Frances Mueller peacefully passed away at her home on May 25, 2021.
Frances was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana on February 2, 1923. She was the twelfth of thirteen children born to Dominic and Anna Gennuso. Frances was the Valedictorian of the 1940 graduating class from Lake Charles High School, where Frances actively participated in many clubs. She was a member of the Wildcat Staff which published the school paper, the National Honor Society, the French Club and the Girl Reserves, where she volunteered time for community service projects. She proudly marched with the Kilties at Lake Charles High School as a charter member of the first all-girl drill team in Louisiana. The team was known for its fast-stepping precision drills, its unique drum cadences and tartan plaid uniforms. Frances also competed in the Louisiana State Rally in shorthand and typing. She won first place in the regionals in Lafayette and placed as a finalist in Baton Rouge. During her Senior year at Lake Charles High School, she won the posture contest and was voted Most Intelligent.
After graduating from high school, Frances attended McNeese State University on scholarship where she studied secretarial sciences. While at McNeese, Frances participated in the Drama Club and the Newman Club, a Catholic faith-based organization. Frances also won the part of the lead character, Lucille, in the play “Hyacinth.”
Frances spent many years as an Executive Secretary working in medical, dental and insurance offices. She also worked for Gulf Oil Company and the Lake Charles Water Company.
Frances met her soulmate, Joseph Mueller, in the Spring of 1957 when Joe was playing minor league baseball in Lake Charles. Introduced by Frances’ brother Sammy, the Sports Editor of the Lake Charles American Press, Joe and Frances quickly began what would become a three-year long-distance courtship while Joe traveled the country playing baseball and completing his Master’s Degree at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. On August 18, 1960, Frances and Joe married in Las Vegas, Nevada and moved to San Luis Obispo, California where Joe was teaching and coaching at Morro Bay High School. Frances and Joe later moved to Santa Barbara in 1965 when Joe accepted a teaching and coaching position at San Marcos High School. Santa Barbara became Frances’ home for the next 56 years.
Frances was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. She was an excellent cook, and beloved by all who were fortunate to make her acquaintance for her quick wit and graciousness. She was deeply committed to her Catholic faith and will be profoundly missed by friends, family and all who knew her.
Frances is survived by her husband Joe of 60 years, children Ron Rollosson, Jane Wagner and Anna Mueller-Ellis (Scott), grandchildren Justin Wagner, Johanna Wagner Raum (Mike), Ethan Ellis and Parker Ellis and numerous nieces and nephews who fondly remember her as Aunt Pansy. She is predeceased by twelve siblings and her parents.
A Rosary Vigil will be held at 7:00 p.m. on June 7, 2021 at Welch-Ryce-Haider in Goleta, followed by a Funeral Mass at 10:00 a.m. on June 8, 2021 at St. Raphael’s Catholic Church. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center or VNA Health.