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CARBONDALE — Frances Key Lentz, 98, passed away peacefully in her sleep in the early morning of Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, at home.

Frances was born on April 28, 1919, in rural Ramer, Tennessee, to Marcus C. and Flora L. (Hamm) Key. Her father was a doctor and delivered her at home.

She married John Ryder Lentz on Nov. 3, 1945, in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Rock Creek Parish, Washington, D.C. They were constant companions until he preceded her in death on Oct. 29, 1988.

Fran and John raised their three children in Falls Church, Virginia. Fran moved to Carbondale in August 2003, where she lived in Liberty Village Estates until she moved into her daughter’s and son-in-law’s home in September 2013.

Fran is survived by her two daughters, Elizabeth S. Lentz-Hees and husband, Frederick S., of Carbondale and Barbara L. Hilton and husband, John P., of South Wales, New York; son, John R. Lentz Jr., and wife, Jacquelyn Lucchesi, of Turners Falls, Massachusetts; former daughter-in-law, Diane L. Norman, of Hadley, Massachusetts; two granddaughters, Kristin E. Hilton of Buffalo, New York, and Morgan R. Lentz of Sunderland, Massachusetts; and many nieces and nephews.

Fran was preceded in death by her parents; husband; three sisters, Clarice (infant), Allene K. Johnsey, and Merle E. Belcher; and niece, Mary E. Johnsey.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 20, in Meredith Funeral Home, 300 S. University Ave., Carbondale, IL. Visitation will be at the funeral home from 10 to 11 a.m. Inurnment will follow at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery where she will be interred with her husband, John.

Envelopes for memorials will be available at the funeral home. For more information or to sign the memorial guest register, visit

the life of: Frances Key Lentz
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