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Velma Frances Reaves Young
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Birth: Nov. 26, 1924
Los Angeles
Los Angeles County
California, USA
Death: Mar. 16, 1999
Oklahoma City
Oklahoma County
Oklahoma, USA

"(Velma) Frances Reaves was born November 26, 1924, in Los Angeles, California, the oldest of two daughters born to Velma Iretta Dickens and Samuel Francis Reaves. Frances spent most of her younger years on her uncle's cattle ranch near Albuquerque, New Mexico. There she learned to be an expert marksman by shooting prairie dogs to protect cattle and horses from injury. Frances learned her "can do" spirit from these early pioneers of the west.

In 1941, she married John Joseph Merchant. They moved to Oklahoma city in 1944. They were married 22 years. Throughout their 22 years of marriage, Frances worked, a drive she got from her mother, who also worked until her retirement.

Her creativity was demonstrated by her love of all kinds of needlework. At times she sewed for other people, designed hats under the label "Frances' Hats" for an exclusive dress shop in Kansas City and a hat shop in Oklahoma City. She even demonstrated hat making on a local Oklahoma City television show. She often made matching dresses for her girls. Her creativity was not limited to needlework. She also loved to write. In the late 50's she wrote short articles for women's magazines.

In 1965 Frances married Arthur L. Young, Jr. They were married 33 years. Together they had 6 children, 19 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. For them she leaves a legacy of love and commitment to God, home and family.

Frances attended the University of Oklahoma and held a Certified Fair Executive Degree from Georgia State University. She was Assistant General Manager of the State Fair of Oklahoma for 17 years prior to her retirement in 1991. She restored the Goodholm House among numerous other building projects including the Women's Building at the Fairgrounds. She was active in many professional organizations connected to her work and was well respected among her peers, as manifest by the many professional awards and responsibilities given to her.

A member of the International Association of Fairs & Expositions, she was chairman of the Women's Committee and Competitive Events Committee, originator of Zone Workshops, original host in 1974, and frequent topics moderator at association meetings throughout the country. She was enthusiastic and tenacious about any responsibility given to her.

An avid genealogist, Frances was a member of many genealogical, patriotic, and historical organizations. She was proud of her heritage and the inheritance of work, duty, and perseverance she would leave to her family as demonstrated by her own ancestors.

Family links: 
  Samuel Franklin Reaves (1902 - 1956)
  Velma Dickens Reaves (1906 - 1998)
  John Joseph Merchant (1920 - 1971)*
*Calculated relationship
Note: Her husband, Arthur L. Young, died July 2004.
Rose Hill Burial Park
Oklahoma City
Oklahoma County
Oklahoma, USA
Created by: James H. Carroll
Record added: Jul 26, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 39920065
Velma Frances <i>Reaves</i> Young
Added by: James H. Carroll
Velma Frances <i>Reaves</i> Young
Added by: James H. Carroll
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Still in our thoughts.
- Family
 Added: Sep. 5, 2009

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