Frances Royce, 96, of Ripley, NY entered into eternal rest on Feb. 7, 2014 at Willows at Presbyterian SeniorCare in Oakmont, PA. She was born March 14, 1917 to Russell and Frances (Middleditch) Lillie of Ripley, NY. She always shared fond memories of growing up on Ross Street in Ripley with her brothers and sisters: Howard, Marjorie (Becherer), Caroline (Barnhart) and Marvin. They spent many hours playing at the nearby playground.
Frances earned her teaching certificate at Fredonia Normal School and later received a Masters degree from the University of Buffalo. She began her teaching career at as a jack of all subjects in a one-room school house in Westfield, NY. In the early 1940's, she continued teaching at Ripley Central School until her retirement in 1975.
A lifelong Ripley resident, she was active in her community and church. As a child, she enjoyed attending Sunday School and attended the Ripley United Methodist Church all her life joining in 1928. Childhood piano lessons grew into a lifelong passion with Frances playing the organ at her church for 63 years.
Frances married Maurice Arnold and after his death, later married Arthur Royce, who also preceded her in death.
Frances was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Order of the Eastern Star, the Mayflower Society and a descendent of William Bradford. She enjoyed reading books, writing letters and growing flowers.
She was also preceded in death by nephews: David Becherer, and Edgar Stebbins and a niece: Charlotte (Stebbins) Brand. Survivors include her nieces and nephews: Martha Bryant of Owensboro, KY, Dr. David (Madeline) Lillie of Buffalo, NY, Alice Lillie of Las Vegas, NV, and Laura (William) Wengerd of Oakmont, PA.
A celebration of Frances' life was held Saturday Feb. 15, 2014 at 11 a.m. with a gathering of family, friends and community that began at 9 a.m. until the time of service at Ripley United Methodist Church. Many joined to celebrate that Frances is safely at home with Jesus. A luncheon followed the 11 a.m. celebration service in the church fellowship hall.
Interment will be at Quincy Cemetery in Ripley, NY. Memorials may be made to the Ripley United Methodist Church, 84 W. Main Street, Ripley, NY 14775 or the Westfield Stray Cat Rescue, 59 East Main Street, Westfield, NY 14787. Arrangements by Burket-Truby Funeral Home Cremation & Alternative Services, Inc., Oakmont, Pa. and William D. Elkin Funeral Home, Northeast, Pa.