Brinegar, Frances (IV) duBrutz Powers, was born December 2, 1927 to Delmer Lance and Frances (III) duBrutz Robinson Powers who lived in Yukon Territory, Canada. They went to stay with family in Portland, OR so Frances could be born a U.S. Citizen. Her sister, Carolyn Marie Powers Gross, arrived 4 years later. The family came to Kansas as Delmer pursued his career as a geologist. Due to frequent moves, Fran skipped two grades in school & graduated from Wichita High School (East) in 1944 at the age of 16. She attended Wichita University where she met her future husband, Wayne Louis Brinegar. She graduated with a degree in zoology and he with a degree in geology. Their first was when Wayne asked if he could drive her home following a geologist's picnic at Joyland Park which she attended with her parents. They were married on June 20, 1953. Frances held a number of jobs, including helping to open the science department at the new West High School in Wichita. She managed rental properties for her parents, helped with registration at WSU & worked at the voting polls. Most of her time was spent being a mother to her daughters, Deborah Elizabeth (husband Randy Harrison) and Louise Frances (V) (companion Gene Carr) and a community volunteer. Frances was active with St. James Episcopal Church, Music Theatre of Wichita, Camp Fire Girls, Old Cowtown Museum, & The Kansas Humane Society (where her mother & father were both past presidents). Always interested in other cultures, Fran spent six weeks in China, went twice to England & also to New York on theater trips & to Canada, Mexico & multiple countries in Europe. She & Wayne celebrated their 40th anniversary in Australia & New Zealand. She even canoed the Upper Missouri River in Montana with daughter Deb. A 22 year breast cancer survivor, Fran spoke out about the disease at a time when it wasn't mentioned in polite company. She was diagnosed with liver cancer after her 20 year check up and lived another 2 <1/2>years thanks to innovative treatment provided by Dr. Stephen Williamson, Dr.Zachary Collins & their staffs at Kansas University Medical Center. Frances took her final trip & entered eternal life on February 13, 2013. We are grateful for the compassionate care given to her by the staff at Regent Park Healthcare & by Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice. We also appreciate our employers and coworkers at Bombardier Aerospace Learjet and S J Prill Financial & Investment Planning for making it possible for us to spend mom's final days by her side. Frances is survived by her daughters and their significant others and by nephews Gary Stemple, Steven Gross, William Gross and niece Evelyn Gross. A celebration of Fran's life will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 16 at St. James Episcopal Church, 3750 E. Douglas, Wichita, KS 67208. Fran loved all colors of the rainbow, so please wear something cheerful. Memorials have been established with the St. James Church Endowment Fund (address above), with Music Theatre of Wichita, 225 W. Douglas, Suite 202, Wichita, KS 67202 and with Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice, 313 S. Market, Wichita, 67202.
Published in The Wichita Eagle from February 15 to February 16, 2013