August 3, 1926 – December 29, 2022
In loving memory ~
Renowned for a graciousness that drew to her countless friends of all ages, her long walks with friends along the Smith River in Hiouchi, California, and her cinnamon rolls, Frances Koesling died on December 29th, 2022.
Fran was born to Eric and Mary Butler on August 3rd, 1926, in Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada where she lived with her dear sister Leona (Noni) until 1946 when she met and married William Fullan. The two moved to San Francisco, California where, in 1949, she became a U.S. citizen. In 1955 they packed up their four young sons and moved to Crescent City, California, eventually settling nearby in Hiouchi among the towering redwoods along the Smith River where she was known to religiously hike every day of the week (except Fridays) with many of her friends.
For her, it was the perfect place to raise her brood which eventually grew to seven—five sons, a daughter, and a stepdaughter. Following her divorce from Bill, she married Byrd Koesling in 1964. Their Hiouchi home during those many years was a gathering spot for friends and a haven for the many friends of their children. Eventually, the young ones began to leave the nest and Fran and Byrd found time to enjoy dancing at the Elks Club and to take many enjoyable trips to Hawaii and Mexico. How Fran also found time to give back to her community remains a mystery. During the Vietnam War era, she believed that there should be a mother on the draft board and became the first and only woman to serve on that board.
In addition to being an expert seamstress, she gave her time to the Del Norte County Historical Society and the Sutter Coast Hospital, among others. In 2013 she and Byrd moved to Beaverton, Oregon where they settled into the Creekside Village Retirement Center. There Fran’s friendly spirit won her many friends who provided her companionship after Byrd’s death, after 55 years of marriage, in 2020. She will be remembered there for her welcoming warmth, her avid walking, and her mean game of Rummikub.
She leaves a long and wide trail in her wake and is survived by: five sons, Jim Fullan (Karen) of Portland, Oregon, Terry Fullan (Lorraine) of Nehalem, Oregon, Dennis Fullan (Kathi) of Oregon City, Oregon, Sean Fullan (Lucinda) of New Windsor, New York, and Eric Fullan (Krista) of Beaverton, Oregon; one daughter, Susan Skidmore (Bert) of Reno, Nevada; a stepdaughter, Juanita Koesling of Newport, Oregon; seven grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; along with her favourite niece Maureen, and long-time friend and world traveller Pete Gumman (whereabouts unknown).
In accordance with her wishes, no public service will be held. Her family plans to distribute her ashes near Byrd’s burial site, in her favourite walking spot along the Smith River, and her ancestral grounds of Kaslo, British Columbia.
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