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Community Spotlight~ Clarence and Elma Francis

Article Date: 
30 September, 2011 (All day)

 

Sixty-six years ago, Clarence met his wife, who is now Elma Francis, one night at the Coalville roller skating rink.  Clarence was with his buddies and Elma was with some of her girlfriends.  “He asked me if he could take me home and I said, “No, who I come with is who I go with.’”  

When her girlfriends said it was okay she consented.  “That’s when it started.  That was our first date.  We was roller skating.  We did a lot of roller skating,” says Elma Francis.  Although they knew who one another was and had seen each other around, it would seem they met for the first time when Clarence got up the courage and asked her out.  

Ever since that night they started “going together” and got married early the next year on January 24, 1946.  Other than the year or two they lived in Henefer, Elma and Clarence have lived in Morgan their entire marriage; the last forty years in their current home which Clarence built himself, among four other houses in Morgan.

Clarence was born Dec. 7, 1919.  He was born and raised in Morgan and had eight brothers and sisters; two boys and six girls.  He attended school in Morgan but when he came to be around seventeen years old, in the year 1938, he decided to quit school and went to work in an auto-body shop.  When Pearl Harbor occurred on December 7, 1941, Clarence’s birthday, he chose to enlist in the air force just after Christmas.  After being in the air force for four years, three of which were over seas in Europe, he came back to Morgan.  When he goes out in his veteran hats, people still stop and thank him for his service, something he is very proud of.  Over the years Clarence has proved to be quite the handy man, holding many various jobs such as cleaning and maintaining the bank. He has been working with wood having his own garage for fifteen years building tables, shelves, as well as over sixty bowls.

Elma was born July 27, 1923, grew up in Henefer and graduated from North Summit High School.  She remembers a time, just after graduation, that she became ill with the measles and in those days, they were quarantined until they got better.  There was a neighbor across the street about the same age as Elma and they would sit and play cards together.  “Whoever said you had to be alone while sick, right?”  Elma worked at the grocery store after high school for Mr. Richens.  She would later hold jobs at the Morgan Theatre and the mini-mart for the Tuckers, after being wed.  Elma enjoys quilting, crocheting and has made many afghans as gifts for family and friends alike.

Clarence met his future wife one ordinary night, out skating with some buddies.  Clarence reflects on a time when he first saw Elma, “When I was working with the plumbing contractor we went up to her dad’s house to do some plumbing and she was standing there just beyond her house on the road there and we’d come out, she would holler something at us.  I thought ‘now who is that?’  But I never thought anymore about it but, every once in a while over seas why, I could see her standing up there in the road; and when I came back home that’s who I ran into.”  Elma and Clarence both shared a laugh at this, remembering the night when they first got together.  Sixty-six years, four kids, fifteen grandchildren, and over twenty great grandchildren later, Clarence at 91 and Elma at 88, this young at heart couple is just as much, if not more, in love with each other as they day they were married.