Frances Margaret (Watts) Torbeck
Dec. 22, 1926 – Jan. 17, 2014
A memorial service for Frances Margaret (Watts) Torbeck , 87, of Bandon, will be held Saturday, January 25th at 2:00 P.M at the Pioneer United Methodist Church, 180 N Baxter Street in Coquille with Reverend Matthew Crandall officiating. A private inurnment will take place at Willamette National Cemetery next to her husband at a later date. Private cremation rites were held at Ocean View Memory Gardens in Coos Bay.
Frances was born December 22, 1926 on the family farm near Lisbon North Dakota to Lawrence Phillip Watts and Katherine Johanna (Liapple) Watts. She passed away January 17, 2014 in Coos Bay, of natural causes.
Frances graduated from Lisbon High School in 1944. She attended McAlister College in Saint Paul Minnesota for two years and then transferred to the University of Minnesota to complete her degree; graduating in 1949 with a bachelor’s in Home Economics.
Her first professional position was with the University of Minnesota Extension Service as an extension agent in Blue Earth County, later transferring to Steele County Minnesota. She moved Oregon in 1958 to accept a position with Oregon State University Extension Service in Florence, Oregon. She later transferred to Coos County in 1961 when a position opened at the Extension office there. France completed her tenure in extension at this position, retiring in 1989 as an associate professor with OSU and completing more than 36 years of service.
Several years after moving to Coquille, she caught the eye of her future husband who happened to spot her at a local diner where he had gone for breakfast. It just so happened that Frances didn’t regularly patronize the establishment, but just happened to be there one morning when Russell Torbeck (who did) saw her come in and thought that she would be a nice girl to get to know. They were married in June of 1970 and along with a husband she gained a son, Lin, and daughter, Jan, by his previous marriage; along with a new lifelong best friend, Russ’s ex-wife Nancy Jarvis. They had a wonderful marriage for 24 years until his death.
Throughout her life Frances loved to travel. It started with a family car tour from the Midwest to the West Coast in 1948. She bicycled through Western Europe in 1953 and through New England and parts of south eastern Canada in 1955. She later revisited Canada, but this time it was the west coast seeing Victoria and Vancouver Island. Family reunions every three years regularly brought her back to the Midwest to see her extensive Liapple family. Later after her retirement, Frances was participated in Elder Hostel classes throughout the country and traveled to many different places with family and friends.
Her hobbies, other than travel, included refinishing furniture; especially antiques, with which she furnished the family home; doll collecting from around the world; bell ringing with the PUMC bell choir; and hand-quilting, completing 3 full sized bed quilts.
Frances maintained memberships in the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, Delta Kappa Gamma, and was formerly an active member of Eastern Star. She was a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church.
She is survived by her step-son, Harold “Lin” Torbeck; step-daughter, Jan Torbeck of Coquille, 2 grandchildren, one great-grand child, several cousins and many close friends who will all miss her greatly.
She was preceded in death by her sister, Marion and her husband, Russell.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Pioneer Methodist Church, 180 N. Baxter, Coquille, Oregon 97423.
Arrangements are under the care of Coos Bay Chapel, 541-267-3131.