Sarah Frances (Ruark) Gissendanner

January 29, 1930 ~ May 28, 2022 (age 92)


Sarah Frances Ruark Gissendanner, known as Frances, age 92, passed away on May 28, 2022. She was born in Woodville, Georgia on January 29, 1930. She grew up in Woodville and after graduating from Union Point High School, she moved to Athens, Georgia with her parents Charlie Alexander Ruark and Mattie Lou (Griffith) Ruark. There she met her future husband, Elton Jake Gissendanner, who was attending the University of Georgia. After they married, Frances supported him while he finished Veterinary School. When he graduated, they moved to North Miami, Florida and had four children, Julie Rainey (Dan), Terri Cantin, Buddy Gissendanner, Chris Gissendanner (Stacie), and step-daughter Evie Tilley (John). She is survived by her husband of 70 years, her children, nine grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, her sister Charlene Richards of Athens, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was preceded in death by four siblings, Pat Ruark, Rex Ruark, Hillma Cook, and Jeri Dixon.

Frances’ first love was her family. She spent her life raising her children, helping with her grandchildren, and supporting her husband in his veterinary practice and political career. While her children were growing up, she was a member of the First Baptist Church of North Miami, serving in the nursery and as a Sunday School teacher. When Elton retired, they moved to Lake Placid, Florida where she enjoyed entertaining family and friends in her beautiful home on the lake. She also lived for a time in Tallahassee, Florida and volunteered as a guide in the Governor’s Mansion and in various political campaigns. Frances loved talking to people, especially while sitting in her rocker on the back porch or in the swing on the dock, eating out, butter pecan ice cream, sweet-iced tea, BBQ ribs, brunswick stew and was famous for her chicken and dumplings. She was a friend to many and loved by all who knew her.

Visitation will be held June 11, 2022 at 9:00 AM at Callaway Funeral Home in Union Point. A graveside service will be held June 11, 2022 at 10:00 AM at Woodville Baptist Church Cemetery with Rev. Patrick Tice officiating.  Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to help maintain the Woodville Baptist Church, Cemetery, and school building. Please send a check to Woodville Baptist Church, 1191 E. Peachtree Ave., Woodville, Georgia 30669, and write on the check if the donation is for the church, cemetery or school.  Callaway Funeral Home, 208 N. Rhodes St., Union Point, GA, (706) 486-4138, is in charge of arrangements. Visit us at to sign the online guest register.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Sarah Frances (Ruark) Gissendanner, please visit our floral store.

Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for Sarah Frances

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 Service Program


June 11, 2022

9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Callaway Funeral Home
208 N. Rhodes Street
Union Point, GA 30669

Graveside Service
June 11, 2022

10:00 AM
Woodville Baptist Church Cemetery
1191 Peachtree Avenue East
Woodville, GA 30669

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