MISSOULA ~ Frankie Jean went home to Jesus on Sunday May 1st, 2022 11 days before her 90th birthday. She died peacefully at her home at Riverside Health Care in Missoula of natural causes.
Born May 11, 1932 to Lonia and Rex Smelser in Sioux City, Iowa, Frankie was the fiery middle child of 6 children. The family moved around from Sioux City IA to Port Orchard WA to Miles City MT where Frankie graduated High School in 1950. The family landed in Sidney MT in 1951 where Frankie worked at Yellowstone Mercantile. Soon after moving to Sidney, she met Charlie Evanson who danced his way into her life.
Frankie and Charlie were married June 8th, 1952 and had 4 children. Frankie and Charlie ran the Ben Franklin Store in Sidney for a couple years. This enabled Frankie to be with her kids until they were school age. Once her kids were old enough to start school, Frankie went back to work at JC Penney’s and later joined her brother Bill at Pacific Steel. She retired from Pacific in Sidney after 17 years as a bookkeeper there.
After Charlie died in 1987, Frankie married Gordon Morrison on July 26, 1991. Gordon then had to buy a bigger car to fit Frankie and her hat. Frankie and Gordon moved from Sidney to Laurel. Together, they enjoyed travelling in their RV and headed south to Texas for several winters. After Gordon’s death, Frankie continued to drive herself in her RV to Texas for a couple more winters. In 2002, she moved to Missoula to be closer to her children and grandchildren.
Frankie was a very active and independent woman, enjoyed life to its fullest and laughed easily. She would take cruises with friends and was never afraid of an adventure! Frankie was active all her life in her Missouri Synod Congregation where ever she was living. She was a faithful LWML member and quilter for the church.
Frankie also enjoyed the Red Hat Club, and all things crafty. She loved to paint flowers and animals and sewed beautiful clothes and quilts. She loved word games, card games and puzzles. She will be remembered as a woman of faith, and a loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother and friend.
Frankie was preceded in death by her daughter Debbie, her parents Rex and Lonia Smelser, 2 husbands, Charlie Evanson and Gordon Morrison, her 3 brothers, Leland, William, and James Smelser, her oldest sister Beverly Becker, and her grandson Stephen Pearson.
Frankie is survived by her “baby” sister Anna Mindt, her 3 children Linda (John) Pearson, Tim (Jane) Evanson, and Ann (John) Baker, her 4 grandchildren Charlie (Fiancee-Bree) Evanson, Amanda (Mike) Connolly, Tessa Pearson and Mikael Baker, as well as- numerous loving nieces, nephews and many very dear friends she so easily made.
There will be a celebration of her life, her love and her faith on Saturday, May 7th at the First Lutheran Church in Missoula with a viewing starting at 11:30 am and funeral service to start at 1:00 pm. She will then be transferred for burial to Sidney Mt where she will lie next to her 1st husband Charlie Evanson. Services in Sidney will be at Trinity Lutheran Church on Wednesday May 11th with service and fellowship starting at 11:00 am and graveside at 1:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to either the 1st Lutheran Church of Missoula or the Ronald McDonald House where Frankie was once Senior Volunteer of the year and so enjoyed helping those who relied on their services.
Arrangements are under the care of Sunset Memorial Funeral Home in Missoula.