Frances Marie Berkenpas was born Dec. 23, 1935, on a farm near Seney, the daughter of Jacob and Albertha (Dambrink) Berkenpas. She attended country school near her home.
Frances married Harold Staebell and they made their home in the Le Mars area. Frances then attended nursing school in Sioux City. She worked at some of the nursing homes in Le Mars. In 1974, Frances took a position at the Willmar (Minnesota) State Hospital as a psychiatric nurse.
She married Howard Leonard in Spicer, Minn. Frances continued her nursing career at the Austin (Texas) State Hospital in 1985. Howard died in 1995. Frances retired in December 2005 and returned to Le Mars in June 2008.
She was proud of her grandchildren and loved spending time with them. Her family remembers how giving Frances was. She learned sign language during her nursing career and became quite good at it.
She enjoyed crossword puzzles, sudoku, cooking, and surfing the Internet.
Frances is lovingly remembered by her daughters, Mary Sweep and her husband Mitch of Spicer, Minn., and Susie Staebell and Jim Coffield of Willmar, Minn.; grandchildren, Jason Staebell and his wife Hollie of Pennock, Minn., Abigail and Ellary Sweep of Spicer, Minn., and Emily Coffield of Willmar, Minn.; great-grandchildren Sydnie, Ashlie, and Alise Staebell of Pennock, Minn.; two sisters, Edith Renken and Dorothy Hoppe, both of Le Mars; sisters-in-law, Lillian Berkenpas and Anita Berkenpas, both of Le Mars, and Marge Berkenpas of Las Vegas, Nev.
She was peceded in death by her parents; husbands Harold and Howard; sisters Lois Singer, Alice Jennings, Jean Van Roekel and Della Berkenpas; brothers Leonard, Arthur, William, Raymond, Norman, and Henry Berkenpas; and sisters-in-law Dolly and Charleen Berkenpas.
A Celebration of Life Service will take place at 7 p.m. Friday at the Mauer - Johnson Funeral Home of Le Mars. Pastor Marcia Young A.i.M. will officiate. Visitation will begin at 2 p.m. Friday at the funeral home with the family present from 4 to 7 p.m.
Stories, memories and expressions of sympathy may be directed through www.mauerjohnsonfh.com.