After a long and fulfilling life, Frances “Fran” Straub (Rogers), loving and devoted mother, passed away with grace and peace after a short battle with pneumonia in Asheville, NC. Fran was born in New York City to Martin and Mary (Canning) Rogers in the summer of 1926. She was the 5th child of seven and was raised in “Irish Harlem” New York. Throughout her life she remained a proud New Yorker! She loved the city for its energy, theater, style and diversity which made her the strong, smart, fabulous woman that she was. Always independent, she left home at 18 years of age in 1944 (something very few young women did at that time), rented a room in the Bronx and soon found her first job in Manhattan and was on her way.
Fran was always ready to share a story or memory about her life. She would recall as a child going to movie double features for just a nickel and then later becoming an avid theater-goer, saving all her Playbills from the shows she went to on Broadway. Everything reminded her of an excerpt from a movie or play, which she could recall as if it were yesterday!
Fran also shared many stories of her different jobs over the years. Some notables early on were as a switchboard operator at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan and also at the offices of the United Jewish Appeal (UJA) Headquarters. Then a successful career at a major travel agency allowed her to travel with her husband Tony to Jamaica, Bermuda, Mexico and the Bahamas. After a break from the workforce while raising her children, she then helped start a business with her husband and later worked as a copy editor at a local newspaper and finally at a hotel on the beach in Florida.
A caring person, Fran went out of her way to help people and to support just causes, going all the way back to her “marching days” in her years as a young adult in NYC. Throughout her life, she kept up on the latest news and was very responsible in educating herself about all the important issues. She encouraged everyone to exercise their right to vote as it was so very important to her. To quote a friend, “She was a fighter for Justice!”
With her husband, Fran raised their family in the suburbs of New York until their move to Dover, Delaware. She eventually moved from Delaware to Panama City Beach, FL where she lived for over 30 years. She entertained visitors often at her home in Florida and was especially happy when the whole family was together. One of her favorite roles was as GF (Grandma Fran) and was always ready to play cards with her grandchildren and teach them new games while sneaking in life lessons along the way. She was also a fantastic aunt, sister and friend.
Fran was incredibly active, both mentally and physically, into her 90's. Some of her hobbies were gardening, reading, bowling, tennis and travel. Favorite pastimes included Scrabble, crossword puzzles and Jeopardy! She often traveled to visit family and had many adventures taking road trips across the country and into Mexico and Canada. There was nothing Fran like liked better than an interesting conversation with a good (or new) friend. Fran could have an engaging conversation with anyone. She made people laugh, especially when she wasn’t trying to be funny! God certainly blessed her with wisdom, kindness and the gift of gab.
As Fran got older and was losing her sight due to Macular Degeneration she moved from her home in Florida to be near her children, while still living semi-independently up to the age of 93! In her final years she never missed a moment to share her words of wisdom. Two of her favorite sayings to live by were “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all!” and “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Fran felt it was important to call or visit loved ones while you are still able. She would say to bless your family and friends with your grace, kindness and especially forgiveness.
Fran is survived by: son William Straub of Collierville, TN, daughter Jean Ahrens (Rick) of Asheville NC (previously Okoboji, IA), and son Robert Straub of Asheville, NC (previously Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico); grandchildren Kara, Jonathan, Christiana and Jackson; brother Michael Rogers (Rose) of Leesburg, FL. Also left to cherish her memory were numerous nieces and nephews, extended family and dear friends.
She was preceded in death by: parents Martin and Mary Rogers; husband Anthony Straub (d. 1989); siblings Anna, Marty, Catherine, Tim and John; daughter-in-law Kim.
A private family service will be held in New York at a later date. Donations may be made in her honor to St Jude Children’s Hospital. Asheville Area Alternative Funeral Services are in charge of her arrangements.
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