Pauline Francis

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To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance… (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)

We hope you’re dancing, Mom.

Pauline Barton Francis was born in Omaha, Nebraska on May 7, 1928 to Dorothy and Bob Barton. She was raised on a homestead on Indian Creek, and later on a ranch on Powder River where she attended a one-room schoolhouse from second through 5th grade and was taught by her aunt, Mamie Barton.

The Barton family, which had grown to eight with the addition of sisters Dorothy (D.K.), Margie, and Roberta, and brothers Bobby and Bruce, moved to Buffalo in March of 1943. Pauline graduated from Buffalo High School in 1947 and often said that she got her highest grades in “fun.“ She often spoke of her high school days as being the best time of her life. It was there she met the man she would ultimately marry and the many friends she made in school remained her friends for life.

While in high school she worked at Stone’s Restaurant during the school year and at HF Bar dude ranch as a nanny for visiting families during the summer.

She headed to Spokane, WA after high school and attended Kinman Business College. After graduating, she went to work for Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company as an operator. It was in Spokane that she met Ed Leatherman, a private in the Air Force, and they married in 1949. Their first son, Dale, was born there in 1950. They were transferred to Topeka, KS in 1951 and Pauline worked for the Air Force Supply Depot in the accounting department. In 1951, their first daughter, Debbie was born.

After leaving the military 1954, Pauline and Ed moved to Riverside, California. They bought their first house and Pauline went to work for the Southern California Gas Company as a cashier-clerk. In 1960, their second daughter, Cindy, was born and in 1962, their second son Russell was born.

In 1975, Pauline and Ed divorced and Pauline headed back to the town she loved most and always considered her home—Buffalo. With her two younger kids in tow she settled into a new life in her old town. It wasn’t long before she reconnected with her high school sweetheart, Pierre Francis. They married in 1976 and moved to Rawlins, WY where Pauline became an insurance broker at the Wise Agency and worked there for many years.

Pauline and Pierre retired in 1986 and they returned to Buffalo. They spent the summers at their home west of Buffalo and winters in California and Arizona.

Pauline’s favorite pastimes were dancing, fishing, raising bum lambs, and spending time with her grandchildren.

She is survived by her children, Dale Leatherman of McMinnville, OR, Debbie Phillips of Buffalo, Cindy Schick of Fremont, CA, Russ Leatherman of Los Angeles, sister Roberta Heppner of Buffalo, brother Bruce Barton of Sheridan, 12 grandchildren, and 8 great-grandchildren.

Donations in Pauline’s memory can be made to the American Legion Auxiliary