LA CROSS, Wis. – France Ann (Wallin) Artman, 99, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, at Bethany St. Joseph Care Center in La Crosse, Wis.

 Fran was born April 26, 1915, in Rapid City, South Dakota to Andrew and Helen (Terry) Wallin.Ê Her father passed away when she was three years old but not before her little brother Richard ÒDickÓ was born. They were blessed to have a wonderful step-father, O.W. Gardner. They grew up in Freeport, Ill.

 Fran met the love of her life, Ray Artman, at a ValentineÕs dance in high school when they were 16.Ê She graduated from high school two years later.

 They were married on May 14, 1937, at Grace Episcopal Church in Freeport. They were married for 40 years until RayÕs death in 1977. They had one son, James Douglas.

 Fran loved hats and was the manager of the Millinery Dept. at GrahamÕs Dress Shop, WeiseÕs, and D.J. Stewarts in Rockford.

 She was very active in her community and church. Fran was a Girl Scout leader for over 40 years. She was the president of the Belvidere Business and Professional WomenÕs Club, the WomanÕs Club, and the Boone County Garden Club. Gardening was one of her hobbies andÊgave her many years of joy. She had beautiful flower gardens at her home. Fran was a Sunday School teacher, and was on the church altar guild for over 50 years.

 She did a lot of fund raising for Holy Trinity Episcopal ChurchÕs organ fund in Belvidere, having many Christmas tree walks and was also a trustee for that fund. Fran loved poetry and especially writing poetry and was published later in life.

 Frances is survived by her son, James; granddaughters, Rae Ann (Scott) Elvin and Janice Hermes; great-grandchildren, Jackie Hermes (Derek) Steinmetz, James Hermes, Adam Elvin, Alex Elvin; and great-great grandson, Arrington Steinmetz.

 She was preceded in death by her husband; mother; father; step-father; and brother.

 A memorial service will be held on Monday, April 27, 2015, at 11 a.m. at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Belvidere. Internment will follow at Highland Memorial Gardens. A visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until the time of service.Ê

 Jandt-Fredrickson Funeral Home, (Woodruff Chapel), La Crosse, Wis., is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be sent at

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