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Frances Hulse Boly ’44

November 2, 2020, in Portland, at the age of 100.

Born in Wichita, Kansas, Frances moved to Portland with her parents and four sisters in 1937, fleeing hard economic times. This uprooting came on the threshold of her senior year, and while she was reluctant to leave Wichita, she was enchanted by the waterfalls cascading down the Gorge as they drove along the old Columbia River Highway. She made friends at Grant High School and was chosen as a senior to be Grant’s Rose Festival princess and then the 1938 Queen of Rosaria. The newspapers nicknamed her “the Dust Bowl Queen,” and Frances began a lifetime association with the festival. With equal parts loyalty and good-humored irony about her perennially recurring “royal” state, she even once served as the emergency stand-in grand marshal for the Grand Floral Parade.

After high school, Frances attended St. Helen’s Hall and Reed while working at Willamette Iron and Steel. She met her husband, Elwyn, an artist, musician, and real estate broker, on a blind date; they eloped to San Francisco and were married within a month. The couple reared six sons in their Alameda home.

After Elwyn’s passing in 1970, Frances worked at Madison High School. She loved to garden; nothing pleased her more than whiling away a day puttering amidst her lilacs, lilies, and roses. She belonged to the Wilshire Garden Club, took a turn as its president, and traveled extensively. Frances liked hiking, volunteered for many years as a cook at the Albertina Kerr Center restaurant, and was a long-standing member of St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church. She is survived by her sons, Jeff, Craig, Paul, John, Bill, and Richard.

Appeared in Reed magazine: June 2021

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