Our amazing mother, Frances Eugenia Symms passed away on March 28th, 2018 at her home in Boise surrounded by her family.
Fran is survived by her daughters, Susan Stauffer (Darris), Amy Crabtree (Charles M.) and Katy Senkus (Steve); daughter-in-law, Linda Symms; her brother, Tom Stockdale (Sandee); grandchildren: Dr. John Symms (Annie), Sally Gottschall (John), Lois Symms; Andrew, Tyler, Benjamin and Dustin Stauffer; Wil-liam, Zachary and Nicholas Senkus and three great-grandchildren.
Fran was born on August 13, 1937 in Hammond, Indiana to Stephen and Norma Stockdale. During her youth, the Stockdale family moved to Helena, Montana. She graduated from Helena, High School, where she was editor of the school newspaper.
In 1955, Fran enrolled at the University of Idaho and joined the Pi Beta Phi Sorority where she met many of her lifelong friends. Fran was invited to join Mortar Board and graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University with a business degree. She then worked for University President Donald Theophilus while her husband (Steven D. Symms) completed his studies in 1960.
Fran and Steve moved various places while he served in the military and afterwards returned home to Caldwell. Fran enjoyed teaching piano, the Caldwell Newcomers Club, PEO and her Bridge Club. These friendships would last her entire life. She enjoyed being a part of the family business, Symms Fruit Ranch, and encouraged her children to start working early in life.
In 1972 her husband was elected to the U.S. Congress and the family of six moved to Virginia. Fran im-mersed herself in the life of being a congressional spouse, taking active leadership roles in various Congressional Clubs including the Republican Wives Club, the Congressional club, the Congressional Wives Prayer Group, the Senate Wives Outreach Bible Study, the First Lady Luncheon Committee and Ladies of the Senate Red Cross Unit. She was active with Washington Farm Methodist church, became a docent at Mount Vernon Estate, attended Marymount University and played a major role in all of her children’s education and activities.
Over the years she worked and volunteered for many elected leaders and campaigns and was especially proud of her accomplishments with the National Arthritis Advisory Board and working as the co-chair on the Idaho Arthritis Foundation.
Following the divorce, Fran returned to Idaho and started a new chapter of her life in Boise. During this time she worked at various jobs including Prudential Bache, Key Bank, Dillards department store, and for Congressman Mike Simpson. She served on her neighborhood HOA board, volunteered in the Boise community through the Cathedral of the Rockies and was honored for serving on the Board of Directors for the Ronald McDonald House of Boise for 20 years. She loved education and continued taking classes at Boise State University.
Fran focused life on family, the bridge club, PEO, quilting, creating antique button jewelry, music, at-tending musicals and the philharmonic and traveling — especially to visit her daughters and grandchil-dren.
Most importantly, Fran had an authentic Christian faith that she nurtured throughout her life. Her faith anchored her to face trials and tribulations with a positive approach and view them as opportunities. She believed in God and His forgiveness in Christ. We celebrate knowing she is in heaven with God and with her son Dan. She truly lived her 80 years to the fullest and we are blessed to have been a part of her remarkable life.
It would be impossible to thank everyone who has shown so much kindness and support to our precious mother. We will all miss her and will cherish many wonderful memories.
Graveside services will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 4th at the Canyon Hill Cemetery in Caldwell followed by a memorial service to celebrate Fran’s life at 12:00 noon at the Cathedral of the Rockies, 717 N. 11th St., Boise, Idaho 83702 with a Celebration of Life reception immediately following at the Hillcrest Country Club. Memories and condolences may be shared at www.dakanfuneralchapel.com. In lieu of flowers, please feel free to send any donations to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Idaho (101 Warm Springs Ave., Boise, ID 83712).