Obituary for Frances Cargill
Frances (Fran) Barr Cargill died at home on April 10, 2017. She was born on October 9, 1920 to John MacReadie and Anna Morgan Barr.
Though Fran’s residence for the last 20 years was a log cabin built by her great-grandfather, Albert Siler, in Cartoogechaye, she was born in Charlotte and lived most of her life in New England. Fran’s childhood was spent each summer with Anna’s sister, Lucy C. Morgan, at Penland School of Crafts, which Lucy founded and directed until her retirement. There, Fran learned to weave. Fran graduated from Berea College and attended George Washington University during World War II. She was a parishioner of the Church of the Epiphany while living in Washington, where she recalled a conversation with Franklin Roosevelt.
When Fran returned to NC from DC, Fran’s uncle, the Rev. A. Rufus Morgan, asked her to help him develop a project on church property in Cartoogechaye. Based on his socio-political doctoral work at Columbia University, he was interested in replicating what he had done with Lucy in Penland. While teaching crafts to the community and Slagle School, Fran worked with the cottage industry her cousin Louise Slagle had developed, and what is currently known as the Nonah Weavers was born. In addition, Fran was a founding member of the Nantahala Hiking Club along with her uncle and life-long friend, Sally Kesler. Fran worked with her uncle in a number of capacities for the Church as well, often playing the organ and helping with his efforts to establish mission churches such as St. Francis in Cherokee. One summer she met David Cyrus Cargill, a Bexley Hall seminarian from Vermont serving in the Rural Church Workers Conference at Valle Crucis. She married him in 1954 and spent the greater part of her middle adulthood as the wife of a priest, serving parishes throughout New York and New England. Fran also lived in Jackson County for four years in the late 1960’s, working with her cousin, the physician, Ralph Siler Morgan.
Throughout her life, she performed with many community choral groups, was a Girl Scout leader and volunteered for a variety of charitable organizations. As a communicant of St. John’s Episcopal Church, the church her great-grandmother, Joanna Chipman Siler, founded and her Uncle Rufus rebuilt, Fran served in the choir, as layreader, as a member of the vestry and was active in other parish events as well as those of the All Saints’ Episcopal Community in Macon County. She founded the Nikwasi Dulcimer Players and was a devoted attendee of Siler family meetings each August, where she was often the oldest woman in recent years. Fran became an institution in the life and culture of Macon County, and as Matthew Baker once wrote in an article for the Franklin Press, Frances Barr Cargill was “a treasure”. She is predeceased by her brother, John MacReadie Barr II and her former husband.
She is survived by her daughter, Laurel Cargill Radley, her cousin Marie Morgan Runyon, and many other family members and friends, whom she loved dearly.
A burial service for Frances Barr Cargill will be held at St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church, 216 Roller Mill Rd., Franklin, NC on Saturday April 22, at 1:00 pm, followed by the committal at St. John’s Cartoogechaye, 542 Saint Johns Church Rd, Franklin, NC 28734.
In lieu of flowers, charitable donations may be made in her memory to: Berea College https://www.berea.edu/give ; Penland School of Crafts http://penland.org/support/support_penland.html; or Four Seasons Hospice https://fourseasonscfl.thankyou4caring.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=298%20
Macon Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
Online condolences can be made at maconfuneralhome.com.