Traverse City Record-Eagle

January 22, 2013

Frances Dafoe


TRAVERSE CITY — Frances Dafoe of Traverse City, formerly of East Lansing, passed away on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, at the Grand Traverse Pavilions.

She was born Aug. 13, 1918, in Wheeler, Mich. She was the third child of Benno Hoffmeyer and Lottie Belle Welling.

Frances grew up in a family where music was imprinted on her soul. Her father, Benno, was the director of the Michigan Lumberjacks Orchestra. Their narrative ballads of songs and dancing jigs entertained with the folklore of pioneer days. Frances learned to play the violin and guitar at home from her father. Later, she taught lessons on those instruments.

Frances, her husband Daniel, and family moved to their East Lansing home on Okemos Road in 1948 after Daniel's service in the Army in Germany during World War II. Frances planted and gently cared for one acre of beautiful flowers. She was known in the area as the "Flower Lady". Along with raising and caring for an active family, she volunteered many hours of dedicated time and service to Ascension Lutheran Church. After her family was grown she joined a group of friends, learned to paint and became a very proficient, talented artist.

Frances was preceded in death by her husband, Daniel, in December of 1998 after 60 years of marriage.

She is survived by two sons, Darrell (Adelfa) of Traverse City, and Art (Kimberlee) of Laingsburg; three grandchildren, Rachelle (Rob) Whitacre, Chad and Ramon; two great-granddaughters, Kourtnee Dafoe and Amelia Whitacre; and two great-grandsons, Liam Dafoe and Michael Whitacre.

The family would like to express its deepest appreciation to the staff at the Grand Traverse Pavilions for its professional and loving care to Frances over the past seven years. Angels abound in all the wings at the Pavilions.

A memorial service will be held Friday, Jan. 25, 11 a.m. at Ascension Lutheran Church, 2780 Haslett Rd., East Lansing, with the Rev. Roy Schroeder officiating. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Interment will be at East Lawn Memory Gardens.

Those desiring may make contributions to the Grand Traverse Pavilions, 1000 Pavilions Circle, Traverse City, MI 49684-3181 in memory of Frances Dafoe.

The family is being served by Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, East Lansing, Michigan. Online condolences may be made at