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June 07, 2023 - 00:00
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Francine Mary Gillett of Columbus, loving wife, mother and Nana, went to be with our Lord on May 31, 2023, at the age of 68, while at her home. She was surrounded by many family members who loved her.

Fran was born on June 30, 1954, to Robert and Neoma Tentschert of St. Louis, Missouri. She grew up in a large family with seven kids where life was not always easy. The family may not have always had a lot, but they soon realized that having each other was all they really needed. Fran graduated from Lindberg High School in St. Louis, Missouri.

Soon after high school she began working as a certified nursing assistant where she enjoyed her time getting to know the residents and providing compassionate care to whoever she came in contact with. She worked long hours and even volunteered to work the holidays to be with her patients. A few years later she made the move to start a new business in Dallas, Texas where she met her soon-to-be husband, Monty Gillett. They were then married on June 20, 1987. A year later they welcomed home two twin girls, Mandi and Monica. Fran decided it was best to stay home and raise her children and then three years later their son Cody was born. A year later an opportunity came for Monty to be transferred to Weimar, Texas for a new job. They embarked on a new journey of moving to a brand new town where they hardly knew anyone. It did not take long for Fran to make new friends and develop close friendships and relationships in her community. As her children grew up in the Columbus public schools, she began to become involved with the PTO and was the President for ten years. She always enjoyed volunteering her time and making a difference in the lives of all students. She was even awarded the Citizen of the Year Award for her hard work and dedication.

As her kids grew up, she began waitressing at Schobels Restaurant and Of the Day Cafe where she of course met many new people. Fran was always well liked by practically everyone and her smile could light up a room. To know her was to love her. Fran worked as a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines for five years. She loved traveling and exploring the different cities and meeting so many new people. Eventually she became a “Nana” to six grandchildren who loved her dearly; Reese, Kerin, Blair, Natalie, Sophie, and Anderson. She always made it a priority to make any events they had going on and enjoyed being with them any chance she could get.

Fran was always active in her faith with the Lord. She leaned on him and always encouraged everyone she met to trust in him. Even through all the medical challenges she recently faced she never wavered from her faith. She trusted in his plan for her life and strived to share the love of Jesus with everyone she came in contact with. She will be truly missed by her family and grandchildren who will continue on with her legacy each and every day.

She is survived by her husband Monty Gillett; mother-in-law Lou Ellen Gillett and sister-in-law Jeananne Gillett both of Findlay, Ohio; daughters Monica Heffley (Bill) and Mandi Kulhanek (Ryan); son Cody all of Columbus, Texas; sisters Maureen Tentschert, Patrice Mc-Clanahan (Dave), and Vernette Watson (Bob); brother Ron Tentschert (Kari) all of St. Louis, Missouri; and grandchildren Reese, Blair, Kerin, Natalie, Anderson and Sophie.

She was preceded in death by her father Robert F. Tentschert, mother Neoma Tentschert (Aubertin) and sister Donna Pfleger of St. Louis, Missouri; and father-in-law Robert Gillett of Findlay, Ohio.

Fran will be incredibly missed by her family and friends, but we will all remember and admire her faith to live life to the fullest. She never gave up with her medical obstacles. She continued to persevere and fight until the end. She left behind a legacy and memories that will be remembered.

Visitation was Friday, June 2, 2023, from 5-7 p.m. at Henneke Funeral Home in Columbus, Texas and on Saturday from 9-10 a. m.

Funeral service was Saturday, June 3, 2023, at 10 a.m. at Henneke Funeral Home with Pastor Victor Morrison officiating.

Burial was in Odd Fellows Rest Cemetery in Columbus, Texas.

Pallbearers were Bill Heffley, Ryan Kulhanek, Cody Gillett, Trey Jurica, Tim Geoghegan, and Taylor Potter.

In lieu of flowers, Fran’s family would greatly appreciate donations to The Brookwood Community, 1752 Farm to Market 1489, Brookshire, Texas 77423 or Hospice Brazos Valley, 1048 N Jefferson St., La Grange, Texas 78945.

Online condolences may be given at www.hennekefuneralhome. com.