Frances Marguerite Bezanson1

F, #28451, b. 30 August 1940, d. 29 April 2014
Father*Frank Bezanson1 b. 25 Dec 1908, d. 3 Jan 1987
Mother*Ethel M. Ritchie2

Family 1

Peter Speck

Family 2

Doug Jones b. 9 Jun 1939, d. 4 Aug 1975
Relationship5th great-granddaughter of Jean George Bezanson
Frances (Bezanson) Jones
     Frances Marguerite Bezanson was born on 30 August 1940 at British Columbia.1 She married Peter Speck.3 Frances Marguerite Bezanson married Doug Jones.1 Frances Marguerite Bezanson was a florist at Campbell River Florist at Campbell River, British Columbia.1 She died on 29 April 2014 at Campbell River General Hospital, Campbell River, British Columbia, at age 73.1

     Death Notice from Campbell River Mirror (Campbell River, British Columbia), 9 May 2014:
Francis Marguerite Jones, nee Bezanson.

On Apr 29, 2014 Fran Jones (a.k.a Fran the Florist) passed away in Campbell River General Hospital from leukemia. She is survived by her sons Alan Speck and David Speck and by her grandchildren Geoffrey Speck and Sarah Speck. Alan and David were by her side holding her hands and comforting her when she passed. She had only been diagnosed about 5 weeks earlier and the onset was quite rapid. The family would like to thank the staff at Campbell River General Hospital for the excellent care that they gave Fran during her final days to keep her comfortable.

Fran was born in Princeton in 1940 and lived in British Columbia her entire life. She moved to Oyster River in approximately 1975 after the death of her second husband, Doug Jones, also from leukemia. Fran raised her 2 boys as a single mom despite having been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis years earlier. She worked for several years as a Letter Carrier for Canada Post before eventually opening a flower shop in Willow Point called "Oyster River Florist". The business would come to be known as "Campbell River Florist", and Fran operated it in the Willow Point plaza for 25 years right up until her passing.

The Campbell River area was the centre of Fran's world for the last 40 years, and she dedicated herself tirelessly to serving her community. She was a member of many different committees and promoted various causes, especially those concerned with economic and health issues in the region. Some people referred to her as "The unofficial mayor of Willow Point" which gave her quite a chuckle. Fran was also a proud member of the Rotary Club for many years and formed some wonderful friendships there. After surviving breast cancer, she also volunteered to be a support resource for other women dealing with the disease. In 2012 Fran was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her volunteer activities.

There will not be a memorial service held as per Fran's wishes. However, she very much wanted her flower shop to remain open and continue serving customers. Campbell River Florist is very much still in business under the management of new owner Bernice Henry. Fran's family would like to request that her customers give Bernice the same terrific support that they previously gave to her.4

     Frances Marguerite Bezanson was mentioned in an article that appeared in Telling Our Stories newsletter (Grande Prairie, Alberta) on 1 December 2013:
Descendants of A. M. Bezanson Visit

by Wanda Zenner

Imagine my surprise to open an email from an unknown address to find out that it was Frances Jones, Maynard Bezanson's granddaughter, not only thanking me for ensuring her grandmother's name, Dorothy Bezanson, was recorded on the memorial plaque at the Grande Prairie Cemetery but also to let me know that she was planning a trip to Bezanson and would like to meet with me. She had read the article in the Daily Herald Tribune on-line and it sparked her interest even further to visit the area. I did have to ask what prompted her to make the journey to which she replied that it had always been on her "bucket list". Her sons, Al and David had wanted to take her on a holiday and could not believe that of all the places they offered as choices, that it was Bezanson, Alberta that she wished to see. So in mid September they headed off from Campbell River, BC.

September 15, 2013 dawned warm and sunny – a perfect backdrop for a tour of the countryside. We headed down to the Bezanson Townsite and stopped at the top of the hill to show them where the original trail met the main road. From that point, 80 acres had been surveyed into lots when Bezanson Townsite Limited was incorporated. We continued down the hill while pointing out the area where the Presbyterian Church, which also served as the school, and the Flour Mill had been located.

