September 20, 1943 ~ April 16, 2019

Born in: Denver, CO
Resided in: Aurora, CO

Frances Elizabeth (Furlough) Jefferson was born on September 20, 1943 in Denver, Colorado to Clint Furlough and Gertrude Johnson. She was raised by her father and her loving Step-Mother Marguerite A. Furlough whom she affectionately called “Mommie”.

Frances graduated from Manual High School in Denver, Colorado in 1961. Some of her fondest high school memories involved her life- long friends Grace Gautier, Linda (Duran) Patton, Barbara Jean (Duran) Patton, Mamie Moor and Billie Jean Henderson.

Frances learned the importance of an education at an early age. As a single Mother her most prized accomplishments were the strength and grace she received from God to raise her two sons, Adofo and Valentino, while completing a Bachelor’s of Arts in English (1973) and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Colorado (1979). In addition to her degrees, she received a business education Vocational Teaching Credential from the University of Northern Colorado, a Real Estate Employing Brokers License from the Kaplan Professional School and she was a graduate of the Colorado Chamber of Commerce Leadership Denver.

Frances was always grateful to her Godmother Margaret King- Shearon for her support and encouragement while pursuing her education. Margaret’s children Leonard, Kathy and Marsha often babysat so that she could work and go to school.

Those who knew Fran would agree that she often would share her opinions in a ‘spicy’ way. Her loving, giving heart and devotion where her most personal attributes.
As a Federal Employee, she devoted 45 years to the Department of Labor serving within various agencies, including Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Treasury’s Internal Revenue Service and Justice. In addition to her daytime professional position, she spent 17 years (evening) as a Denver Public Schools adult vocational business education instructor.

Frances was a devoted member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She served the Denver Alumnae Chapter as president, elected National Officer and was appointed to the National Information and Communications Committee, Ritual and Ceremonies Commission and Central Region Coordinator for Science an Everyday Experience.

In memory of, and at the request of the late Oleta L. Crain, a Colorado pioneer and member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. in 2007, Frances founded the Oleta Crain Enrichment Academy (OCEA). She was the project manager for the approximate 1.5 million dollar building renovation. As Trustee of her estate, she played a pivotal role in contributing 500,000 dollars to the Delta Research and Educational Foundation.

Frances has been a devoted member of Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church for several years. In her Christian experience she was baptized at the age of 16 at New Hope Baptist Church and also served at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church. She served as a church secretary/clerk, Sunday school teacher, youth counselor/director, trustee, women’s department president, women’s day chair, speaker and retreat organizer. She also served in several ministries including, the Audio/Visual, Faith To Be Healthy, Repass, and Spiritual Stars ministries at Rising Star.

Because of her devotion to community service she received several awards and recognition to include: being elected as an honorary member of Beta Nu
Chapter, Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, a member of the Colorado Woman’s Hall of Fame, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc, Denver Alumnae Torch of excellence, the NCNW Denver Chapters, Living Portrait of African American Award, the NCNW Special Recognition Award, 2010 NCNW Mary McLeod Bethune Legacy Award, Martin Luther King, North Dakota Humanitarian Award, Vice President Gore’s Hammer Award: 15 Secretary of Labor’s Exceptional Achievement Awards and Secretary of Labor’s Distinguished Career Service Award.

Of all her time being devoted to community and organizations, nothing exceeded her devotion to her family. She cared deeply for all her siblings and was always genuinely concerned for their well-being.

Devoted to providing for her family, Frances often worked two to three jobs to ensure that their financial needs were met, while at the same time, instilling into them Christian values and the importance of education.

She was blessed with seven grandchildren who she cherished. No matter what community or church event was scheduled, she never missed an opportunity to be at their special events to include births, birthdays, sporting events, graduations and other special occasions her kids and/or grandkids had. Her hobbies consisted of shopping for St. John clothing, traveling to Black Hawk, writing and hanging out with her friends at local comedy clubs, musicals, plays and movies.

On the morning of Tuesday April 16, 2019, Frances departed this life unexpectedly. She leaves to cherish her memories Adofo Ghani (Elizabeth Bedart-Ghani), Valentino (Nickola) Jefferson, seven grandchildren; Khaliq (25), Khalil (24), Yaasmeen (22), Juwaan (20), Jahlil (18), Joshua (29) and Jasmine (16); her siblings, Mary (Johnny) Morgan, Willard Furlough and Adrian Johnson, Floyd Copeland (deceased), Rodney Copeland (deceased), Yvonne Summers (deceased), Judy Martin (deceased) and host of nieces, nephews, cousins and devoted friends, Sorority sisters and her dog, Mylo that will miss her dearly!


