Frankie Johnson- De Fries

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Frankie passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family on Sunday, January 28, 2018, at the age of 82. Laid to rest in Washington Creek Cemetery, Lawrence, Kansas, on Monday, February 5, 2018.

Frankie was born December 6, 1935, in Appleton, Missouri. Daughter of Frank Oscar Sharp and Reba Dale/Sharp Kramer (nee Jackson), and devoted step-daughter of Charles J. Kramer.?Frankie grew up on a 2,000-acre ranch, "The Kennedy Place" farm in Nevada, Missouri, and attended a one-room school house. She furthered her education at Liberty Memorial High School and Lawrence High School, graduating in 1954. She enjoyed horseback riding, playing basketball, cheerleading, and was a member of the student council. She received two La Sertoma scholarships to attend St. Luke's Hospital School of Nursing in Kansas City, Missouri, graduating in 1957. She was a dedicated, outstanding professional nurse, who enjoyed what she was doing because it resulted in high quality patient care. Her concern and compassion for her patients was very apparent. Her career spanned working as a Public Health Nurse with the Health Department in Will County; St. Joseph Hospital as the Director of Postpartum OB; Director of Nursing at Americana Nursing Center in Joliet; Long Term Care Coordinator Supervisor for Quad River Foundation for Medical Care; and Quality Assurance Coordinator for Franciscan Home Health, in Joliet, IL. In the birth of this agency she was responsible for writing her own job description and assisted in the progression of its current day sophisticated maturity.?Frankie was a faithful Christian who shared her faith with her family and others. She always gave generously of her time and talent to many projects and organizations. Member of Crossroads Christian Church; Member of Continuing Nursing Education Advisory Board at Joliet Junior College; Member of American Heart Association Council; Member of Quality Assurance Hospice Program; Advisory Board Member Provena St. Joseph Home Health Division; St. Luke's Nursing Alumni Association; corresponding secretary for Community Services Council; Member of the Joliet Artist's League; and Member of the Left Bank Art.?As an accomplished artist, her love of the arts was a ribbon running throughout her life. She began her pursuit of art in an unstructured setting with fellow artist friends of varying backgrounds. Her beginning media was pastel and tempera. Having enjoyed viewing paintings, especially French impressionism, she began a self-study of art history. She served as cultural arts chairwomen for two-years in her local PTA , where she visited her children's grade school monthly with the "Picture Lady" program. Using the Joliet Public Library resource of fine art framed reproductions, the children were given the opportunity to become aware of art appreciation. In coordination with the library she gave a "Picture Lady" presentation on Cable TV in 1973. Frankie studied under Ruth Van Sickel Ford; Gerald Merfield; John Hudak; and Dr. Stuart Shar.?Her watercolor entitled "Still Life Style", a Purchase Prize Award painting, was featured in the Nursing Spectrum Magazine in 1987, on display during ANA National Convention in Kentucky, and on permanent display in the women's wing at Methodist Medical Center in Peoria, IL. She frequented art galleries and art workshops the world over. Her support of artists and patronage of the arts will be sadly missed.?Frankie was an intellectual thinker, and had a natural curiosity about everything around her. She found the answers in books which gave her the foundation of wisdom. She thoroughly enjoyed entertaining, dancing, music, and writing poetry. Her leisure time was filled with gardening, the wonder of nature, long walks, the opera, and laughter with friends. She loved her home, "a little bit of country," as she referred to it, when it was full with her family. She was a special person loved by all, a kind and gentle spirit, who always put others before herself. She will be remembered by her gregarious nature, selfless generosity, compassion and for being a friend to all.?She upheld her selflessness through her final moments. Her unconditional love for her family and friends will forever be her legacy.?She met her future husband Melvin M. Johnson (1931-1981) on a blind date arranged by her best friend. Frankie and Mel were married on August 14, 1957 and established their lives in Joliet Illinois. Her second husband, William B. De Fries (1926-1998), were married on January 21, 1984.?She is survived and will be dearly missed by her loving and devoted children, Jeff (Diane) Johnson, Jada (Dan) Procarione, her beautiful grandchildren, Tori, Brett, Noah, Jenna and Jeremy Johnson and Dane and Dean Procarione. Her cherished and loyal siblings Cheri (Paul) Korb, Charlene (Lonnie) Martin, and Gary (Judy) Kramer, Special Sister-in-law Doris Johnson, many beloved nieces and nephews, and countless friends. All of whom she loved dearly.?Frankie will be missed greatly and will never, ever be forgotten.?In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider a donation of your time/talents to those suffering from memory loss. Flowers make the world beautiful for a short time, but the beauty and impact of your kindness will long outlast any flowers and serve as a true tribute to Frankie's giving spirit. Contributions to the Saint Luke's Hospital Foundation Scholarship Fund would also be appreciated.

Funeral Home
Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home & Crematory
601 Indiana St
Lawrence, KS 66044
(785) 843-5111
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Published in Lawrence Journal-World on Feb. 11, 2018