Frances Fay (Bowness) Bilby, 91, passed away at Skyview Nursing Home in Bridgeport, Nebraska, on March 15, 2018.
She was born on February 24, 1927, at the family farm southeast of Fairfax, Missouri, to John Edward and Gladys Fay (Cheeseman) Bowness. Frances attended local grade schools and graduated from Fairfax High School with the class of 1945.
She was married to Bobby Lewis Bilby, May 18, 1946, at St. Oswald’s in the Field Episcopal Church at Skidmore, Missouri.
Frances was a member of Christ Episcopal Church in Sidney, Nebraska, for many years. She was on the church board.
She was a hair stylist, owning her own shop for several years. Frances was also a notable cook, owning and operating several cafes in Nebraska and Missouri. She worked for Ball Real Estate and later Woods Brother’s Realty at Lincoln, Nebraska, as a realtor for a number of years before retiring and moving to Sidney, Nebraska, to be close to her sons and their respective families. Frances did summer employment at Yellowstone National Park for two summers and nine summers at Mt. Rushmore. She enjoyed working in the gift shop, mostly in the jewelry department.
She enjoyed following her husband, sons and grandchildren’s rodeo activities.
Preceding her in death were her parents; husband; son, John S. Bilby III; two brothers, William Anderson and John Franklin Bowness; sister, Mary Catherine Ball; and nephew, David Joseph Ball.
Survivors are sons, Robert Matthew (Rae) of Waverly, Kansas, and Bert Lee (Dawn) of Chadron, Nebraska; daughter-in-law Deanne M. Bilby of Bridgeport, Nebraska; 10 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; sister Margaret Hannah Graves of Maryville, Missouri; as well as several nieces and nephews.
Interment Mount Hope Cemetery, Mound City, Missouri. Flowers are appreciated and for those wishing to make a contribution, the family requests they be made to St. Oswald’s in the Fields Episcopal Church, 30996 X Avenue, Skidmore, Missouri 64487. Online guest book and obituary at