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Asheville - Frances Willis Conard, 84, went to be with her Heavenly Father on Tuesday, December 25, 2012.
Frances was a Christian Lady who loved her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and had a very humble spirit. She had a kind, loving, caring nature toward everyone she met. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and mother-in-law.
She was born September 24, 1928 in Neshoba County, MS to the late William R. Willis and Addie Cockrell Willis. Frances attended Neshoba County schools. She graduated from Coldwater High School in 1946. She also graduated from Draughons Business College located in Jackson, MS in 1947. She worked several years at Mississippi State Hospital in Whitfield, MS. It was there that she met the Love of her life, Clarence M. Conard. They were married March 5, 1948. They moved to Western North Carolina in 1951 and decided to make their home here in the Asheville area because Frances fell in love with the beautiful mountains. Frances worked at the Sky City store in Oteen and retired in 1991. She loved her Heavenly Father, her family and her community on Avondale Road, where she lived for 55 years. She also enjoyed fishing, her garden flowers and her vegetable gardens, picnics and trips to the beach. She was of the Baptist faith and was a member of Gashes Creek Baptist Church.
In addition to her parents, Frances was also preceded in death by her husband of 34 years, Clarence M. Conard, who went home to be with his Heavenly Father on March 31, 1982; her dear 2nd mother, Myrtle Edwards Willis; three brothers, Cockrell, Delbert and Johnny Willis, all of Neshoba County, MS and one dear sister, Mary J. Willis Moore, also of MS. She is survived by two daughters, Nellene White and husband, Arnold, of Candler and Elizabeth (Libby) Mintz and husband, Edward, of Waynesville; two sons, Geoff Conard and wife, Teresa, of Swannanoa and Scott Conard and wife, Rachel of Hendersonville; five grandchildren, Arlinda Chidlow and husband, Tiernan (T), Kim Smith and husband, James, Michelle Royster and husband, Brian, Adam Conard and wife, Amanda and Amy Conard. She is also survived by seven great-grandchildren, Autumn Meadows, Maddison Smith, Peyton Smith, David Royster, Felicia Royster, Priscilla Royster, Brandon Case, Asher Conard, Jack Jordan IV, Travis Chidlow and Cole Chidlow; one brother, Edward Willis and wife, Judy, of Neshoba County, MS as well as several nieces and nephews.
Frances will be dearly missed by all that knew her. We will only be apart a short time until we meet again in Heaven.
A funeral service will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, December 29, 2012 at Groce Funeral Home on Tunnel Road with the Reverends James Maybin, Jack Ward and Marvin Watts officiating. Interment will follow at Gashes Creek Baptist Church Cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 6:00-8:00 PM on Friday, December 28, 2012 at the funeral home and at other times will be at their homes.
Flowers are appreciated or donations may be made in Frances' honor to the Samaritan's Purse, PO Box 3000, Boone, NC 28607.
A memorial register is available online at www.grocefuneralhome.com.
Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on Dec. 27, 2012