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OBIT: Francys Evlyn Klages, 101

This news story was published on June 11, 2020.
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With great sorrow, we announce that Francys Evlyn Klages, 101 years old, passed away Saturday, June 6, 2020 at the Tripoli nursing home.

A brief viewing will be held Saturday, June 13 from 10-11am at the Hauser Weishaar Funeral Home in Charles City, followed by a graveside memorial at Riverside Cemetery.

Born Francys Nikolas in Marble Rock on December 4, 1918, she left home when she was 14 and lived and worked in Charles City, graduating from Charles City High School in 1936, with a teaching certificate. That same year, Francys married her first husband, Dale E. Ferch (d. 1977) of Nashua, with whom she had five children: Wilma Pulfer of Phoenix, AZ; Sharon McIntyre of Overland Park, KS; Dale L. Ferch of Kechi, KS; David Ferch of Arcata, CA (d. 2002); and Michael Ferch of Brooklyn, NY. Teaching in a one-room schoolhouse was her first job after high school, one she would recall fondly, especially because the students all called her “Mom.” Working hard was a part of her life, often holding two jobs, in factories in Waterloo, Rockford, IL, and Cedar Rapids, which became her home in the 1960s. In addition to being a school teacher and factory worker, she was a waitress, nurse’s aide, home healthcare worker, and, finally, a farm wife, which she embraced most of all.

With an entrepreneurial spirit, Francys made and sold perfumes, tried her hand at making ketchup and root beer (the bottles mostly exploded!), and tried pickling every vegetable possible. She made quilts, pies, jams and jellies, sewed, and published poems that she wrote throughout her life. With quick wit, a sense of humor and ability to laugh at herself, Francys also had no time for resentments and had a kind word for all. She possessed a generous and giving spirit.

At her 50th high school reunion, she was reacquainted with Karl Klages (d. 2004), who soon became her second husband. They were married at the Little Brown Church in 1987, and Francys moved to the Charles City community at that time. She enjoyed making meals for the hired farmhands, trips to the fields, and always having something to do around the farm. She lived on her own well into her 90s, with her dog Charlie. At some point in her last years, she wrote the following poem:

A Memorial from Myself to You
When I come to the end of my journey
And I travel my last weary mile
Just forget if you can that I ever frowned;
And remember only the smile.
Forget unkind words I have spoken
Remember some good I have done.
Forget I ever had heartache.
Remember I’ve had some fun.
Forget I’ve stumbled and blundered,
And sometimes fell by the way.
Remember I’ve fought some hard battles
And won at the close of the day.
Forget to grieve at my going,
I would not have you sad for a day.
But in summer just gather some flowers
And remember the place where I lay,
And come in the shade of the evening
When the sun paints the sky in the west.
Stand for a few minutes beside me
And remember only the best.

— My Love to All, Francys Klages

Hauser Weishaar Funeral Home, (641) 228-2323, 1205 South Main Street, Charles City, Iowa 50616 is in charge of local arrangements. Online condolences may be left on the Tribute Wall for the family at

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