|Birth: ||Oct. 27, 1927|
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake County
|Death: ||May 17, 2013|
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake County
SALT LAKE CITY — Frances B. Monson, wife of Thomas S. Monson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died Friday morning in a Salt Lake City hospital.
Monson had been hospitalized for several weeks and died at 6:35 a.m. from causes related to her age, the LDS church said in a statement.
Francis was married to Thomas S. Monson for 64 years.
"She was committed to doing those things that would help the family, support the family, strengthen the family, and at the same time be a companion to her husband," said Heidi Swinton, author of Thomas S. Monson's biography.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Read the full news release from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
Frances B. Monson, wife of Thomas S. Monson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints passed away at 6:35 a.m. this morning in a Salt Lake City hospital surrounded by family. She had been hospitalized for several weeks and passed away peacefully of causes incident to age. Sister Monson was 86 years old. Funeral arrangements are pending.
Recognized by her husband as the family's beacon of love, compassion and encouragement, Sister Monson lived a Christ-centered life in word and deed. She will forever be remembered for her kindness and quiet, sustained support of her husband in his Church duties.
Born on 27 October 1927, Frances Beverly Johnson was the youngest and only daughter of Franz E. Johnson and Hildur Booth Johnson's five children. Her parents were delighted to have a little girl in the family whom they promptly named Frances, after her father Franz.
She grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah as a child of the Great Depression where she learned the value of hard work and thrift, which served her well throughout her life. She graduated from East High School and the University of Utah where she excelled in math and science. When asked why she enrolled in these difficult classes she replied with a twinkle in her eye, "… because that is where all the cute boys were." Frances was also an accomplished pianist and was often seen playing tennis in Liberty Park during her teenage years. Later, she worked in the accounting department of a large department store to help pay for her college education.
It was also during her university days she met a handsome, strapping young man also of Swedish descent, Thomas Spencer Monson, at the time known as Tommy. "The first time I met Frances, I knew I'd found the right one," he would later say about their courtship. They met in 1944 and were married on 7 October 1948 in the Salt Lake Temple.
The couple was blessed with three children: Thomas Lee, Ann Frances and Clark Spencer. The children soon learned that they had a very special mother. She helped her sons learn about, buy and raise Birmingham Roller pigeons, at one point helping her son to travel to England to meet a Birmingham Roller expert. She allowed one son to keep a pet snake in the bathtub. Most mothers would shudder at the word snake, let alone have one in the tub. The herd, gaggle and flock of family pets eventually included chickens, more pigeons, a dog, geese and other animals.
Daughter Ann Dibb said her mother was always good at bookkeeping, budgeting and "being mindful of where the best bargains could be found." Ann's mother followed the Church's provident living advice of thrift and self reliance, making her grocery money go farther by researching and buying items on sale and then storing them at home. Up until recently she continued to read both Salt Lake newspapers looking for coupons and bargains.
She was known as the family assembler and fix-it person. Early every Christmas morning found Frances assembling bikes, toys and doll houses and on other occasions fixing an electrical switch or plumbing leak. Ann said this was something her father readily admitted was her mother's talent, not his.
She served in the Relief Society and Primary and spent many hours preparing lessons for those callings. She also served alongside her husband when he was called to preside over the Church's Canadian Mission, headquartered in Toronto, Ontario from 1959 to 1962. Both concur that the mission was a beautiful experience that gave them many opportunities to learn and grow both spiritually and intellectually.
Frances was blessed with an endearing sense of humor, a part of which President Monson shared in a General Conference talk: "Several years ago my dear wife went to the hospital. She left a note behind for the children: ‘Dear children, do not let Daddy touch the microwave' – followed by a comma ‘or the stove, or the dishwasher, or the dryer.' I'm embarrassed to add any more to that list." Her recipe for life included plenty of encouragement, kindness, and hard work, with a dose of humor thrown in for good measure.
Most importantly, Frances will be best remembered for the love and support she showed to her husband and family and the service she rendered to others. Ann said, "She dearly loved my father and recognized his talents and the gifts that he'd been given and took pleasure in supporting him and helping him magnify the talents that were his." She completely supported her husband in all of his Church duties. She also delighted in being a mother continually teaching her children the importance of sacrifice and serving the Lord.
Ann shared a tender example of her mother supporting her father in his Church callings. As a newly-called member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, the then Elder Monson was assigned to speak in General Priesthood meeting. Frances tried to stand in the doorway of the Salt Lake Tabernacle to listen to her husband speak, but the ushers wouldn't allow it, so she stood as near to the window as possible to hear the talk. She loved to listen and show her support, and accompanied him many times on the visits to the elderly and those with poor health.
Frances radiated patience and compassion when serving others. She tenderly cared for her mother who suffered from cancer for more than six years. In April of 1988, the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph's Villa, an elder-care facility, presented Frances and her husband with the Continuum of Caring Humanitarian Award, honoring both of them for their dedicated and untiring service to the senior citizens of Utah.
