Frances B. Gonzales, 81, of Claypool, peacefully passed away Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020. Frances was born in Rowe, NM to Thomas and Catalina Benavidez. Her family moved to Jerome, Ariz. when she was about 3 years old. She had many good memories of Jerome, but the shutting down of the mines drove her family on to Miami, Ariz. where she attended junior high and high school, graduating with the MHS Class of 1957.
Frances worked at La Paloma Café where she met her future husband, Vicente R. Gonzales. His guitar playing and her beautiful voice made for a long and lasting life together, always filled with music. Their gift also brought much happiness and comfort at family gatherings, weddings, funerals, baptisms, and the annual “Posadas” at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church was a highlight every Christmas.
Frances and Vicente were blessed with six children: Trinidad (Paula) of Globe, Vincent Deano (Karen) of Arvada, CO, Timothy of Claypool, Reuben of Globe, Evelyn Vargas (Ken) of Miami, and P. Michele “Mitch” Hernandez (Ray) of Flagstaff. After raising her family, she took a job at Milly’s Flower Shop in Miami where she learned the art of designing flowers. Her natural artistic ability and love for her profession made each of her designs unique and from her heart.
Fran eventually opened her own flower shop and called it, Fran’s Flowers. For 22 years she made countless arrangements for weddings, proms, graduations, birthdays, and funerals; recruiting all her family members to help, with her husband as the top delivery boy.
Fran loved her brothers and sisters very much, caring for many of them when they were little and helping each of them in any way she could. She made time for her children and grandchildren. She was the biggest fan at tennis matches, baseball, basketball, softball, and volleyball games. She attended graduations, weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries. In good health or bad, she pushed herself to always be there for her family.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Vicente R. Gonzales; her parents Thomas and Catalina, siblings Phillip, Thomas, Eddie, Angel, and Dora Benavidez. Left behind are sisters Molly Ornelas (Manuel) of Miami, Yolanda Sanchez of Globe; brothers Joe of Springerville, Alex “Lico” (Cynthia) of Prescott Valley, and Pat of Alpine.
“Granny Franny,” as she was lovingly called by her 13 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and countless others, has left such an impact in the hearts and lives of all who knew her. We will miss the Christmas caroling, your homemade soup, trips to the casino and your tomato sauce can, the “Lucille Ball” adventures, but we will especially miss your beautiful voice, your loving smile, your gentle touch, your courage, and your passion and enthusiasm for life. Fly like a hummingbird, “Mom,” and find that special dwelling place created by God just for you.
Viewing will be open to all, mask/social distancing is required, at Lamont Mortuary on Jan. 15 from 6 - 8 p.m.
Rosary will be at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Church on Jan. 16 at 9:30 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial from 10-11 a.m. Only her children are able to attend due to restrictions.
Graveside Services open to all to celebrate her life with music and goodbyes following the church services, about 11:30. Masks/Social distancing required at Pinal Cemetery. Corner of Golden Hill and Main Street in Central Heights. Burial on the North-West side of the cemetery.