AUGUSTA — On warm June day in a small mountain-side cabin in TN, Gilliam and Rachel Francis welcomed their 8th child into this world. Born on Mon, June 21, 1937, they named her Gloria Ann. While two of her siblings, Mary and William, had gone to be with the Lord at a young age, Gloria Ann joined her surviving brothers and sisters; Clara, OraBell, Hazel, Gordon, and Harold, to grow up in that same little cabin on the banks of the Tennessee River. Gloria was such a pretty baby, a cousin called her cuter (but it came out “Cooter”, and if you ask anyone in TN, you’ll find that’s the name that stuck). Gilliam and Rachel soon had two more daughters, MinneVee and Alberta, and the family moved to a larger home, just the other side of the river, which was a good thing because child number 11, Judy, came along shortly thereafter.
The Francis siblings, along with a multitude of cousins and friends, grew up together in Suck Creek on the outskirts of Chattanooga, TN. They started families and careers there (rumor has it someone was even running a little family moon shine business on the side). In 1963, Gloria was introduced to a young man named Charlie Dutton who was in Chattanooga working a construction job. They fell in love, and on the way home from The Grand Ole Opry, they got engaged. On May 13, 1963, Charlie and Gloria married, eventually moving to his hometown in Maize, KS. Both Charlie and Gloria, started working for Beech Aircraft in 1967. She retired from there in 1999, having made Beech Aircraft windows for 32 years.
In Nov. 1964, Charlie and Gloria welcomed their first son Charles, Jr. in the world. Their second son, Craig, joined them in July 1970. The boys were raised in Augusta. Charles, Jr., left for college in OK City, marrying his wife Jeni there in 1992. They added the family’s first grandchild, Zachary Dillon, in 1998. Craig stayed in KS, marrying his wife Sharon in 1999. Charlie and Gloria had two granddaughters in 2001, Craig and Sharon had Briana Lea in August; Charles, Jr. and Jeni had Lydia Grace in November. Charlie and Gloria watched their children and grandchildren grow, often proudly sharing stories of their adventures and road-tripping with them to Tennessee to visit the family there.
Gloria left this world to be with her Savior on Sun, Aug 18, 2019. Her parents, Gilliam and Rachel, and her siblings Clara, OraBell, Hazel, Gordon, Harold, and MinneVee, all preceded her in death. Her sisters Alberta and Judy, along with her nieces, nephews, and cousins, still live on the banks of the Tennessee River, not far from where the original Francis siblings were born. Gloria’s husband Charlie still resides in the home in Augusta, just blocks from Craig, Sharon, and Briana Lee. Charles, Jr., and Jeni live in OK City with their children, Zachary and Lydia.
Visitation will be on Thur, Aug 22 from 6-8 p.m. Funeral services will be on Fri, Aug 23, at 11 a.m. both at the Dunsford Funeral Home in Augusta
Dunsford Funeral Home & Crematory, 201 East Fifth, Augusta, Kansas 67010, 316 775-6363, www.dunsfordfh.com