Frances Pagnotta Yoli

frances yoli

October 14, 1934 ~ June 21, 2024

Born in: New York, NY
Resided in: Asheville, NC

Frances Antoinette Yoli, née Pagnotta, died peacefully at her Asheville home on Friday, June 21, 2024 with her children Lisa and Peter Yoli by her side. She was 89.

Frances was a cherished sister, wife, mom, aunt, friend and neighbor remembered fondly for her quick wit, eye for details and headstrong nature. Born in NYC, she was devoted to her Italian heritage and especially to her role as sibling to Sylvia and Stella, known dearly as The Three Sisters for their entire lives.

In 1955, she married Alfred Yoli, then an engineer with the US Atomic Energy Commission. Their mutual respect, trust, ability to laugh and shared faith allowed them to create decades of remarkable, beloved memories for their children and all who knew them. They remained steadfast partners in love and life for 67 years until Alfred’s death in 2022.

Through many years of career relocations Frances became a skilled household manager. She kept an immaculate home even raising two young children, balanced accounts to the penny, saved coupon money, always played the Lottery and made very smart investments. An excellent baker and cook, food was her strongest love language: the table would overflow for simple meals or epic holiday parties because “as long as you were eating, everything was ok.”

Frances made a lasting impact wherever she lived and enjoyed special years in many lovely homes. Fulfilling a promise to his wife for her enduring support, when Al retired they moved to Long Island NY, just minutes away from her two sisters. They became integral members of their Church community, enjoyed a dynamic social life and she celebrated many family events as The Three Sisters again for more than ten years.

2018 found them on a final brave adventure to Asheville NC. settling in next door to daughter Lisa and not far from son, Peter. Frances once again created “home” with her children and neighbors who became like family. Growing tomatoes on the porch and roses in the garden, she was delighted by the abundant daily wildlife in her back yard. She worried about what everyone (people, grand dogs and woodland creatures) would eat for dinner to the last weeks of her life. Sundays will never be the same without the smell of her legendary sauce simmering on the stove.

You may know her as “Aunt Fran” or “Mama Yoli” or “Franny”; More than these, she was our Mom: a beautiful girl and force of nature, often hilarious and frequently stubborn to a fault. The future will be much less entertaining without you in it, Ma, but you don’t have to worry anymore – we can figure out what’s for dinner. Rest with Daddy now; it’s your turn to give us a call when you get there. We love you.

The Rite of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Rev. Mr. Daniel Hoffert at 11:00 am on Saturday, July 20 at St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Church, 102 Andrews Place, Swannanoa, NC 28778 followed by a light reception in the Parish Hall.

We extend grateful thanks to Dr. Jason Goldie of the Family Health Center Asheville, Rudy T. for home communion service, the consummate professionals at Groce Funeral Home and for the attentive support of Four Seasons Hospice with special appreciation to Nurse Frances Edwards who spent many hours of caring companionship with Mom. Please, no flowers; we appreciate your kind thoughts and encourage memorial gifts be made in her name to the cause of your choice.


Funeral Mass: July 20, 2024 11:00 am

St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church
102 Andrews Place
Swannanoa, NC 28778

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  1. I’m so glad I got to know you and relate to you in so many ways. You and your spaghetti will be dearly missed.

  2. There are probably some 5 million people who live in Suffolk county Long Island. So how is it that my wife and I had the privilege of living next door to two of the most beautiful people. They treated us like family from day one. I thank God constantly that we were the fortunate ones.
    We love them both always.

  3. Peter, I’m so sorry about the passing of your mother. From what I’ve heard, she sounds like she was a wonderful person, full of kindness and warmth. Please know that my thoughts are with you and your family during this incredibly difficult time. Your mother’s spirit and love will always be a part of you, and I hope that the cherished memories you have of her bring you some comfort.

    • During Fran’s time living on Long Island we shared many happy days, one of which I’ll always remember; I revealed to “The Three Sisters” a sincere regret of never having a sister. At that moment Fran, face smiling, raised her hand motioning to me saying “you are now adopted our sister”. Until we’re all together again, Rest In Peace Fran my friend and “sister”.

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