Francis Elmer, son of James and Etta A. (Stepanek) Clark, was born Nov. 23, 1931, in rural Dow City. He was the last of eight living children. Francis was educated at Boyer Township #6 grade school and Dunlap High School. He graduated from Dunlap High School in 1949.
Francis farmed his entire life, raising livestock and producing grains. Stewardship of the land was very important to him. On Jan. 14, 1967, Francis was united in marriage with Faye Hulsebus Lilleholm at the United Methodist Church in Denison. Francis and Faye farmed southeast of Denison. In 1987, Francis retired and they moved into Denison. Francis enjoyed traveling, seeing the country and visiting family, especially spending time with grandkids and great-grandkids. Faye passed away in 2013, and Francis lived independently for several years after that at his residence in Denison. In Jan. 2021, he became a resident of the Denison Care Center, where he passed away on Monday, Oct. 4, 2021.
Francis was an avid reader of newspapers and magazines, particularly anything agriculturally-related. For several years, he served on the Denison School Board. He liked listening to polka music and enjoyed the retirement coffee crew and his luncheon buddies at Ampride. He was a great father figure and grandfather. Everyone in the family loved to listen to his stories, his wisdom, and his reasoned advice.
Francis is survived by his son, Jerry Lilleholm and wife Lois of Ames; three grandchildren, Kelly Lilleholm, Eric Lilleholm and wife Francisca, and Courtney Lilleholm, all of Lincoln, Neb.; five great-grandchildren, Jordan Harre, Alyssa Lilleholm, Madisyn Wheeler, Jeffrey Lilleholm and Luella Lilleholm; and by nieces, nephews, and other relatives. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Faye Clark; seven siblings, Russell Clark, James Clark, Don Clark, Helen Begg, Marion Robertson, Richard Clark and Louis Clark; and a nephew, Wayne Robertson.
Funeral Services were held Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, at Huebner Funeral Home in Denison. Rev. Mike Fillmore officiated the service with interment in Crawford Heights Memory Gardens in Denison. Recorded music selections included "You Raise Me Up" by Josh Grobin, "Amazing Grace" by Alan Jackson, "Wind Beneath My Wings" by Bette Midler and "So God Made a Farmer" by Paul Harvey. Serving as pallbearers were Rusty Clark, Jim Clark, Randy Clark, Eric Lilleholm, Kelly Lilleholm and Jordan Harre. Following the committal service, the family invited everyone to the Brasel Building in Dow City for a time of fellowship and lunch. The Huebner Funeral Home in Denison was in charge of arrangements.