From there we continued on foot to where the home of A.M. Bezanson had stood and we stopped for a photo shoot. As I have been researching the Bezanson area, I had brought along several photos of the area; one of which was Maynard's home in 1914. We continued on to view the cairn that was dedicated to Dorothy and Lois (Maynard's 2nd wife and sister to Dorothy) and all the pioneer women of the area. I pointed out that the flat directly below was going to be a mill site – one that Maynard wrote in his book, Sodbusters Invade The Peace, "as the best he had ever seen". Also pointed out the area where the railway was surveyed to cross. From there we continued on to the camping area where the cabin is situated and showed them were the location of 'Doran Restaurant' along with 'Hall and Leonard's Store' which had also housed the post office and in the distance a spot where Billy Bayhan had his livery stable. Thank goodness the cellars are still visible. From there we circled the camping area, stopping to see where Fred Parker had his jewelry store and the 'McLeod Block' that had burnt down, followed by a quick stop where the Townsite's water source, a spring, had been located.

After leaving the Townsite we continued east to a spot on the Smoky River bank which commanded a spectacular view of the river valley where the Simone?e River flows into the Smoky. Directly below is where Maynard had set up the Bezanson Ferry and the rocks on the east side of the river were clearly visible where the anchors had been located that secured the cable. From there we continued down the road, bench after bench in an effort to reach the homestead of Maynard (NW27-71-2 W6) where Fran's father, Francis (Frank) Bezanson was born in 1908 and also where her grandmother, Dorothy Bezanson passed away shortly atier giving birth. Unfortunately we did not get as close to the site as I would have liked, however we were on the flat and Fran certainly did have a sense of what the area was like where her father was born and lived until 1914 when Maynard moved the family into the newly constructed house at the Townsite.

Next stop – the hamlet of Bezanson and what better place to visit and enjoy good food than at Lefty's Café. More stops for photos – school, store, and of course the new hamlet sign. This was another opportunity to provide the family with the history of how the hamlet came to be at its current location along with how the Presbyterian Church at the Townsite ended being part of the Bezanson Store owned by Pat Rooney, built almost exactly where the current store is located.

From there we headed to Grande Prairie to stop at the Cemetery so that Fran and her sons could view the memorial that had been erected to commemorate all those who had been buried in the Mission Cemetery. It certainly was a somber moment for the family as they viewed Dorothy Bezanson's name on the plaque. I'm sure there were many conflicting thoughts going through their minds at that Ome - the tragedy of Dorothy's death but also wonder of the birth of Frank Bezanson.

It was a wonderful visit and an utmost pleasure to meet the granddaughter and great grandsons of A.M. Bezanson. I believe the family leO with a new sense of what their grandfather and great grandfather had envisioned when he established a Townsite on the banks of the Smoky River.5
Last Edited8 Nov 2018


  1. [S940] David Speck, Alan Speck, "Frances Marguerite Jones 1940 - 2014" Web Site.
  2. [S2] Frank Bezanson Death Notice, Coast News (Sunshine Coast, British Columbia), 2 February 1987, p. 15.
  3. [S2] Frances Marguerite Jones Death Notice, Campbell River Florist (Campbell River, British Columbia), 9 May 2014, p. 28, surname of first husband assumed from names of Frances' children.
  4. [S2] Frances Marguerite Jones Death Notice, Campbell River Florist (Campbell River, British Columbia), 9 May 2014, p. 28.
  5. [S941] "Descendants of A. M. Bezanson Visit", Telling Our Stories, 1 December 2013, p. 20-21.
  6. [S915] FamilySearch, British Columbia Death Registrations, 1872-1986; 1992-1993, Richard Francis Speck; 19 June 1963.

Richard Francis Speck1

M, #28459, b. 20 April 1963, d. 19 June 1963
Father*Peter Speck1
Mother*Frances Marguerite Bezanson1 b. 30 Aug 1940, d. 29 Apr 2014
Relationship6th great-grandson of Jean George Bezanson
     Richard Francis Speck was born on 20 April 1963 at North Vancouver, British Columbia.1 He died on 19 June 1963 at North Vancouver, British Columbia.1
Last Edited8 Nov 2018


  1. [S915] FamilySearch, British Columbia Death Registrations, 1872-1986; 1992-1993, Richard Francis Speck; 19 June 1963.