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Helen "Frankie" (Risley) Santos

February 25, 1931 – March 10, 2024


A Memorial Service will be held for Helen “Frankie” (Risley) Santos, 93, of Coos Bay, at 11:00am Saturday, April 6, 2024 at the Coquille Christian Community Church, 625 E 10th St., Coquille, Pastor Clint Mustain will officiate. 


Frankie passed away March 10, 2024 after an amazing 10-day vigil at Bay Area Hospital in Coos Bay attended by numerous family and friends. She always cherished time spent with loved ones.  


She was born February 25, 1931 at Cane Hill, Arkansas to Viola (Grant) and John Keen; she was raised by her grandparents along with 13 siblings. While still in high school, she married Clarence Risley on May 13, 1948. They raised their three sons, Jim, Bob, and Gary before Clarence’s untimely death at sea in 1972. She also survived two later husbands, Jim Huckaba and Daniel Santos.  


She and Clarence moved from Arkansas to Washington when their oldest son was two years old, traveling by bus (she said it was NOT fun!). They lived wherever mill work took them, from Aberdeen and the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, and eventually settled in the Coos Bay area. They were very involved in their church and loved the ocean. Frankie was an excellent cook and loved preparing seafood feasts. Those skills later carried over to cooking positions at the Courtel and Hilltop House. She also managed the Duerksen Motel and worked at the Bayshore Motel before retiring.  


For the past 18 years, she resided at Bayside Terrace Assisted Living where both staff and residents became her friends. They truly cared for her, including visiting her during her final days. Frankie’s family will always appreciate them, as well as the various wonderful staff at Bay Area Hospital.  


She is survived by sons Jim (Sandy), Bob (Pam), and Gary (ex Sue),  grandchildren, Raina (Colt) Wells, April (Andrew) Fink, Alice Risley/Pruett, and Clara (J.D) Risley/Peters and her much loved great grandchildren Iyla and Brogan Wells, Noah Risley/Young, and Chandler and Preslee Pruett.  


Her family, her friends, and her Lord were Frankie’s passions. She was truly the matriarch of her family, hosting the annual Christmas celebrations for as long as she could physically do so. She was even able to attend our family campout this past July. A Sunday School teacher in her younger years and a life-long Bible student, she enjoyed her Bible study group at Bayside until her last months. From “Hey Jude” by the Worn Out Frets to “Amazing Grace” sung by family at her hospital bedside in her last days, Frankie loved music. She has definitely passed that trait along to family members. Most of all, her love for her family is her legacy. Goodbye for now, Mom – WE LOVE YOU. 


In lieu of flowers, donations to the American Cancer Society would be welcomed. Or, just simply spend an hour or two walking on the beach with your family.  


Cremation Rites have been held under the direction of Nelson’s Bay Area Mortuary, 405 Elrod Ave, Coos Bay, Oregon 541/267-4216 


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