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Frances Yvonne Farley

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Frances Yvonne Farley 8/27/23 ~ 1/16/04  Frances Farley died January 16, 2004 due to complications associated with Alzheimer's disease. She had spent the last five years of her life at Garden Terrace Nursing Home, where she was well cared for. Frances was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota. She was raised by her mother, Eva Carson Ball, as her father died when she was three years old. Frances attended the University of North Dakota and graduated with a bachelors degree in business administration. She then attended New York University where she earned a masters degree in marketing. While she was in New York, she was introduced to Gene Farley, who she later married. Frances and Gene raised two children. Frances and her family settled in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1958, where they lived until 1970. While a resident of Minnesota, she became politically active with the League of Women Voters. She managed the campaign of her best friend, Katie McWatt, who was nearly elected to the St. Paul City Council. Frances and her family moved to Salt Lake City in the summer of 1970 when her husband was transferred with Sperry-UNIVAC. She enrolled at the University of Utah to attend creative writing courses. She made many friends in Utah, quickly. Her political activism continued in Utah when she was elected as a delegate to the 1972 Democratic National Convention. She also managed the campaign, for Utah State House of Representatives, of Stephen Holbrook. Frances later decided to run for office herself. The Honorable Frances Farley served ten years in the Utah State Senate representing Senate District One. She was the first woman elected to that position, who had not been previously appointed. While in the Senate, she represented all of her constituency while using her platform to push social issues, previously ignored by her fellow Senators. She fought to have the sales tax removed from food and prescription drugs. Her role as Senator allowed her to be instrumental in the exposure and defeat of the MXMissile basing system that would have devoured a large portion of Utah's uninhabited lands. Frances ran as the Democratic Party's nominee for the United States House of Representatives, District 2, twice. She was narrowly defeated in both of her campaigns, the last by a mere 436 votes. Her campaigns, however, opened the door for future women candidates, who were ultimately successful. Frances was co-founder of the Utah Women's Political Caucus and received several awards of recognition for her service. Frances Y. Farley was an unselfish, compassionate, intelligent and honest person who worked tirelessly to improve the lives of others. She had a deep love for Utah and enjoyed spending time in all of Utah's National Parks and deserts. She was a true companion to her husband of 57 years, a wonderful mother, grandmother and role model to many. Frances is survived by her husband Gene, daughter Betsy, son Kit and grand daughter Jessica. No memorial services are planned. The family requests no flowers.
Published in Salt Lake Tribune from Jan. 18 to Jan. 20, 2004
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