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Frances Zarling

April 1, 1918 ~ October 29, 2018 (age 100)

Frances Levine Zarling, 100, Fergus Falls (formerly Breckenridge, MN, and McAllen, TX), MN, passed away at Pioneer Care in Fergus Falls on Monday, October 29, 2018. The funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, November 5, 2018, at Joseph Vertin and Sons Funeral Home in Breckenridge. There will be a visitation one hour prior to the service and Pastor Mark Manning will be officiating. The burial will be held at Riverside Cemetery, Breckenridge. 

Frances was born in Cummings, ND, on April 1, 1918, the daughter of Gustav and Inga (Olson) Thorpe. She grew up and attended school in Larimore, ND. After graduating from high school, she met the love of her life, Keithel Zarling while working at the Johnson Department Store in Larimore. They were united in marriage in Larimore on August 21, 1945. The couple made their home in Breckenridge and were blessed with three children. Frances enjoyed being a homemaker while her husband continued working on the railroad. 

In the early 1960s, Frances and Keithel filled their empty, next-door lot with a large farmhouse that would eventually serve as a rental property. Frances was actively involved in the renovation, remodeling process, and management of the property.

In 1953, Frances and Keithel began building a cabin on Ottertail Lake which served as their summer home after they retired in 1977. For the next 30 years, Frances and her husband spent part of the year on the lake and remainder at Paradise Park in McAllen, TX. Her loving husband of 61 years passed away on February 1, 2007. After this, Frances continued living on Ottertail Lake and in McAllen, TX, but eventually move to Fergus Falls, MN. 

Frances enjoyed fishing, cooking, and baking. She had a heart for her church and could often be found singing during services or special events. Frances enjoyed taking on projects and seeing them through to fruition; with this mindset, she was also the first woman on the Breckenridge School Board in the mid-1960s. Some of her other hobbies included sewing, traveling, keeping up with politics, and spending as much time with friends and family as she could.

Frances will be greatly missed by her children, Sharon Knowlton of Colorado Springs, CO, Barbara Edner of Moorhead, MN, and Carole (Paul Vassallo) Zarling of Fergus Falls, MN; four grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild on the way; brother-in-law, Carl R. Zarling of Breckenridge, MN; and several nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by her husband Keithel Zarling; parents, Gustav and Igna Thorpe; sons-in-law, Doyal Decker, and Charles Edner; sisters, Mayme Madsen, Hazel Vegge, Gladys Common, and Esther Jangula; and brothers, Elroy Thorpe and Jesse Thorpe.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Joseph Vertin and Sons Funeral Home, Breckenridge.


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