Barbara Sue (Horton) Francka, age 87, died June 9, 2024, surrounded by her children and grandchildren, after a brief illness. Barbara was born July 18, 1936, the 9th of 11 children of Frank A. Horton, Sr. and Florence Minnie (Brugger) Horton. She attended St. Joseph Catholic School through 8th grade and was a 1954 graduate of Springfield High School, now known as Central.

In 1956, she met Bernard Francka at a wedding reception dance of mutual family friends. During their courtship, Barbara grew to like the idea of a life on the farm with Bernard, and they were married at St. Joseph Catholic Church, on August 17, 1957. They were blessed to share almost sixty years of marriage together before Bernard’s passing in 2017.

She was a devout Catholic, a religious role model to others and was honored to be Godmother to many nieces and nephews. She was also a Confirmation sponsor and served as an Extraordinary Minister. While taking communion to the sick in nursing homes or to their own homes, Bernard and Barbara always wanted to leave letting them know it was a privilege to do this for them.

Barbara was a homemaker and volunteer at school and church until her youngest began grade school. She then worked at the Polk County Health Center and the Bolivar R-1 School Superintendent’s office for more than thirty years. After retirement, she volunteered for Share Your Christmas and CMH Miles for Smiles. She and Bernard spent years together farming, gardening, some traveling and hosting family and friends. Her home was well-known for many family traditions; Easter egg hunts and cake/cookie decorating, Memorial Day cook-outs, collection of Halloween costumes, Christmas Eve breakfast, ice skating on the farm pond and the popular seasonal hay bale creations.

Surviving are children Raymond & Jane Francka, Amy & Brian Perkins, and Cindy Francka; 11 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren with the 20th on the way. Also surviving are brothers: Pat Horton (Belle); Charlie Horton (Linda); sisters-in-law Clara Horton and Mary Horton; brother-in-law Ed Griesbaum; dear friend Virginia Mayeux; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. Preceding Barbara in death were husband Bernard, Sr.; sons Bernard, Jr. and Daniel.

Memorial donations may be made in her honor to St. Wenceslaus Cemetery, ℅ Jane Otradovec, 708 West Division Street, Bolivar, MO 65613.

Visitation will be held Sunday, June 16 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM with the Rosary beginning at 6:30 PM at Butler Funeral Home. Funeral Mass will be held Monday, June 17, 10:00 am at Sacred Heart Catholic Church with burial at St. Wenceslaus Cemetery.