Return to Class of 1939

07/31/2023Frances Sherwood
Frances Lucille (Sherwood) Kirkwood, a beloved member of the community, passed away on July 31, 2023, at the age of 100.

Friends and family are invited to attend visitation services for Frances on August 3, 2023, from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM, at Knoxville United Methodist Church located at 313 E Montgomery St., Knoxville, IA, 50138. A funeral service will follow at the same location starting at 11:00 AM.

A luncheon will be served immediately following services at the church. Frances will be laid to rest at Graceland Cemetery in Knoxville, IA, following the luncheon.

Frances was born on August 19, 1922, in a farmhouse east of Knoxville, Iowa to John Wesley and Effie (Haines) Sherwood the seventh of eight children. She attended Vigilance Country School and later Knoxville High School, graduating in 1939.

Frances was a 4-H girl and enjoyed every part of the program and attended Zion Methodist Church in Pershing where she gave her heart to the Lord at age 12.

On September 8, 1939, Frances was united in marriage to Tommy Kirkwood. Four years later, their son Larry was born. Tommy was away at war in Guam and did not get to see his son until Larry was 2 ½ years old.

Frances worked as a telephone operator for Bellamy Telephone Company and then Community National Bank. Additionally, Frances and her husband Tommy owned Modern Cleaners Dry Cleaning for 15 years before retiring in 1982.

Frances was an individual whose passion for life extended beyond her career. She had many hobbies and interests that brought her joy. After retiring in 1982, Frances and Tommy cherished their yearly winter trips to Mesa, Arizona, where they spent a delightful 18 winters together.

One of her greatest joys was planting flowers that would bloom for everyone to enjoy. She also had a creative side as she loved to sew, knit, craft, and even took part in square dancing. Her talents extended to creating most of the clothes she wore as well as the interior decorations of her home.

Throughout her life, Frances achieved numerous accomplishments that showcased her dedication to her community and faith. Her passion was working with youth. She served as a den mother for Cub Scouts and was an active member of the school PTA program.

Her devotion to teaching extended beyond the school as she was also a Sunday school teacher who touched the lives of many children with her wisdom and kindness. Frances continued to help many high school graduates through the Knoxville Panther Scholarship Fund for many years. Her generosity to countless young men and women has forever shaped so many lives.

Frances’ commitment to her church was unwavering. For an impressive nineteen years, she served as the secretary for the administrative board of the United Methodist Church. Additionally, she was a devoted member of Sarah Circle and a past member of the Mentor Study Club. Her involvement reached further when she served as a district officer for United Methodist Women.

Frances remained in her Knoxville home keeping active in community service until just a short time ago. She enjoyed water exercise and caring for her home. Frances said, “I awake each morning with the eagerness of a child looking forward to each day.
She will be deeply missed but never forgotten.”Francis Sherwood

Frances was preceded in death by her husband, Tommy Kirkwood in 2006; son, Larry Kirkwood in 2012; siblings, J. Wesley Sherwood, Kermit Sherwood, Robert Sherwood, Billee Sherwood, Martha Shivers, Mary Mae Jordan, and Nora Lee Ingle.

Frances is survived by many nieces, nephews, friends, and people whose lives have forever been touched by her kindness.

Memorials in Frances’ name can be made to Knoxville United Methodist Church, Knoxville Panther Scholarship Fund, or Gentiva Hospice.