Frances was born on September 21, 1927 to Fred and Hedwig Gaschen. She attended St. Agnes Grade School and Lilis High School. On April 30, 1949, Frances married James Leary at St. Agnes Church in Roeland Park, Kansas. They began their life in a cute brown house in Kansas City, Kansas where they planned to start a family. They welcomed their first child, James Stephen, on August 15, 1950. He was fondly known as Little Jimmy.
Frances and Jim built a new home in Mission, Kansas, down the street from St. Pius X, where the children attended school. She was a stay-at-home-mom who enjoyed spending time with her family and was very active in parish and school activities. She was always happy to volunteer her time and would do anything for anyone.
She had many fond memories of the ladies in her Altar Society group at St. Pius and stayed in touch with their families over the years. She loved to sing and was a long-time member of the church choir. She always said, “Singing is like a prayer to God.”
In 1970, she started her career at the Jones store in Prairie Village, Kansas where she worked in various departments and made lifelong friendships. She eventually retired from the Jones store but always found time to stop by for a visit.
Frances was always willing to give her time and love to her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She enjoyed watching movies, baking and spending time together. Frances loved to crochet and share her talent with friends and family and every grandchild received a special keepsake blanket to remember her love. Every year she would visit California for several months to spend time with her sister, two brothers and their families. The kids always enjoyed spending time with Aunt Frances.
She was always willing to share her time with others and you could often find her volunteering at Catholic Charities and St. Mary’s Food Kitchen. She loved volunteering at Turnstyles Thrift store and couldn’t wait to get back to the store to spend time with her friends and co-workers. She touched so many lives with her kindness.
Frances was always true to her Catholic faith and prayed the Rosary every day. She especially enjoyed spending time with our Lord in the adoration chapel. Shortly, before passing she told one of her children, “I love you all. Family is very important. As long as you stick together, that will be great and it will be wonderful to see you all in Heaven.” Frances was a loving mother to her children and will be missed.
She is survived by her six children: Margaret (Boyd), Ann (Charlie), Tim (Teri), Pat (Jackie), Sue (John), and Kelly (Ron); her sister Margaret (Bob) and brother George (Cathy). She is also survived by 16 grandchildren, 3 step grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren and 3 step great grandchildren.
She is preceded in death by her son, James (Little Jimmy); parents: Fred and Hedwig; sisters: Rosemarie and Dorothy, and brothers: Freddy, James, Robert and Daniel.
The Rosary and Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, May 20 at St. Agnes Catholic Church, 5250 Mission Road, Roeland Park, Kansas 66205. The Rosary will be held at 9:30am, followed by mass at 10:00am. Burial to immediately follow at Calvary Cemetery at 6901 Troost Avenue, Kansas City, Missouri 64131. As a precaution, we are asking that attendees wear masks and practice social distancing during the Rosary and Mass.
Frances’ family wishes to extend a special thank you to the staff at Villa St. Francis and Catholic Community Hospice for their loving care during her final days. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Little Sisters of the Poor and Catholic Charities.