Francis Miller Darwin

CHARLESTON -- Francis Miller Darwin, of Charleston, died on Monday, Feb. 2, 2009, at the Medical University of South Carolina. Francis Miller Darwin was born on July 4, 1925, in Marshall, N.C. She and her husband, Charles Wallace Darwin, moved to Charleston in 1958 to open Skateland Skating Rink, a local favorite for 20 years. In 1980, they opened the popular Le Chalet restaurant and ran it until they retired in 2000. Francis was a master quilter who won numerous awards for her artistry. She is survived by her husband, Charles; son, Tim Grana; daughters, Jo Shields, Kay McSpadden, Darlene Darwin, and Kelley Lord; nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. The visitation is from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5, at Groce Funeral Home on Patton Ave., Asheville, and a memorial service will be on Friday, Feb. 6, at 10 a.m., also at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Ronald McDonald House Charities, 81 Gadsen St., Charleston, SC 29401. The on-line register is available at