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Francine Delaine Howard

January 30, 1934 June 3, 2019
Francine Delaine Howard
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Obituary for Francine Delaine Howard

Francine Delaine Howard was born January 30, 1934, in Mobridge, South Dakota, to Gilbert and Pauline (Schmeichel) Majhor. Gilbert was a great admirer of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and since Francine was born on FDR’s birthday, her father chose her name in his honor. Francine was the youngest of 13 children born to Gilbert and Pauline. She was proud of her Native American heritage and was an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. The family moved to Oregon when she was four years old and settled in the Scappoose area. Growing up, Francine was a tomboy and a daddy’s girl. She loved to climb trees and play outside. Her dad was in construction and taught her how to build just about anything. While attending Scappoose High School, she earned the name “dead eye” because she was such a great shot in basketball.  

After graduating from Scappoose High, Francine remained in Oregon and raised a daughter, Christie, and two sons, Gilbert and Steven. She settled in the Willamette Valley and lived a peaceful country life. From the late 1960s until the late 1970s, Francine and daughter Chris ran their own business training, boarding, and riding horses. When Chris took a full-time job, they no longer ran a full-time business with horses, but continued to board them and do some training on the side. While Chris worked and paid the bills, Francine able to be home taking care of the animals, the house, the garden, and of course the grandchildren. She adored her grandchildren and they adored her as well. Family was everything to Francine and she was always there to care for any of the children so they could avoid going to daycare. She was extremely selfless and sacrificed anything necessary for the good of her family.  

Francine also had an immense love for all animals. On the farm they had horses, goats, chickens, and of course cats. She was known to rescue stray animals and find homes for them, especially cats. Gardening was also a passion for Francine, and she loved to grow food to feed her family. She was very caring and extremely loving, and everyone that knew her loved her. Francine was also a force of nature, strong-willed, tough as nails, and resilient. Shakespeare said it perfectly, “though she be but little, she is fierce”, and boy was that Francine.  Music was a big part of her life, especially classic rock, and she loved to dance at the spur of the moment if a song moved her to. Even a few days before she passed, as she was being held by her daughter, she began to dance to the music that was playing. Her strength, dignity, and indescribable love was the glue that held her family together and is a beautiful legacy that she leaves to those she cared about. Francine passed away peacefully at her home on June 3, 2019, with her family near, and her beloved kitty by her side.  

Francine was preceded in death by her parents, 10 siblings, and her two sons Gilbert Ropkins and Steven “Mitch” Mitchell Ropkins. She will be deeply missed by those she leaves behind including her daughter Christie Bravo; siblings June Johnson and Robert Majhor; grandchildren Nathan Ropkins, Valdez Bravo, Timmothy Ropkins, and Trisha Ropkins; and great-grandchildren Eric, Gilbert, and Khiya Ropkins and Alani LoBravo.  

The family will hold a private celebration at the family home.

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