June 10, 1923 – Aug. 25, 2017

Frances Elizabeth Bickel Young, age 94, born June 10, 1923 in La Junta, Colorado, to Charles and Mayme Beebe Bickel. Frances passed away Aug. 25, 2017, in Colorado Springs. She lived with her daughter Kristine until 2016 when she moved to an assisted living facility. Frances was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, her sister, her step brothers and sister, and her son-in-law Wesley Hill with whom she was very close. She is survived by her children, Kristine Hill of Colorado Springs, Raymond (Valerie) Young of Colorado Springs, Barbara Carlock of Okmulgee, Oklahoma; seven grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter.

Before La Junta was established, Frances’ paternal great-grandparents homesteaded in the area in the mid-1880s and lived in a dugout home south and east of what is now La Junta. When Frances was 7 years of age, her mother, Mayme, died of pneumonia soon after her sister, Virginia, was born. It was a common thought at that time that pneumonia was brought on by the terrific dust storms of that era. Frances and her infant sister were then shuffled among various relatives until Charles met and married Mabel Millard who was a widow with three children. It was a good union and Mabel raised Frances and Virginia as her own. She graduated from La Junta High School in 1941.

Frances married Raymond (Steve) Young and they owned and operated the Dutch Mill Café at the corner of 1st and Santa Fe for approximately eight years. She then put her attention to raising three children, became a Scout leader, was a member of the Rebekahs, and attended and volunteered at the United Methodist Church. Her great-grandmother was a charter member of the La Junta United Methodist Church.  She joined the Daughters of the American Revolution and was a member of the La Junta chapter.

In 1969 she went to work at Otero Junior College where she worked for 30+ years until she was 74 years of age. She said the only reason she left was because they abolished her job. Her years at OJC brought great joy and many friends. She talked about OJC and her friends till her death. Another of her great joys was her time spent each year helping organize and running the registration booth for Early Settlers Day.

Frances was very adventurous. She liked to travel and try new experiences. She visited several countries and many states; and took flights in a hot air balloon, helicopter, glider and bi-plane among the more unusual. The one thing on her bucket list which she didn’t get to do was to skydive. So, hopefully, she is now skydiving!

Per her request there will be no service. In lieu of flowers please make donations to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation.