Marissa: 618-295-2321 | New Athens: 618-475-2151 | Sparta & Tilden: 618-443-2139

Frances Ekes

Frances Ekes


Frances “Fran” Ekes, nee Ayles, 89 of Sparta, Illinois passed away peacefully at home on January 3, 2020 surrounded by family.

Frances was born on May 26, 1930 in Oxford, Mississippi to the late Fulton and Margaret (Wells) Ayles.   After graduating high school she attended Charity Hospital School of Nursing in New Orleans, Louisiana, graduating in 1952 as a registered nurse.  Frances worked in Intensive Care Units in hospitals in New Orleans and in Memphis, Tennessee.

She married Melvin Mark Ekes on April 25, 1952, in New Orleans, Louisiana. He preceded her in death.

Frances is survived her children – Margaret Richter of Sparta, Frances (Dewey) Thompson of Sparta, Mark (Kristy-jon) Ekes of Coulterville, and Elizabeth (Kurt) Nortin of Red Bud. Grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and many dear friends.

She was also preceded in death by her parents. Siblings – Martha Denton, Robert Ayles, Thomas Ayles, Harry Ayles all of Oxford, Mississippi. Stepson – Walter Mark Ekes and his wife, Patricia of Columbus, Ga.

After moving to Sparta, Frances accepted a nursing position at Randolph County Care Center where she worked for more than 25 years until she retired.

Frances was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. She cared deeply for her extended family, friends, neighbors, and her church.   Her family and friends will always remember her as being “such a kind and special lady”.

Memorial Contributions may be made to New Palestine Methodist Church or the Human Service Center in Red Bud, IL.

Condolences to the family may be expressed at

Visitation: Public visitation will be held at Heil-Schuessler & Sinn Funeral Home in Sparta, IL on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and at the New Palestine Methodist Church in Walsh, IL on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Funeral: Services will be held at the New Palestine Methodist Church (Located at 8781 Shawneetown Trail, Walsh, IL 62297) on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. with Pastor John Best officiating.

Interment: Burial will be held at Caledonia Cemetery in Sparta, IL.

Heil-Schuessler & Sinn Funeral Home in Sparta, IL is in charge of arrangements

Share this...
  1. Joni Suemnicht says:

    I worked at Randolph County with Fran and lived across the street from her and Melvin. My children called her Granny Frankie and we are all sorry for your loss. Sorry we missed the services.

  2. Barbara Grah Macri says:

    Please accept my sympathy. Sincerely yours…

  3. Linda K Florreich says:

    Sending Condolences.

    • Ruby Wilson says:

      I just found out that Grannie Frannie passed. I am so broken hearted. She was the most kindest gentlest loving woman I had ever met in my life. It was a great honor and always a pleasure to know Frannie.. so kind hearted and never nothing said bad about anyone. She cared so dearly for all her friends and neighbors. I know she loved each of her children so much always talked about all of you with so much love. Loved all of her grandchildren and loved the great grand babies. Life is going to be boring without Frannies smile and her cute laugh and oh her knowledge. Such an intelligent lady and she was a very special lady. She loved her Lord and i know her and Melvin are up in heaven just a laughing and dancing. So happy that they are together again. Frannie loved your daddie and he loved her. Such a special love they had
      I want to send my deepest thoughts and prayers and sympathy to all of you. I will miss that sweet lady. Rest in peace Grannie Frannie. Your turn to rest. May God bless each of you and find comfort and strength in his love.

  4. Kris Reid says:

    So very sorry to hear this. My thoughts and prayers for your family duribg this difficult time.

  5. Shelly Bradshaw says:

    My condolences to the family. I know so many of you. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you in your time of loss and sorrow.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.