Your turn to spin -- no, it's not "spin the bottle" but "spin the wool". This is a talent of Lillie Francom. Lillie was born in Payson on July 8, 1926; she is 88 years old. She has lived in Salem for 43 years. She met her husband, Arthur Francom, at her brother's missionary farewell. Not knowing it, she had tended his brother's children when she was 10. She comes from a family with two brothers and three sisters. She is second to the oldest. Her parents were Reed and Erma Garner Schramm.
Arthur served in the Air Force in North Africa and Italy during World War II. Just out of high school, Lillie went to work for the Union Pacific Railroad as a telegrapher during World War II. She worked there for a year and a half. She worked on the line from Salt Lake City to Caliente, Nevada. She ran the Western Union portion, did train orders, sold tickets and handled buggage. She had to get the milk cans on the trians, and handled dispatch. She was working in Delta, Utah when the war ended and the Japanese were released from Topaz. They were all trying to buy tickets to go home. She said she was swamped with trying to get their tickets booked through all the stops they would have to make. Finally the Salt Lake office called and said just to book them to Salt Lake and they would take care of the rest. She also worked at Christensen's Department Store in Payson during the Christmas rush. After she was married she worked for Fritzi Sewing Plant in Spanish Fork, and she and her husband ran a farm.
After their children were older she thought she would like to be a secretary, but after taking an aptitude test, it indicated she would make a good nurse. So at the age of 46 and after her daughter, Paula, graduated from Spanish Fork HighSchool, she graduated from Utah Trade Technical College with her nursing degree. She worked in labor and delivery at Mountain View Hospital in Payson and retired after 17 years of nursing.
Her Husband passed away August 15, 2006, six weeks after their 60th Wedding Annivesary. They have one boy, Stewart, who lives in Payson; three daughters: Ivy DeHart, Boise, Idaho; Paula Francom, Brea, California; and Michele Roth, Lee's Summit, Missouri. They have one granddaughter, 12 grandsons, and 15 great grandchildren.
When Arthur was in high school, he would attend band concerts held by the head of Salem Pond. He looked at the hill, which is now Tower Subdivision, and said some day he wanted a home there. He got his dream because in 1971 they moved to Salem in their home on the hill.
Lillie taught herself how to cord and spin wool into yarn. It is fascinating to watch her. She loves to knit using the yarn she has spun. She is an excellent seamstress, making clothes for herself and her children. She took a tailoring class and has made several tailored outfits. She likes to garden, especially her flower garden, read and do genealogy. She compiled histories of both her and her husband's families and had them published.
She has volunteered at the Salem City Library since it started but had to quit in September because of health issues. She donated the tapestry that is in the children's section. She spun the silk and wove it into the tapestry.
One of her favorite foods is asparagus roulade. When asked what she liked about Salem she said when they first moved here it was a small town with a friendly atmpostere. She loves this plus the view she has of the pond. She would like everyone to know of her love for Salem and the citizens.
Lillie, we wish you many more days of spinning.
Senior Sppotlight, Salem Newsletter, January 2015, p. 3