Frances Edwards, the wife of longtime Pig Hip Restaurant owner Ernie Edwards, died March 1 at age 94 at St. Clara’s Manor in Lincoln, Illinois.
She helped her second husband, Ernie, at his landmark Pig Hip in Broadwell, Illinois, for about 30 years until the restaurant closed in 1991 after 54 years in business along Route 66.
According to one published account, Frances became a waitress at the restaurant in 1962. She married Ernie on St. Patrick’s Day in 1984 after the death of his second wife.
The Pig Hip continued to see Route 66 travelers as a museum until it burned down in 2007. But because their home was behind the restaurant, Ernie and Fran greeted Route 66 visitors for years afterward.
Ernie was among the first inductees to the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame. Ernie Edwards died at age 94 in 2012.
Frances’ first husband, Charles Cook, died in 1985. She was a Georgia native.
Ernie invented the pig-hip sandwich, which he said was made from fresh ham that came only from the pig’s left hip, plus his special sauce.
According to her obituary, Frances is survived by two daughters, three stepsons, five grandchildren; three step-grandchildren; five great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
She was buried March 4 at New Union Cemetery in Lincoln.
(Hat tip to Geoff Ladd)