Tuesday, August 4, 2020


Moab, UT

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    Clara Francis, 1927-2019

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    Public submissions to The Times-Independent can range from press releases to obituaries to feature stories and news. All submissions are subject to editorial review and approval.

    Longtime Moab resident Clara Francis died April 13, 2019.

    Clara Zelma Francis passed away in her home with her family. This was nine days before her 92nd birthday. She was born April 22, 1927 to John Hines and Nellie Mayo Hines in Beaver City, Nebraska.

    She met the love of her life, Lyle “Sam” Francis, on a blind date and they were married Feb. 13, 1947 in Beaver City. They initially lived in Artesia, Colorado but moved to the Moab area in 1948, living in Lower La Sal Creek and Lisbon Valley. They moved to Moab in 1953 so that sons Zeke and Dennis could attend grade school.

    Clara started working at Atlas Minerals in 1963 and was employed there until they shut down in 1984. At Atlas she was initially an executive assistant but trained as a chemist to eventually become a lab assistant in the assay department.

    While working days at Atlas she also managed and lived at the Town House Motel during the nights and weekends. After a few years she moved to Prospector Lodge where she continued to work nights and weekends.

    In 1972 she bought the family home and left the motel life but continued to work for Atlas.

    When Atlas closed in 1984, she got a job working for Utah State Parks as the Southeast Region office manager, where she worked for 24 years before retiring at the age of 82 in 2009.

    While working there she was twice awarded office manager of the year. She was always a determined and hard worker, as well as a loyal and dedicated employee.

    Most importantly she was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. All those who knew and loved her will miss her.

    She was blessed with three children: Zeke (Maralee) Francis, of Moab; Dennis (Mary) Francis of Sugar Land, Texas; and Debbie (Lee) Sjoblom, of Moab; 13 grandchildren and 25 great grandchildren.

    Her parents, two sisters, Geneava Clements and Rubie Nicholson, a brother, James Hines; her loving husband, Lyle; and her son, Zeke; preceded her in death.

    A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, April 22, 2019 at the Sunset Memorial Gardens in Moab.

    A graveside service will be followed by a celebration of life at 12:30 p.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Chapel, 400 North and 400 West.

    In lieu of gifts or flowers, please donate to Grand County Hospice in honor of Clara Francis.

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