Frances Margaret Rhodes, 79, of Lonoke, AR left this world on December 3, 2021 at her home surrounded by love. Frances was born in March of 1942 in Lonoke County Arkansas.
She is survived by her husband of 62 years, Carl “Jim” Rhodes; four sons, Bobby, Chris, Kerry (Jennifer) and Terry Rhodes; brother, Albert Barker, Jr; and 35 grandchildren and great grandchildren combined.
Frances is preceded in death by her parents, Albert and Louise Barker; her sisters, Alpha Godair and Ethel Henderson; her brother, Charles “Bo” Barker; and son, James Rhodes (Carlene).
Frances to her husband, Momma to her five boys, Banty to her sisters and brothers, Auntie to her nieces and nephews, and Nanny to her grandchildren and great grandchildren combined. Likely, you also called her Nanny. Once you stepped into her home, you became hers, and she became your Nanny. No one ever had to wonder when Frances was happy. Her squeals of delight and feet fluttering let you know exactly how happy she was. Frances taught us how to love well and how to embrace simple joys.
Each grandbaby born into this world seemed to invigorate her and her streak of creativity. No one created sing songs on the spur of the moment like Nanny Frances. Her tiny frame allowed her to crawl onto ride on toys and double strollers with her grandbabies giving all around her a good laugh. You could find her in the floor playing Skip Bo with her grandkids on summer afternoons. Game days brought a gathering and her yelling at the TV along with everyone else.
If someone had a need, she was there to help, including making chicken shawls, canning chow-chow, sewing and patching up clothing, and most of all listening to her kids and grandkids. Frances found joy and pride in her family. Call to catch up and she would run down the list of what everyone was up to and how proud she was of everyone. Saturday mornings were meant for visits and walking her enchanting flower beds as she named each flower and where she got it. Her gardens boasted blooms every color of the rainbow and how she marveled at her black iris every spring. Many have wondered at what magic her green thumb had but the secret was simple: she planted the seeds and bulbs believing they would flourish. And they did.
Frances was a perpetual tinker and creator. She loved crafts and new recipes. She was one of those that sat with a string of Christmas lights and tinkered and replaced and tinkered and replaced until each light of the strand lit up ready to be hung. If she couldn’t do it, she at least tried. Those she leaves behind know that biscuits and gravy will never quite taste the same and her flower beds might seem a bit empty, but we rejoice knowing she is cackling with delight as she walks through heaven’s gardens.
To honor the life of Frances, plant a day lily and watch it grow, believe in your family’s dreams and interests no matter how silly they seem, hold all the babies, laugh out loud, and trust that the Good Lord will see it through.
Services are scheduled for December 11, 2021 at 11 a.m. at Hamilton Cemetery. Flowers and condolences can be sent to her husband, Jim Rhodes, at: 1714 Fairview Rd. Lonoke, AR 72086
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