Frances 'Fran' Guentert

September 25, 1943 - July 2, 2020

“There are only two ways to live life: one is as though nothing is a miracle, and the other is as if everything is a miracle.”

On July 2, 2020, Frances Adams Higgins Guentert, of Joseph, Oregon, was swept up in the arms of an Angel and taken to meet her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Fran was born on September 25, 1943, to Sara Webb Higgins and Frank Taylor Higgins III in San Antonio, Texas.

Fran was preceded in death by her parents and her younger brother, Frank Taylor Higgins IV. Also preceding her in death were her father-in-law Elgin Guentert and wife Mary of Chappell Hill, Texas.

She is survived by the true love of her life and husband of 57 years, Mike Guentert of Joseph, Oregon; their son, Kelly Guentert and wife Connie of Wallowa, Oregon; their daughter, Kasey Guentert of Houston, Texas; Fran’s sister, Sara “Pinky” Pace and husband Matt of Fredericksburg, Texas; her brother-in-law, Steve Guentert and wife Marylou of Joseph, Oregon; and her sister-in-law, Tiss Chandler and husband Joe of Tyler, Texas. She is also survived by her 6 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren: Brandy Lookabill, husband Jason and two daughters Danika and Sofee of Lewiston, Idaho; Kole Guentert, wife Bryanna and two children Makajah and Makalah of Denver, Colorado; Cortney Guentert Das Chagas, husband Erick and two children Harmony and Grayson of La Grande, Oregon; William Lee of Clarkston, Washington; Kody Guentert of La Grande, Oregon; and Brittany Lee of Clarkston, Washington. She is also survived by numerous adored nieces and nephews: Jake Guentert of Joseph, Oregon; Marsha Moore and daughters, Addie and Eva of Joseph, Oregon; and Shelley Anderson, husband Steven and son Landon of Tyler, Texas.

Fran was baptized and confirmed in the Episcopal Church, living her life as a strong and true Christian woman. She was a proud member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (DRT) and the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).

She grew up in Brackettville, Texas, and graduated from Brackettville High School in 1961. Fran was active in band, 4H, Future Homemakers of America (FHA), theater and basketball. During her junior year, she began the relationship that would last a lifetime. She and Mike were married on February 16, 1963, in St. Andrews Episcopal Church of Brackettville. After their reception at the home of her maternal grandmother, Fanny Faye Webb, they left Texas for Newcastle, Wyoming, where Mike worked on the LAK Ranch. They lived there for two years then returned to Texas to work ranches in both San Marcos and Chappell Hill. In 1993, Mike and Fran moved to Joseph, Oregon. Fran worked at M&J Furniture in Enterprise, as well as the Community Bank in Joseph where she came to know not only the patrons of the bank by name, but their dogs too! She was a proud member of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Enterprise.

Fran’s greatest joy was spending time with her family and she showed that every day. She made sure homework was done, that a hot family meal was prepared and always had a glass of iced tea ready for Dad when he came in from ranch work. She was a devoted Mom to Kelly and Kasey and turned into “team Mom” for everyone involved, kids and parents alike! Fran and Mike attended every event and competition to support and encourage their children — no matter the weather or how far they had to travel! She was ALWAYS there with a smile on her face, clapping and screaming for the “home” team to win.

Fran’s many hobbies throughout her life included writing collections of scripture and uplifting phrases, collecting an array of cacti and succulents, cross-stitch and embroidery work, designing and painting furniture and signs, as well as making jewelry. Her love for the mastery of Native American jewelry artists took her and Mike to Santa Fe, New Mexico, many times! After moving to Joseph, Fran spent many years as a volunteer at the souvenir booth at Chief Joseph Days, loved spending her mornings on long walks with dear friends, and always loved to explore the scenic surroundings on drives with Mike.

Mom/Fran/Sis/Frannie/Nana was known for her infectious smile and her fun and joyful personality — she brought life and light to the lives of all who knew her. She served God through her church and in the kindness she showed to everyone she met. She “never met a stranger, only friends she didn’t know…yet!”

Fran’s time on this earth was a blessing to all that she encountered. Her giving heart, her laughter and her energy for life will be remembered. Nana had the ability to take a seemingly unassuming rock and with a simple gesture bring out its true colors. The memories Fran made with those she loved are a most cherished gift to those who knew her.

The family will hold a private gathering at a later date to honor Fran, and her ashes will be scattered at her favorite places in Wallowa County. Should friends desire, donations may be sent in Fran’s memory to St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church of Enterprise or the Wallowa County Humane Society.

We know you are finally whole and at peace now; we will never forget you and we will always miss you. “Cry not tears of sorrow because I am gone, rejoice because I am with the Lord.”

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So sorry to hear about Fran. Thought the world of you’ll. Your family is in our prayers.

Lenard and Claire Poehler

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