Butterflies will always remind Barbara Edwards of her baby sister, an artist who created beauty in the world and shared it with others.
Frances Kay "Fran" Malone of Biloxi died March 25 from complications following a medical procedure.
Her family is hosting a celebration of life service at 2 p.m. Saturday at Seashore Oaks Assisted Living at 1450B Beach Blvd., in Biloxi.
Malone was the youngest of five girls, said older sister Barbara Edwards of Brandon.
She moved into Sea Shore three years ago because she needed assistance with her daily care. Her daughters, Pam Cosper and Paulette Crews, live in Biloxi and visited often to check on their mom.
"She loved it there," Edwards said. "She was one of those people who are like a shining star or a ray of sunshine."
Edwards watched her baby sister struggle with pain, but those who had not known her since birth probably never knew she was hurting.
"It's like she was smiling through the pain," Edwards said. "She never complained. She'd always say, 'It's in God's Hands.'"
Edwards said Malone was a "true inspiration" to the residents at Sea Shore.
Her sister was an artist who loved butterflies. She'd decorate butterfly figures with sparkly jewels and paint and give them to her neighbors. "She had such a passion for life and making other people happy," Edwards said. "She never expected anything in return. Seeing others happy, that made her happy."
One of Malone's other loves was bingo.
She enjoyed the thrill of the game and often donated prizes for the other winners.
"She'd play two cards at a time," Edwards said.
Malone's family is still mourning the woman's death, but they know she wouldn't want anyone to be sad at her passing. That's why they opted for a celebration of life service so she could be remembered with laughter and smiles.
They also chose to host it at Sea Shore Assisted Living so Malone's friends and neighbors could more easily attend. "We wanted all of her friends to be there," Edwards said.
The number one rule at the service will be no tears. Her family wants her zest for life to be remembered.
"She was never a Negative Nellie or Debbie Downer," Edwards said. "She wouldn't want them to be sad. She'd want people talking and laughing."
Edwards said she became closer to her sister in the past few years and watched her flourish at Sea Shore. "We can never say enough or thank them for their love and support," she said. "They were truly her second family."