MONTE VISTA — Frances “Fran” Marie Worley McCullough passed away on Feb. 19, 2020 at River Valley Inn in Del Norte, Colorad. She was 91 years old.
Born on Jan. 24, 1929 on a farm outside of Monte Vista, she was the only child of Franklin Pierce Worley and Iola (Koch) Worley.
Fran was a proud alumna of Sargent Schools, graduating in 1945, the second of four generations to attend. Subsequently, she attended Stephens College in Columbia, Mo.,until 1947 and then transferred to the University of Colorado in Boulder. She earned a degree in journalism at CU and graduated in 1949.
While attending the University of Colorado, she noticed a photograph of a handsome young man belonging to her roommate, Elaine (McCullough) Lavoie. On April 8, 1950, Fran married the young man from the photograph, Elaine’s brother, Robert “Bob” L. McCullough, having met on a blind date.
After spending their newlywed year in Denver, Bob and Fran moved to Monte Vista in 1951 to work alongside Fran’s father, Frank Worley on the family farm. Together, they raised three children, Lynn, Julie and James “Jim;” and worked hard to build the family farm, the operation of which continues today.
Having studied journalism at the University of Colorado, Fran had a deep interest in researching and documenting the history of the San Luis Valley. She spent many years as the editor of The San Luis Valley Historian, carefully gathering history and curating many issues of the periodical to preserve the rich history of The Valley for generations to come.
She also worked with many others in the Sargent community to create several volumes of the Sargent-Stanley History, forever preserving the early history of agriculture in the area and the happenings of the many families who called the Sargent and Stanley communities home. Fran was an active member of the Monte Vista and Sargent communities.
She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Monte Vista where she played the piano and organ for many years.
She served on many committees within the church, published the church newsletter and kept the entryway to the church fellowship hall beautifully decorated with each changing season.
Tradition was important to Fran, and she especially loved establishing Christmas traditions with her children and grandchildren. Whether it was decorating the house, carefully assembling the family nativity (she kept a careful log of which child placed baby Jesus in the manger each year for over 40 years), or meticulously decorating gingerbread boys and girls, she was sure to leave the family with fond holiday memories.
After retirement, Bob and Fran traveled extensively, visiting six of the seven continents, including a trip around the world on the Concorde. In their later years, they explored the United States in their motor home.
Frances was a matriarch of the McCullough Family, the Sargent community and the San Luis Valley who leaves a lasting legacy.
She is preceded in death by her husband Bob, of 66 years, and is survived by their children: Lynn, Julie and Jim; and their families, including many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A funeral service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Monte Vista on Saturday Feb. 29 at 11 a.m. with interment following in the Monte Vista Cemetery. To express condolences, please visit www.rogersfunerals.com
Rogers Family Mortuary in Alamosa is in care of the arrangements.