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Naomi “Ruth” Francis

Posted December 10, 2013 in Obituaries, West Des Moines

May 21, 1926 – December 9, 2013

Ruth Francis

Ruth Francis

We celebrate the life of our gracious and loving mother, Naomi Ruth Francis, born May 21, 1926, to Seth and Imogene Farwell. She made a peaceful transition early morning December 9, 2013, in her home at Wesley Acres in Des Moines after sharing the day with her three children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and friends.

Ruth was born in Granger, Missouri, but spent most of her childhood in Bloomfield, Iowa developing her musical talents with the piano and trombone. After graduating from Bloomfield High School, Ruth moved to Des Moines where she worked in the Fine Arts department at Drake University. Soon after, she met and married Billy Gene Francis on July 6, 1947, and together they raised and nurtured three children. The family was active in the First United Methodist Church where Ruth sang in the choir, participated in the Paratrooper Sunday School group, and served in various volunteer capacities, including the Stephen Ministries. She was a living example of her deep faith in God.

Ruth was an executive secretary for AMF, General Growth Properties, and later Pioneer and was an involved member of the National Secretaries Association and PEO. Ruth was known for her tireless support of her children’s many sports and activities, her patient attendance at numerous matchbook collection trips and stock cars races with her husband, her travel adventures with dear friends later in life, and of course her love of anything chocolate. She will be best remembered for her gentle nature, love of life and family, grateful disposition, and strong determination.

Ruth is survived by her three children: Katherine (Jeff) Robbins of Des Moines; Margaret “Maggie” Francis Conroy of San Jose, CA; and Chuck (Penny) Francis of Hollister, CA; nine grandchildren; and eleven great grandchildren (soon to be 13). She is preceded in death by her parents; husband; and sister, Barbara Jean Farwell Noel.

The family will receive friends from 5 – 7 p.m. Tuesday at Iles-Westover Chapel. Cremation will follow visitation and memorial services will be held 10 a.m. Wednesday, December 11, at the Wesley Acres Community Room. Burial of the cremated remains will be held at Violet Hill Cemetery at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made to WesleyLife Hospice or First United Methodist Church. Online condolences will be welcomed at


Information provided by:
Iles Funeral Homes
Westover Chapel
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA 50322

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