April 10, 1924 – December 22, 2012
Frances Begley Kurtz of Des Moines and Pine Island, Tower, MN passed away peacefully December 22 surrounded by her loving children. She was born April 10, 1924 in West Des Moines, Iowa, daughter of John Francis and Monica Williams Begley.
She graduated from St. Joseph Academy and attended Marquette University. Later in life, she earned her certification as a field technician from the Iowa Archeological Society. She was a writer and wordsmith, with a talented turn of hand for poetry, sharing it with dear friends and family.
Her professional life included working for the FBI, the Milwaukee Journal, the Iowa State Education Association, Drake University, and the Iowa State Senate. She was an active member of St. Augustin Catholic Church, the Pioneer Club, Talent Limited Theater Group, and the Iowa Archeological Society, serving as a charter member of the Central Iowa Chapter. She held board positions with the Junior League of Des Moines, Bishop Drum Guild, YWCA, National Conference of Christians and Jews, and was a Governor appointee to the State Learning Disabilities Council.
She married Robert Bernard Kurtz in 1946 and started their married life in South Bend, Indiana while Bob finished his degree at Notre Dame. They enjoyed raising their six children: Charles Kevin Kurtz of Des Moines, Mary Ann Carter ( Bud) of Prior Lake, MN., Carol Horsman (Darryl) of Bonita Bay, Florida, Sheila Kurtz Robinson (Greg) of Urbandale, Iowa, Monica (Molly) Conway (Thomas) of Santa Rosa Valley, CA, and Robert Begley Kurtz (Ann) of Des Moines, seventeen grandchildren, nineteen great grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild. She is preceded in death by her late husband, Robert B. Kurtz, her parents and siblings: John Joseph Begley, Austin Leo Begley, Rosemary Maneri and Katherine (Katy) Farrell.
Mrs. Kurtz was an advocate for children with learning disabilities. Her commitment to faith and to family were her focus in life, thus earning the endearing nickname of Granny Franny.
Mrs. Kurtz spent her last few years of life with the caring staff at Wesley Acres where she reconnected with old friends and made several new ones.
The family asks that memorials be sent to Living History Farms and Wesley Acres.
Visitation will be held at St. Augustin Catholic Church on Thursday, December 27 at 9:30 a.m. followed by Mass at 11.
ARRANGEMENTS BY ILES FUNERAL HOMES ~ DUNN’S CHAPELInformation provided by: Iles Funeral Homes Dunn’s Chapel 2121 Grand Ave Des Moines, IA 50312 www.ilesfuneralhomes.com