Frances Alene Shenkle Rowe, age 95, longtime resident of Marshalltown, died on October 12, 2012, in Austin, Texas. Funeral services and a celebration of her life will be held at 1:30 p.m., Friday, October 19, 2012, at the Central Christian Church. Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m., Thursday, October 18, 2012, at the Mitchell Family Funeral Home, where her family will be present to greet friends. Memorial contributions may be directed in her name to her family. For further information or to send a condolence please visit www.mitchellfh.com or call (641) 844-1234. The Mitchell Family Funeral Home is caring for Frances and her family.
Mrs. Rowe was born on May 29, 1917, in Collins, Iowa to William and Orva Shenkle. Frances was the oldest of twelve children. At an early age she was called upon to help raise her brothers and sisters. She never took this job lightly and was always there to lend a helping hand whenever it was needed. This spirit of caring and support never left Frances. She perfected it over the years and as her siblings got older, they continued to look to her for comfort and support in their lives.
Besides taking care of her family, Frances attended school and graduated from Collins High School at the age of 17. Being too young to go to college, she decided to travel to Illinois to live with an aunt and uncle. She was able to secure a job as a hospital worker preparing meals for patients and helping to clean around the hospital. Frances went to Business College in Kewanee, Illinois. It was here that she met the love of her life, George S. Rowe. They returned to Iowa and married on November 11, 1939 in Marshalltown. They made their home there and raised two children, Kenneth and Carolyn. Their home was always open to family and friends. Frances never turned down a request for help and often offered a place to stay if her family needed one.
Frances was a member of Central Christian Church for 65 years. It was always said that she performed every duty in the church except for preaching and singing, although if given the chance, she would have been perfect in those roles as well. She had a love for the Lord that showed no bounds and could be seen at church most Sundays. When she moved to Texas, Frances was a member of Central Christian Church in Round Rock. Frances excelled at being a homemaker. She loved to garden. Her home was full of beautiful flowers and her yard was always tidy. She could often be seen working in her flowerbeds or picking up branches that had fallen from trees. She also enjoyed cooking meals and desserts for family and friends. Outside of the home, Frances loved making crafts and sewing. She was a member of the Spinning Wheel Chapter of DAR. Traveling was also something that Frances enjoyed; she made her way through every state in the U.S. except for Alaska and Hawaii. The most important part of her life though, was her family. She remembered everyone's birthday and anniversaries and always made sure that they all knew that she was thinking of them on those special occasions.
Left to cherish Frances' memory: her son Kenneth E. Rowe and his wife Alice of Vancouver WA, daughter, Carolyn S. Mehlow and her husband C. LeRoy of Austin, Texas, also six sisters: Berneice Brownfield of Colo, Hildred Spence of Marshalltown, Jean Day of Marshalltown, Arlene Cripps of Marshalltown, Shirley Nicholson and her husband Rich of Marshalltown and Sherry Meier of Ames. Four adored grandchildren: Traci DeSheles and her husband Lucien, Laura Rowe, Matthew Mehlow and his wife Annemarie, Jenny Mehlow and her husband Randy Morris, and four great-grandchildren: Megan Mehlow, Emma and Bella DeSheles, and James Morris.
Husband George Rowe, her parents, William and Orva Shenkle precedes Frances in death as well as five siblings: brothers, Bill Shenkle, John Shenkle and Frank Shenkle and sisters: Jane Simmons and Wilma.