Frances L. Thomsen was born in 1919, the second of three sisters in Petaluma. She spent her childhood working hard on her family’s dairy farm in Penngrove, on land once part of a Spanish Land Grant.
She attended Waugh School, and later graduated from Petaluma High School in 1937. She married Jes G. Thomsen (1919-2013) in 1939. When she left the family farm to start her married life, her father Harry said to her new husband, “I’m losing the best help I ever had!”
During World War II, Frances worked as a caregiver at the Sonoma Developmental Center. After Jes returned from the war, she gave birth to their son Lawrence in 1946. Frances and Jes worked together developing Thomsen Distributors, a beverage supply company that provided Falstaff beer, Petri wine, Kalso water, Coca Cola, and many other products to the Sonoma Valley and surrounding area.
The family was very active at the Sonoma Golf and Country Club and enjoyed bowling, dining out and other social activities. Frances was at one time the president of the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Sonoma Golf and Country Club.
Frances and Jes were divorced in 1970. At that time Frances went to cosmetology school and worked as a private beautician for some time. She purchased her own home in 1973, and later became a licensed Realtor. She went on to work for John Hancock insurance as an agent until her retirement in 1985.
Her friends will remember lively parties at her home, especially her May Day and Easter brunches. She treasured her home and decorated and improved it with style. Her gardens, which she designed and installed herself, were lovely and she took great pride in creating relaxing outdoor areas.
Frances passed away peacefully in Napa at the Emeritus rest home at Villa Lane at age 95.
She is survived by her son, Lawrence and daughter-in-law, Bonnie, and nieces and nephews.