Frances M. “Fran” Sygulla, 81, of Sheldon, passed away Tuesday (Jan. 15, 2019) at Riverside Medical Center in Kankakee.
She was born Oct. 21, 1937, in Whitinsville, Mass., the daughter of Frank and Elsie (Darcy) Dion. Fran married Richard J. “Sy” Sygulla, in Ashland, Mass., on Sept. 26, 1959.
Surviving are her husband, Richard “Sy” Sygulla, of Sheldon; one daughter, Cine Sygulla, of Sheldon; 12 nieces and nephews, Patricia (Sherman) Elkins, of North Carolina, Joseph (Wanda) Kelley, of Maine, Barbara (Willis) Reeves, of North Carolina, Paul Kelley, of Vermont, Mary Beth Pearson, of North Carolina, Tom (Paula) Kelley, of North Carolina, Kate (Larry) Turbeville, of North Carolina, Jeanne (Scott) Thomson, of Wisconsin, John (Laura) Sygulla, of Wisconsin, Jeffrey (Melanie) Sygulla, of Wisconsin, Jayme (Sandy) Sygulla, of Wisconsin, and Nancy (Gary) Giese, of Wisconsin; two honorary grandchildren, Tiffany Gibson, of Florida, and Lisa Phiefer, of Indiana; numerous great-nieces and great-nephews; and many special friends.
Preceding her in death were her parents; and one sister, Barbara Kelley.
Fran was raised on a farm as a child in Whitinsville and then moved to Ashland, where her father was the foreman on a large dairy operation. After marrying Sy, they moved to Wisconsin and operated a dairy farm there until 1961. After Fran had difficulty getting pregnant, someone offered to help her by enrolling her in The League of St. Gerard, the patron Saint of Motherhood. After Cine was born, Fran had great faith in the League of St. Gerard and offered to enroll other struggling couples — with many successes.
Their daughter, Francine “Cine,” was born in La Crosse, Wis., and soon after that, they moved back to Ashland as a family, where her husband went through undergraduate school. Their next move was to Homer, where Sy then attended law school. Eventually they settled in Sheldon in 1971 and had resided there ever since.
Mrs. Sygulla was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Kentland, Ind., from 1971 to the present time.
Fran had a long battle with Hurthle Cell thyroid cancer since being diagnosed in 1992. She was treated at Carle Clinic and then transferred to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., for treatment. Fran was eventually treated at Riverside Medical Center in Kankakee. She was known for driving her blue S-10, while collecting aluminum to raise money for the Iroquois County Relay for Life, ABRA and Sheldon Ties, as well as stopping at the local store to get her favorite drink, fountain Diet Coke. Mrs. Sygulla took pride in being team captain for the Limp Nodes Team for Iroquois County Relay for Life for 10 years. Fran enjoyed her job at the Williamson Agency in Sheldon for almost 30 years. After retirement, she enjoyed her flower garden. She loved all of her cats, especially most recently, Ella. She was an avid fan of the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs. Although she lived in the Midwest for many years, she took great pleasure in using her New England accent. She also was proud of her French-Canadian ancestry.
Fran will be greatly missed by her friends and family.
Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21, at Knapp Funeral Home in Sheldon. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, in Kentland, with the Rev. Rob Bernotas officiating. Burial will follow in Sheldon Cemetery in Sheldon.
Memorials may be made to Iroquois County Relay for Life, ABRA or the charity of the donor’s choice.
Please sign her online guestbook at knappfuneralhomes.com.