Frances Moore Wiott was raised in a Tennessee orphanage after a coal mining accident killed her father when she was 7.
Wiott persevered to liberate herself and her baby brother, eventually becoming a loving mother who provided all the love and affection she never received to her five children, her daughter, Deborah Thill, said.
Passionate about her children, Wiott told Thill, whom she called “baby doll,” she was “the first thing I had in my life which no one could take away from me.”
As a child, Wiott never had a baby doll of her own. One year for Christmas, Thill surprised her mom with her first doll which brought tears of joy to her mother’s eyes.
A homemaker and fantastic cook, who could can anything, Wiott, 77, of DeMotte, always had a garden. She was willing to speak her mind, say what she was thinking and let the chips fall where they may, Thill said.
“She was outspoken,” Thill said. “Mom had very strong beliefs. You always knew where she stood.”
Thill said her mother taught her children to always stand up for themselves and “not to let anybody put you down.”
“She was very fiercely protective of us,” Thill said. “She would never let anyone hurt us.”
Wiott went to live for a short time in Hammond with an older brother. There she met her late husband, Lloyd Moore, to whom she was married 28 years. She met her second husband, the late Robert Wiott to whom she was married 23 years, when both had children on the same Little League team.
Wiott enjoyed playing a game called Skip-Bo. She loved the Chicago Bears, Cubs and Bulls, following the games on TV. She always wore some Bears paraphernalia in winter.
Thill said her mom was her best friend.
“I miss being able to pick up the phone and call her,” Thill said.