Visitation: April 25, 2019 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Pipkin Braswell Chapel of Peace
6601 Colfax Avenue
Denver, CO 80220

(303) 996-0869

Fraternity/Sorority Service: April 25, 2019 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Pipkin Braswell Chapel of Peace
6601 Colfax Avenue
Denver, CO 80220

(303) 996-0869

Visitation: April 26, 2019 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church
1500 South Dayton Street
Denver, CO 80247

(303) 752-0546

Celebration of Life: April 26, 2019 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church
1500 South Dayton Street
Denver, CO 80247

(303) 752-0546

Interment: April 26, 2019 1:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Highland Cemetery
10201 Grant Street
Thornton, CO 80229

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  1. To the family of Francis Jefferson, I pray that God gives you comfort and strength in this season of your life. Just know that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord..

    • Val & Nickie our hearts are knit together with yours in love. We are praying that God comfort and keep you during this time. Our sincere condolences to you and the family.

  2. Mrs. Jefferson, you always gave me a big wonderful smile and encouraging words of wisdom – Thank you. – Rest in peace. You will be missed!

  3. My prayers are extended to your sons, daughters-in-love, grands and extended family.

    My broken heart is only comforted by the unwavering certitude that you are now in the salvific care of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I will miss you fiercely.
    Well done, Soror Fran J. Exceedingly Well Done!

  4. Frances,
    You where such a positive influence on so many lives…..
    Not to mention all your personal accomplishments.
    What a blessing to us all for having you.
    You will be missed.
    Leonard and Camella King and Family

  5. Sincerest condolences to Fran’s family and friends. We worked together many years at the Women’s Bureau. Fran was our ‘go to’ girl who always got it done. She will be sorely missed.
    With sympathy, her sorority sister too, Delores

  6. I am saddened by Frances’ homegoing. We have been friends since childhood –attending the same neighborhood schools. Frances was a wonderful, talented, lovely gifted woman of grace. I will always cherish our life long friendship. Frances will be missed by many.
    With sisterly love and respect,
    Bellverie (Lurppage) Ross

  7. My condolences to the family…
    Fran was a great friend for 45 years. I will miss her so much.

  8. From above continue to watch over your precious family. God is good and faithful all the time. I will miss our conversations.

  9. Frances, you will be missed by so many. You have left a legacy in all of the lives you touched. Our prayers for the family and all of the friends who loved you, that God will give comfort and peace

  10. To the sons of Frances Elizabeth Jefferson, Richard and I have known Frances for nearly fifty years, she was a gifted, talented and wise woman. She knew the divine attributes of God, the frailty of humanness, the brevity of life and the need for wisdom in using her time and she knew the need to do God’s work so that her living would not be in vain. She knew that our time on earth is short and we must make the best use of our opportunities. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful, enlightened and wise woman with our family. Our prayers are certainly with you and may God provide the comfort that He promised at John 14:18 and throughout his Word.
    We Love You, Richard & Dora DeVan & Family

  11. Condolences to her sorors of Delta, her friends and family.
    She was a wonderful, giving and committed woman who made significant contributions to the Denver community. Frances will be missed.
    Rest in Peace.
    JoKatherine Holliman Page

  12. I am so sorry for your loss. Fran was a wonderful person. I feel lucky that I got to know her during our time at the Women’s Bureau.
    Losing a loved one is difficult. I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  13. To the Jefferson family, Ms. Fran touched so many people in so many ways. She was a thoughtful and generous person who had a really big heart. She loved and doted on her family and was a woman of faith who truly loved the Lord. I will truly miss her and she will be greatly missed

  14. To the Family and Friends of Frances Elizabeth Jefferson

    Please allow me to express my condolences for the loss of your dear loved one. The pain and sorrow experienced during this difficult time can be overwhelming. However, I am often comforted by the words found in God’s word, the Bible. For instance, when grieving the loss of his dear friend Lazarus, the Bible reports that “Jesus gave way to tears.” (John 11:35). What is even more comforting is the fact that Jesus resurrected Lazarus from the dead, and so like Mary and Martha, Lazarus’ sisters, the Bible expresses the hope of the resurrection whereby we may see our loved ones again. (Read John 11:38-44; 5:28, 29). What a marvelous hope.

