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Happy birthday, Mary Frances McElfresh

Because of her name, strangers have asked if she's a nun. Others have mistaken her for the crossword puzzle editor of the local newspaper.

But there's no mistaking this: Mary Frances McElfresh has a personality that's as colorful as her name. And on Dec. 9, she joined the ranks of island octogenarians. Well-wishers phoned in these birthday greetings to her.

Mary Frances is an active mother of three and grandmother of three. She has lived in Friday Harbor for 12 years and is active in Amnesty International, St. David's Episcopal Church, Mullis Senior Center and the water-walking class at San Juan Fitness.

In 1999, the publisher of The Journal named the newspaper's crossword puzzle "Mary Frances Crossword" in response to her calls when the newspaper didn't publish the puzzle. She has said that she gets calls at home from readers when the puzzle doesn't run, asking if she can do something to make sure the puzzle runs the next week.

She is a native of Illinois and joined Kappa Delta at Illinois Wesleyan University. She is a retired executive secretary.

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