Obituaries: Francis Vern Liddell

OTTUMWA-Francis Vern Liddell, 99, of Ottumwa, died November 5, 2019 at Ottumwa Regional Health Center.

He was born October 21, 1920 to Arnold James and Caroline E. “Carrie” Brown Liddell.  He married Clara Elizabeth Carpenter on August 2, 1949 at St. Ambrose Cathedral in Des Moines.  She preceded him in death on February 24, 2009.

A resident of Ottumwa since 1999, he had lived in Des Moines most of his life, having graduating from East High School. Prior to World War II, he was a musician in his brother, Arnold Liddell’s Orchestra, in Des Moines and traveling the Midwest.

Francis was a musician in the military serving with the U.S. Army 95th Infantry.  He served in the European Theatre and was awarded a Bronze Star for valor. After the war he attended Drake University. He owned and operated along with his brother, Tom, Liddell Bros. Furniture, and later worked for various furniture stores, retiring well into his 70’s.

Francis was a member of St. Mary of the Visitation in Ottumwa and a former member of St. Theresa Catholic Church in Des Moines.  He loved playing golf, tennis and playing pool with his friends at North Elm Condos.  He especially loved the Chicago Cubs.

He is survived by his daughter, Michele (Mitchel) Cooper of Ottumwa; two grandchildren, Laura Cooper of Venice, CA and Ryan Cooper of Des Moines; a sister, Mary Lou Culbertson of Sioux City, IA and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by siblings, Arnold, William, Thomas, Kenneth “Joe” and Sarah Ann Liddell.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Mary of the Visitation in Ottumwa with Father James Betzen C.PP.S. presiding.  Graveside services and burial will be 2 p.m. Saturday at Glendale Cemetery in Des Moines with military rites.

Visitation begins at 10 a.m. Friday at Reece Funeral Home.  The family will be present from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday with a Christian Wake service at 7 p.m. Friday.

Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.