Ottumwa nurse continues to affect people’s lives through her estate


By Sr. Laura Goedken

Georgia Frances Weieneth retired in 1982 after spending 36 years as an industrial nurse at John Deere Ottumwa Works. She died in December 2013 at the age of 89.

Frances was born in Centerville but spent the better part of her life in Ottumwa and was an active member of St. Patrick Parish.

Sr. Goedken
Sr. Goedken

One might think of all the lives Frances touched as a nurse and as a member of St. Patrick Parish but her life lives on in many ways. “Frances was always thinking of others … when a plant became too large for her house she donated it to the church so that others could enjoy the beautiful plant. She was generous, thoughtful and kind. The people of St. Patrick Parish enjoyed her as a person and will enjoy her generosity for years to come,” says Father Patrick Hilgendorf, the parish’s pastor.


Her estate of $1.4 million affects people’s lives today and will do so well into the future. She left specific amounts to six nieces and nephews totaling $74,000 and to 11 friends totaling $66,000.

Nine charities benefited from specific bequests totaling approximately $375,000. Two educational institutions received the rest and residue of her estate to set up scholarships. Family members that Frances honored in establishing scholarships at Indian Hills Community College were aunts (education), father (farming), uncle (electronics and business) and grandfather (law enforcement) to name a few. Scholarships at Mercy College of Nursing, which Frances attended, were established for the nursing profession.When the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Davenport was established in 2009, Frances added a codicil to her will which stated the Foundation would receive $25,000 from her estate. The diocese and its many ministries enjoy her generosity today.


Frances treasured family. When she became a caregiver to her two aunts and uncle who were neighbors to Scott and Marisa Jones, a “new family” was born. Frances considered the Jones’ her children and relished watching their two young sons grow. “It was like having a built-in grandma,” recalled Marisa. “Frances was forever a caregiver and one of the most positive, optimistic individuals you could ever hope to meet.”

When Frances’ health began to fail, Scott and Marisa stepped in to help her. “One of the things we discussed was what did she want her legacy to be,” said Scott. He and Marisa were instrumental in helping Frances with her estate plans. Scott was named her executor.

For more information on setting up your legacy, contact Sister Laura Goedken, OP, at the Catholic Foundation, or (563) 888-4252.

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