Frances Niebank
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Memorial Service

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Sunday, March 31, 2019
Simi Hills
950 Sunset Garden Lane
Simi Valley, California, United States

Memorial Service

12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Thursday, April 4, 2019
Christ Church United Methodist
1717 Yulupa Ave
Santa Rosa, California, United States
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Obituary of Frances Joan Niebank

Frances Joan Niebank, 98, of Simi Valley, California passed away on March 27, 2019 at her residence at Simi Hills. 


A celebration of her life will take place on Sunday, March 31, 2019 at 2:00pm at Simi Hills, 950 Sunset Garden Lane in Simi Valley, California.  There will be a second service at Christ Church United Methodist in Santa Rosa on Thursday, April 4, 2019 at 12:30pm. 


Joan was born in London, England to Frances Augusta Sheppard and Thomas Ford on November 24, 1920. She and her husband with their two children immigrated to Canada in 1956 and then moved to California in 1959.  When she moved to California, she became very interested in the Women’s Movement and Ecological Efforts, such as Save the Bay.  She returned to school to become a U.S. citizen, and because of her love of learning, went on to complete her High School education, earning her diploma at the age of 50.  She then attended Santa Rosa Junior College as a re-entry student and later received her Bachelor’s Degree from Sonoma State University, where she was also a graduation speaker. She worked as a Senior Peer Counselor with the Council on Aging, Widowed Services Group. She loved gardening, creative writing and watercolor painting.  She loved games, especially ones that she could win.  She often would play cribbage and prided herself in her Jeopardy prowess.  She charmed every person she met and loved hosting parties, including her annual Christmas Sing-along.  She was very involved in Girl Scouts, starting as a Girl Guide in England and becoming a Girl Scout Leader in Canada and California.  She was a member of Christ Church United Methodist in Santa Rosa where she made many life-long friends.  When she moved to Ventura County, she became a member of Camarillo United Methodist Church.


Joan is survived by her son, Paul Niebank of Roseville and his wife Sally, and daughter, Alexandra Niebank of Simi Valley and her wife Nuala Means.  Additionally, she is survived by her grandchildren: Julie Gutknecht, Katelin Van Sickle and her partner Jonathan Foster, Hannah Van Sickle and her fiancé Max Ninthara, Jenn Fryman, Chris Norton and his wife Michelle, Audrey Madson and her husband Clayton, Tony Niebank and his wife Wendy, Sam Niebank and his wife Kami.  She was also proud to be a great grandmother (“Grandmama”) to Alexis Gutknecht, Matthew Gutknecht, Ashley Norton, Mackenzie Fryman, Emmett Norton, Kylie Madson, Jack Madson, Ryan Niebank, Nick Niebank and Nathan Niebank.  She is also survived by her sister-in-law, Lilian Ford.


She is preceded in death by her husband, James William Niebank.  She is also preceded in death by her siblings Ron Ford and his wife Mary, Tom Ford and his wife Gwen, Jack Ford, and Betty Stapley.


If you’d like to make a donation, Joan requested that you donate to your favorite charity.  The family wishes to extend their gratitude to Buena Vista Hospice, ComforCare and the staff at Simi Hills.

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