Frances Monson passed away peacefully of natural causes on February 20, 2023. She was born in Spanish Fork, Utah to Claude and Ruth Williams.
Frances grew up in Spanish Fork. Among her many interests she was very active in the 4-H Club including riding horses, homemaking arts and sewing. She moved to Salt Lake City to attend the University of Utah where she participated in many different clubs including the Alpha Chi-Omega Sorority. For years she supplied the Alpha Chi’s Fashion Show with time period clothing from her massive clothing collection.
After dating many suitors at the U, she met the love of her life Robert Monson. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple in May 1955. As newlyweds they received a free trip to Mexico when Frances won the National Bob Hope Most Beautiful Bride Contest. Their first of five children was born a year later.
Tennis was a big part of the Monsons’ leisure time. They had a tennis court in the backyard which they shared with five other families. The court owners rotated the hosting of neighborhood tennis and burger evenings almost every Saturday. When their youngest son Brian was one of Utah’s top tennis players, Frances and Brian qualified for, and played in, the Mother And Son Division at the US Open.
In addition to tennis, many hours were spent camping and boating. The family joined in many memorable neighborhood trips to the mountains and lakes. A summer did not go by without a visit to Lake Powell.
Mom was active in two bridge groups, which she loved. We don’t remember how many book clubs she participated in, but she always had a stack of books on the nightstand. Frances played tennis regularly until pickleball came to Utah; she then split her exercise between the two sports.
Granny Franny, as she was affectionately called by her grandkids, was a fun and energetic grandma. Christmas was one of her favorite times to spoil the grandchildren. Pumpkin carving happened at her house on a regular basis, even if Granny was out of town. Tennis on the court, picking raspberries, ice cream parties and hide and seek in her upstairs closet were some of the favorite grandkid activities in her home.
Homemade jam, dill pickles, peach dessert and baked spaghetti were staples in her masterfully organized meals for the family. As a perfect hostess she never turned down an opportunity to host a party or welcome an overnight guest. Her refrigerator was like a Mary Poppins bag; she could create an amazing meal with whatever she found in the ice box.
She worked for the well-known orthodontist, Dr. James Knell for over 25 years and as a result seemed to know every family in the Foothill area. In addition to her full-time job, she helped her dear friend with her catering business. Since it seemed like there were a few minutes still free, she watched every good movie that came out and the old favorites over and over.
For several years she served on the Alumni Board at the U of U. In her retirement years she was a Utah Symphony volunteer. Throughout the years she held numerous callings in the church. She and Bob were Service Missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. As a couple they had a blast volunteering for the 2002 Winter Olympics. This athletic couple participated in the Huntsman Senior Games for years. She was a very decorated athlete.
Frances was well known for her bright colorful clothing, numerous friends, and outgoing personality fueled by her diet coke. She lived her life to the fullest and never let grass grow under her feet. Frances was always game for any activity. Her enthusiasm and infectious personality seemed to energize those around her.
Bob passed away in June 2006. In 2009, after three years of a broken heart, she married Dick Maires, a good friend of her only brother Paul Williams.
She is survived by daughter-in-law Holly Monson, daughter Marilyn (Rich) Kirkham, daughter Sherri Monson, daughter Claudia (Steve) Moulton, son Brian (Heidi) Monson, 13 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.
Preceded in death by her parents Claude & Ruth Williams, husband Robert Monson, son Mark Monson, brother Paul Williams and second husband Richard Maires.
We would like to thank Spring Gardens in Holladay for all the love and care they extended to our mom for these past 4 years.
Celebration of Life - Saturday, February 25, 2023. Visitation 9:45 – 10:45 am and Service 11:00 a.m. Monument Park Stake Center, 1320 So. Wasatch Drive, Salt Lake City, UT 84108. For those unable to attend, services will be streamed via Zoom. Please click on the "Watch Services" link above. You must be signed in to your Zoom account to view.
Many happy memories on that back yard tennis court, as well as others, including my own.
My admiration and love to Fran’s daughter Heidi Monson , for her watch care over Fran.
Thoughts and prayers for your family as you celebrate the life of this beautiful dear mother grandmother and friend to all. I so value my friendship with Frances. I love her smile her sweet kindness and energy love of life. I am a better person because I was privileged to know this very special daughter of God. Farewell my dear friend until we meet again.
Best wishes to my dear friend Franacis, We had so many good times together in Alpha Chi and also on boating trips with our husbands. We all have wondeerful memories. I'll probably see you soon. Sent with love.
We knew Frances & Bob many years ago, then again our family adored her when she was the bright spot at Dr. Knell's office, then acquainted again with her son Brian in our LDS Ward, then finally when Sandra joined her in Memory Care at Spring Gardens. She brightened many lives. Through our faith we know she goes to a better place, leaving much love behind among all who knew her.
Sending my best wishes and warm thoughts to the Monson family. They are fortunate to have had such a beautiful mom. Julie
So sorry to read about Frances. We were students at the U. Of U. at the same time and I was always impressed with her
beauty, kindness and smile. Then, when our daughter became Dr. Knell’s patient, we had the opportunity to admire her again. Another memory: I was one of a foursome group playing tennis on her tennis court when the planes flew Ii to the World Trade
Center building. I extend my deepest sympathy to her family. Kay Greene
Claudia and family,
We are so sorry for the loss of your dear sweet Mother and Grandmother. May her sweet memories live with you forever until you meet again. May God bless you with peace and comfort through Christ’s Atonement during this difficult time.
Sending much love and hugs,
Frank and Janet