Frances “Francee” Ellen Brummitt, 96, of East Peoria, Ill. passed away peacefully, surrounded by family on Sept. 30, 2017 at Unity Point Health-Proctor Hospital in Peoria, Ill.
Francee was born Aug. 22, 1921 at home on the family farm in Mackinaw, Ill. to Harvey August and Winifred Frances (Hasty) Wingstirn. She was welcomed by her four year old sister Viola. They were joined 9 years later by their 1 year-old cousin and foster brother James Hasty. They lived on the farm in Mackinaw until Francee was 6 years old and then on a farm near El Paso, Ill. until she was 16. When Harvey gave up farming, the family moved into El Paso where he worked as a carpenter. Francee graduated from El Paso High School in 1939.
Francee was an independent woman and declined the family supported opportunity to attend college in order to move out on her own. She worked at the American Distillery plant in Pekin, Ill. and then moved to Tacoma, Wash. where she worked in a photo studio colorizing black and white prints by hand. Many of the family’s keepsake pictures were hand colored by Francee. World War II brought her back to East Peoria, Ill. to join the war effort working at Caterpillar. She ran both a right hand milling machine and a left hand milling machine, doing two men’s jobs. She took notice of her co-worker who did the machine set ups. He had pretty blue eyes. Milton Brummitt also took notice of her, asked her out to coffee and they became friends.
Francee was transferred to Caterpillar in San Leandro, Calif. and later took a job opening at Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach, Calif.. Milt and Francee kept up a correspondence leading to his proposal by mail. They were married on July 22, 1945 in Long Beach, Calif. Francee became step mother to 6 year-old Billy. Over the next 5 years, a daughter and two sons were born. In 1946, they purchased a small home in East Peoria and later built a new home on the same property. Together they raised their family with Milt providing the income as an insulator and Francee managing the household. Milt preceded her in death on Oct. 26, 1987. As she grew older, Francee hoped to live out her life independently in the house she and Milt had built. She met this goal, managing her household and enjoying their home until she passed away.
Francee loved her family, her friends, her greenhouse and flowers, country music, and the Chicago Cubs. A peak moment in her life was watching the Cubs win the World Series in 2016. She celebrated not only for herself but for the family and friends who couldn’t be there. Francee will be remembered for her kind and giving heart. She never forgot a birthday, mailing out many greetings to family and friends each month. She made friends easily and was loved by many.
She is survived by her children Sylvia Brummitt Roehnelt (Rod) of Clinton, Wash., Milton D. (Lois) and Kevin (Janie Bach) Brummitt, all of East Peoria, Ill., daughter-in-law Barbara Brummitt of Morton, Ill., grandchildren Bill (Diane), Jim (Becci), Jeremy, Kevin (Mary), Brian (Cheryl), and Dan (Michele) Brummitt, Ryan (Christine) and Sean (Janet Del Aguila) Roehnelt, Tonya (Ron) Krus, Kerri (Jamie) Sommers, Jen Brummitt (Tim) Defebaugh, and Jason Randolph and many great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.
Preceding her in death were her husband Milton Welby Brummitt, her son William Frank Brummitt, her sister Viola Wertz, her brother Jim Hasty and her great-grandson Nick Krus.
Services were held at Remmert Funeral Home in East Peoria, Ill. Burial followed at Roberts Cemetery in Morton, Ill. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.RemmertFuneralHome.com. Francee asked that memorials be directed to the American Diabetes Association, Seattle Children’s Hospital Foundation, and St. Jude.