    May Jehovah God grant you peace during this time and provide comfort for you and your loved ones.


    Jeanine W.

    Link to download the tract Can the Dead Really Live Again?

  15. Dear Fran,

    You are already missed by so many of your Women’s Bureau friends and colleagues across the country—retired as well as still working. We have such fond memories of having breakfast before DC staff meetings; laughing together on the phone and in person; and receiving your wise counsel (solicited and unsolicited).

    Your caring nature, your love and devotion to your family, your commitment to your sorority, your style and your presence, and your dedication to improving work and living conditions for all was a blessing.

    Your Women’s Bureau friends and colleagues

  16. My dear sweet Squeezer (my pet name for her and she called me Squeeze) you will be missed by so many…..I will definitely miss you and I sharing our stories about cleaning Chitterlings…which I still hate and will not touch nor eat…..we always had a good laugh over this one!! Thank you so much for all the love and laughter……. See you on the other side….

  17. What a true friend you were to me. I had the pleasure of working with you for over a decade at the U.S. Dept. of Labor, Women’s Bureau. I truly looked forward to our bi-monthly telephone conversations after retirement. Your family and friends know how honest and giving a person you were to everyone. Thanks for the tour of Denver on my first visit to Colorado. Rest well and know that your job was well done. Love and miss you.

  18. My heartfelt condolences to the family of Frances Elizabeth Jefferson. She was an inspiring, bold witness and humble servant to Almighty God–in and outside of the church. She caused smiles to appear on so many hearts. I will remember her and miss her.

  19. My heart is broken with the
    News of Sorority Sister Fran Jefferson. You will be missed but always remembered. Peaceful Rest in the arms of our Lord 🙏🏽

  20. My heart is broken with the
    News of Sorority Sister Fran Jefferson’s passing . You will be missed but always remembered. Peaceful Rest in the arms of our Lord 🙏🏽

  21. I was devastated to learn of the passing of Francis, we were in high school together, I was her Delta mother at one time, she was One of the kindest people I ever know . . . Rest In Peace Francis, we will all miss you!!

  22. To the Jefferson family, I am so sorry for your loss of your mother. She was a wonderful person and positive influence on me ( LOL) and so many others. God is good all the times. To the sons thank you for sharing such a wonderful, wise, and loving woman with me. She was there for me when I first entered the Air Force and soul buddies until. I will miss our conversation. My blessing and prayer to the family.

  23. I have so many wonderful memories of Fran during our work at the Women’s Bureau. We enjoyed fun dinners together when we all traveled to DC for work and she wanted crab legs…no matter where we ate. On several occasions we traveled from DC after our meetings to Knoxville to spend time with our families. I know how much she loved her children and grandchildren and how excited they were to see her and the treats she had gotten for them. I know we all miss her kind heart and warm spirit. I am so glad I got to know her.

  24. Ms Fran you will be missed. You have been a mentor since our Pilgrim Rest days I was just a teen and to Denver. We have had some memorable times.

  25. Dear Fran,
    You will forever be in our hearts! Thank you for the unconditional love that you have share from the very beginning! You have been a light source guiding so many throughout our lives. We didn’t to make it to lunch as we planned, but I am comforted in know that you’re in paradise with Mom & Dad! Love You Forever!

    To the entire family and friends touched by this amazing spirit, we truly know what it’s like walking on this Earth with an Angel!

  26. To The Jefferson Family,
    My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time of sudden loss. This is one of the most difficult messages that I have written lately. Fran and I talked for quite a while on Thursday, April 11th. I was planning to call her and my phone rang and it was Fran. As you know we had been friends since 1971 and could always talk to each other. It seemed that we could just continue our conversations whether we talked often or not. This is a time for remembering the Best of the Good Life that Fran lived and holding those thoughts in your hearts. Even though no one can take away your sorrow, hopefully the support and concern of others will help give you the strength needed from day to day.
    May God’s Loving Presence Comfort All of You!

    In Sympathy and Love,


  28. It’s hard to understand why people are taken from us, but find comfort in knowing you were a special part of a well-lived life. Frances Jefferson will be deeply missed. My prayers are with you.

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