Frances Rose Longpre Eager
Frances Rose Longpre Eager went to be with the Lord and with her dear Rex early the morning of July 30. She was born in Missoula on Aug. 8, 1917, and lived in several Montana communities as a young girl - Missoula, Kalispell, Huson, Miles City, Hot Springs and Winnett.
Having attended elementary school in multiple locations, she welcomed having eighth grade through high school years in Winnett. After graduating from Winnett High School, she worked in the Winnett Post Office with Fern Milsap, who taught her well. Though there were changes through the years, Fran always knew the basics of parcel post and federal regs.
Frances married Rex H. Eager on May 26, 1937. They were both involved in the Eager Mercantile family business and the ranch. Saturdays and pre-holiday times required “all hands” at the store, including their two young daughters (assigned non-critical tasks such as stamp-licking and egg candling). Frances also helped with the bookkeeping tasks.
Family was her priority. Frances was calm and dependable in a crisis, providing for whatever the need. She strived to enhance the good times, carefully planning and generously arranging many special celebratory events for the enjoyment of anniversaries, birthdays and such occasions. She loved good music, her flowers and gardening efforts, cooking, needlework and her specialty: delectable cookies. Though small in stature, Frances faced life’s challenges with great strength. She was ready to use her common sense to help Rex with new calves, guide her girls and fill in wherever the need arose. Often, she was “ahead of her time” in dealing with change.
She worked diligently to provide a strong home life for her family and made many contributions to the Winnett community as well. Devotion to her Catholic faith ignited tireless energy for upkeep and improvements to little St. Aloysius Church even with the frustration of muddy boots tracked throughout - right after her cleaning efforts. Her work with the Red Cross brought blood drives to the area, and she helped make swimming lessons available to the youngsters of Petroleum County, again through the Red Cross. She had great devotion to the library project and served on the Petroleum County Library Board for many years.
In retirement years, Rex and Fran enjoyed traveling and their RV, always exploring new areas and making new friends. They sold their home in Winnett in 1974 and moved to the Flathead Valley where they built near Big Arm. Eventually they wintered in Hemet, Calif. For the last many years, their home was in Polson. They enjoyed 66 years together.
Frances was preceded in death by her husband, Rex; parents, Dan and Edith Longpre; sister, Betty Longpre Krutar O’Neill; and brother, Daniel Longpre, Jr.
She is survived by her daughters, Betty (Marshall) Bjork of Big Arm and Mary (Douglas) Wadman of Big Arm; grandchildren, Kristen (Dean) Bjork Rager, Greg (Teri Genzel) Bjork, Darryl Bjork, Grant (Catherine) Wadman, and Mariel (Greg) Young; great grandchildren, Colton (Brooke) Bjork, Lauren Bjork, Madeline Bjork, Rachel Bjork, Megan Young, Erin Young, Sarah Wadman, and Daniel Wadman.
Funeral services for Frances will be held on Thursday, Aug. 4, at 11 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Burial will be at 1:30 p.m. at Lakeview Cemetery in Polson. Memorials may be sent to the Petroleum County Endowment Fund, Box 206, Winnett, MT 59087 or to a charity of your choice. Memories and condolences may be sent to the family at www.thelakefuneralhomeandcrematory.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of The Lake Funeral Home and Crematory.