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Frances Irene Blair
Frances, Fran, Franny, Mom, Lunch Mom, Grandma
On October 15, 2023, Frances Irene Blair ended this life's journey, and was welcomed into the arms of her Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. She was 87 years old.
Fran was born on April 17, 1936, the youngest of three daughters of Dr. William E. Pearson, M.D., and Irene P. Pearson. She was born in her family home in Wabash, Indiana; her grandfather, Dr. Edson D. Pearson, M.D., delivered her at birth. Fran grew up in Wabash. She, her parents, and her sisters lived on Wabash's "South Side" when she was very young; she often walked to her grandparents' home and to her uncle, Jim Pearson's, dental office, crawling into his examination chair, demanding candy. When the family moved downtown into the Francis Eagle Mansion, she enjoyed traipsing down to the lawn of the county courthouse, sitting in the lap of the statue of Abraham Lincoln. Dressing up, going shopping and having lunch with her aunt, Blanche Pearson, were special treats. When she and her folks moved out into the country, she learned to drive a tractor and mowed several acres of land.
Fran graduated from Noble Township High School in 1955. After high school, she attended St. Francis College in Fort Wayne, Indiana; where she was baptized and confirmed into the Roman Catholic Church. Fran was a practicing Catholic for the rest of her life and was greatly inspired by St. Francis of Assisi.
Fran transferred to Ball State College in 1957. There she met and then married her first husband, Richard D. ("Dick") Anglin in 1958. The young couple soon moved to Wisconsin and resided there for 11 years, giving birth to five children. The family relocated to Centerville, Ohio in 1969, where Fran resided until 1986. During those years, Fran's primary vocation was that of a homemaker. She was very active in her children's lives. She was an original "soccer mom", transporting her children to practices, boisterously cheering at their games, and even serving as head coach for one season. She was the leader for the Brownie and Girl Scout troops in which her daughters participated and was recognized by her community for her service to young women.
Fran was a gifted seamstress: making, altering, and repairing clothing for her children; sewing "White Christmas"-themed bride's maid dresses and fur muffs for a son's wedding; stitching and embroidering decorative bags for the organizations in which she served; and making tea towels for her family's use. She spent many hours restoring and resurfacing wood furniture; she loved shiny wood flooring. Golfing with her sisters and other friends was a favorite pastime. Later in life, she enjoyed watching televised PGA events.
As Fran's children grew, she entered the workplace, serving at Sears (Dayton Mall) and the Dorothy Lane Market (Oakwood-Deli). Fran's workplace relationships always led to life-long friendships. For years after leaving Sears, she and her former supervisor, Joyce Beavin, traveled around the region on single day and overnight bus tours, relishing in their new statuses as free-wheeling senior citizens.
For the last 35+ years of her life, as a result of some difficult childhood circumstances, Fran became and remained very active in the fellowship of Al-Anon, regularly participating in meetings of the Southside Club. She often attended regional workshops, where she was commonly a featured speaker. As she practiced the principles of Al-Anon in all her affairs, she encouraged, mentored, and inspired many of her fellows.
In the late 1980's and throughout the 1990's, Fran's family grew. She welcomed into her family: sons- and daughters-in law, two grandsons and a granddaughter. In the mid-1990's, Fran was courted by, and then married Robert C. Blair, a U.S. Marine Corp veteran of World War II. They enjoyed several happy years together in Medway, Ohio, traveling and taking part in Marine Corp auxiliary and other veterans' organizations and programs. She and Bob delighted in riding on USMC floats in 4th of July parades. Christmas was a busy time, as they collected "Toys for Tots".
After Bob passed in 2006, Fran moved to New Carlisle. She worshipped and actively participated in the life at Sacred Heart Church, enjoying morning coffee and afternoon movies with special friends. She and a co-parishioner, Ed Francis, became close companions. They spent many afternoons and evenings together, sharing a meal and watching their favorite television shows, before returning to their respective homes.
During the past four-and-a-half years, Fran transitioned to assisted living at St. Leonard CHI Living Communities in Centerville. Her family grew yet again; "Great-Grandma" Fran was blessed with a great granddaughter and four great-grandsons; a fifth great-grandson is due to arrive next spring. While living at St. Leonard's, Fran enjoyed meals out with her children (Cashew Chicken at China Cottage; McDonald's Happy Meals), bantering with the staff in assisted living and quiet times of reflection in the chapel. For most of the past year, Fran resided in the memory care unit, as she prepared for her final departure.
Fran was preceded in death by her parents; her stepmother, Edna Pearson; her sisters, Helen Pfister and Patricia Pearson; her brother, John Pearson; and her second husband, Bob Blair.
Fran is survived by her children, Rich (Sylvia) Anglin, Beth (Jerry) Hammond, Helen (Drew) Burgess, Debbie (Dave) Turckes and Eric Anglin; her grandchildren, Nate (Amanda) Anglin, Bill (Mikaela) Anglin and Sam (Alec) Warner; her great-grandchildren; her first husband, Dick (Nina) Anglin; and special friends, Ed Francis, and Joyce Beavin.
While Fran's family mourns her passing, we remember well her favorite adage: "This too shall pass. like good gas."
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 7, 2023, at the chapel on the St. Leonard's campus. The family will receive visitors for one hour prior to the service. Fran's remains will be interred at Trissel Cemetery in New Lebanon, Ohio.
In lieu of flowers or other decorative arrangements, the family suggests that donations (if any) be made in Fran's memory to Southside Club Inc., 3040 Valleywood Dr, Kettering, OH 45429 or to St. Leonard's, Benevolent Care Fund, 8100 Clyo Road, Centerville, Ohio 45458
Arrangements entrusted to the Swart Funeral Home, West Carrollton.