews.
She is proceeded in death by her husband of 69 years Charles Smith Francisco, daughter Robyn Ann Griffin and infant son Charles Kay Francisco, siblings Melvin (Mae) Reeves, Celia (Milton) Bartholomew, Thiel (Mary) Reeves, Phyllis (Kent) Webster, and Francisco siblings, Varis Simkins, Berthene (Leland) Griffin, Roma (Clark) Evans, Lola (Ward) Gibson, LaDean Fowler, Dexter Francisco and William “Bill” Francisco.
The family wishes to express their appreciation to Zion’s Way Hospice staff. Mom’s favorite nurse, Ellen, her #1, was her singing buddy and artist. Anna, her favorite nurse #2, who mom always said was so sweet and kind. Zhailaa was Mom’s favorite TV buddy. They’d watch ‘Anne with an “e”’ together and Zhailaa would sing to her during commercial breaks. Shandra was her favorite UNO card player. Mom got the final win in their ongoing competition. And, Heather, who painted Mom’s fingernails her favorite color, purple.
Due to Covid19 restrictions a graveside service we be held at the Henrieville Cemetery in Henrieville, Utah on Tuesday April 6th, 2021 at 12:00 noon under the direction of Hughes Mortuary.