Never purposely in the spotlight, Frances Beverly Johnson Monson, was always gracious, kind and supportive in everything she said and did. Her quiet influence felt around the world will be missed.
Obit Published in Salt Lake Tribune 21 May 2013
1927 - 2013
Beloved eternal companion and mother, Frances Beverly Johnson Monson returned to her heavenly home May 17, 2013, from causes incident to age. It is impossible to imagine a more loyal, loving and supportive companion.
Frances was born in Salt Lake City, Utah on October 27, 1927, the only daughter of Franz E. Johnson and Hildur Booth Johnson. She was proud of her Swedish heritage. She was a devoted and cherished daughter and sister. She attended Salt Lake City schools, graduating from East High School. In her youth she was proficient in academics, piano and tennis. The family was musically talented and loved to sing together. While attending the University of Utah, Frances developed many cherished friendships and met her future husband, Thomas S. Monson. During this time, and for the first few years of her marriage before their children arrived, she worked as a bookkeeper for the JC Penney Company.
Frances and Tom were married October 7, 1948 in the Salt Lake LDS Temple. They followed strictly the advice given them at the time of their marriage always to resolve differences and pray together before retiring each night.
Within a short time following her marriage, Frances found herself the wife of a new bishop who was only 22 years of age. The ward was a large, diverse pioneer ward with many widows, requiring countless hours of service. Five years later Tom became a member of the stake presidency. Frances established a loving home to which the couple eventually welcomed three children: Thomas Lee, Ann Frances and Clark Spencer.
In 1957, after careful planning and budgeting, Tom and Frances built their dream home in Holladay, Utah. In early 1959 Tom was called by President Stephen L Richards of the First Presidency to serve as president of the Church's Canadian Mission, which at the time encompassed the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Frances had just three weeks to prepare for the move to Toronto. Seven-year-old son Tommy had to withdraw from school mid-year; daughter Ann was four years old, and Frances was expecting son Clark.
Because her husband was the mission president, Frances presided over the Relief Societies, the Primaries and the YWMIA organizations for the entire mission. Together they saw great growth of the Church in Canada, including the formation of the 300th stake in the city of Toronto. They often reflected on those never-to-be-forgotten years and have enjoyed annual reunions with their missionaries for the past 51 years.
At the conclusion of their mission, they returned to Salt Lake City where they served in many church and community capacities. With their children they enjoyed extended activities at the family cabin at Vivian Park, trips to Yellowstone National Park, vacations in California and other memorable times together.
At age 36, with a young family, Frances was supportive and encouraging of her husband's call by President David O. McKay to become a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Elder Monson traveled nearly every weekend to stake conferences and occasionally for five weeks at a time on mission tours, while Frances remained at home with the children. Our dear Frances never offered a word of complaint.
Through the years and throughout the world, President and Sister Monson have been examples of service, encouragement, cooperation, devotion and faithfulness. Though her husband was very much in the forefront, Frances was always self-effacing and quietly doing good in her own private manner. Tom was particularly pleased when Frances was recognized for her service-first in 1998 when she received the Continuum of Caring Humanitarian Award from the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph Villa, and again in 2009 when she received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Utah Valley University.
For a number of years Frances has faithfully endured a somewhat diminished quality of health due principally to head injuries as the result of serious falls. In spite of these difficulties, she has clung to life for the principal purpose of providing support and companionship to her beloved husband and to shower her love on the family she cherished.
Sister Monson passed peacefully and quietly surrounded by family. President Monson, after making countless visits to the hospital, was able to spend private time with his cherished sweetheart just hours before her passing.
The family wishes to express sincere gratitude for the exceptional professional and compassionate care extended to Frances through these years of diminished health and strength. We are thankful for dear friends in the Valley View 9th Ward. Frances' deep love for them has remained constant through long years of association. Both President and Sister Monson have frequently recognized their gratitude for the prayers of the membership of the entire Church. They know that Frances' life was extended as a result.
Frances was preceded in death by her parents and three step-brothers, Roland, Grant and Carl Johnson. She is survived by her loving husband President Thomas S. Monson and their children Thomas Lee (Carma), Ann Frances (Roger Dibb), Clark Spencer (Patricia). She received great joy from her eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her brother Arnold B. Johnson (Nancy).
Funeral services will be held at 12 noon, May 23, 2013 in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, with a private viewing prior to the services. The funeral is open to the public. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the General Missionary Fund of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
We love you dear Frances, dear Mother, dear Grandmother.
Franz Emanual Johnson (1881 - 1953)
Hildur Augusta Booth Johnson (1893 - 1973)
Salt Lake City Cemetery
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake County
Created by: Arlene Gertsch
Record added: May 17, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 110671868