In memory of

Frances Marlar, age 85, of Helena

June 24, 1932 – December 8, 2017

On December 8th, 2017, Frances Jean Emerson Marlar went home to be with her Lord and Savior.

She was born June 24, 1932, the first of 4 daughters, at home on the farm near Emerson, Arkansas, to Sam and LouElla (Kirkpatrick) Emerson.  Her father was a share cropper, so during her childhood, they lived on a couple different farms. Mom did numerous chores, including: finding the guinea hens’ eggs, feeding the chickens, and milking the cows before school, to plowing with a team consisting of a mule named John and a horse named Raymond. John sometimes took her home early. She said he was “bull headed and ornery!” Frances also picked cotton, helped put hay and corn stalks in the loft of the barns, and helped make ribbon cane syrup from the ribbon cane they raised.

Frances graduated from Emerson High School in Emerson, Arkansas in 1950. After graduation, she got a job in a cotton mill nearby and continued to help her parents.

She met Bill Marlar after church in April of 1953 and her first impression of him was, he was full of himself. On June 12, 1953, he offered her an engagement ring and she accepted. Their wedding was on October 6, 1953, a small ceremony at their pastor’s house, with his wife as a witness. To this union they had 4 children. Monica Beth was born on October 8, 1954 and after a lengthy illness, she died on July 30, 1956. Paula Jean was born on July 13, 1957 in Magnolia, Arkansas. Ronald Glen was born July 3, 1962 in Spokane, Washington. They moved from Washington to North Dakota to Arkansas to Louisiana to Montana. By the time Ronald was 13 months old he had lived in 5 different states. Douglas Bryan was born March 8, 1970, in Helena, Montana.

While Married, Mom worked in a “sweat shop” in Spokane and when they got to Montana, she kept babies for the Catholic Charities and Welfare. She worked at St. Peter’s Hospital after taking their nurses aid classes. She also worked for the State of Montana, in the retirement fund department. After the desk job, she went to work for McDonald’s until she could work no longer. She loved McDonalds! Mom enjoyed her flower beds and gardening, quilting, crocheting and knitting. We all have quilts, doilies and slippers she made. She never met a baby she didn’t love.

In 1966, Mom and Dad bought 2 ½ acres in the Griffin Davis subdivision in the Helena Valley and they began to build their house, paying as they built. They moved into a portion of the house in 1967 and continued to build. They finished the house in 1976. Mom lived in there for the next 45 years until she moved herself to the Eagles Manor. In 2016, she wanted to move to Apple Cooney, due to health problems and she didn’t like being alone at night. She loved the people and staff at Apple Cooney.

Mom was preceded in death by her parents, her husband of 38 years, Bill Marlar, and her daughter Monica Beth.

Frances is survived by 3 of her sisters, Emily (Blondell) Ware, Anna Annelle McMullan, and Samona Gail Thomas;  daughter, Paula Grossman-Jones; sons, Ron (Karen) Marlar and Doug Marlar; 3 grandchildren: Josh Grossman, Jason Grossman, and Cary Wheeler; and 11 great grandchildren: Clara, Emma, and Tell Grossman, Jennifer, Charlie, Dallas, Jacob, and Ailsa Grossman, Vanessa, Briar, and Robert Wheeler.


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  1. Bridger vet hospital says:

    Dear Paula, Cary, Josh, Jason and all of your families,

    We are so sorry to hear of your grandmother ‘s passing.
    Grandmothers are very special and yours was a big part of your lives. It will be hard , but remember she knows that you love her and she’ll watch out for you.

    We’re thinking of you,
    Keith, Steve, Shar and all your friends at Bridger

  2. Adeline V. says:

    Sincere condolences to the Family and friends of Frances Marlar. I often write to those who have lost their dear loved ones, knowing the pain and sorrow that it brings to all.
    We are not without hope, God’s promises are sure bringing us comfort and hope.
    John 5:28,29 and Acts 24:15 I pray that you rest your hope on these words.
    Sincerely, Adeline V.

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