Franny was my 3rd grade teacher & made school fun to go to! I first met Fran when I WAS 4 years old. She & her mother were next door neighbors of ours @ 5842 Bellona Ave. & we lived @ 5844. I have fond memories of hanging out with "Miss Miller"(she was my teacher)who I was lucky enough to call my friend. She would take me water skiing & snow skiing as far away as 7 springs up near Pittsburgh. I would spend o lot of time @ the stables as she taught me to ride my 1st pony named Eeyore(NOT REALLY MINE) but made me feel like he was all the same. I even had the pleasure of going to Aquaduct race track in N.Y. with her to watch one of her Philly's race on New Years Eve 85'going into 86'. I kinda lost touch with Francis over the years but often wondered when I might see her again. I just found out this evening @ my job through a mutual friend what had happened & I AM STILL IN DISBELIEF!!! I will never look @ the world the same way ever again! I LOVE & MISS YOU FRANCIS. You will ALWAYS be a part of so many lives. Mine-MOST OF ALL!!
I was shocked to hear about Frances's death. I rode with her for 6 years and I have so many great memories of tack and trot. Barbara Ann if you read this my thoughts are with you- I'll always look back fondly on the days of me trying to keep up with around the ring.
Dear Barbara Ann, I was at a New Year's Eve party tonight when I heard about your mom's death. My grand daughter Addie Oldham took lessons from your mother and attended her summer camp. She instilled a love of horses in Addie. Addie purchased her beloved Miss West Virginia 2 years ago and is riding on a team in Charlottesville. Your mom made such a difference in so many lives. I am so sad to hear of your lose. Linda Deluca Addie Oldham's Grandmother
She was one of the most important person in my life! She helped me though everything and tougher me how to ride anyone from coco to Elle ! I miss her so much!!!!!
Dear Barbara Ann,
I remember walking you out from your classes at Sacred Heart to meet your Mom before regular dismissal. She was always upbeat and grateful that you were able to leave just alittle bit early so that she could be back to the riding stable before the children arrived for their lessons. Rest assured that she is looking down from Heaven on you. As you begin this new journey in life, know that whenever you are about to make a decision, you will think, "What would Mom do in this situation?" She will guide you.
I ws lucky to stay with Frances for two summers in 1994 and 1995, when she was still working with the race horses. I am Dutch and with my friend, who used to live in Baltimore for some years, is helped her on the farm and took care of Barbara Ann. The memories I have will never be forgotten by me. She still is a wonderful person, wherever she is. Laura
We are so sad to learn of the loss of Frances. She touched so many, both human and horses, in such positives ways. The ripple effect of her teachings, strength and kindness towards animals will go on and on. Frances may not have changed the world, but in one green pasture in northern Baltimore county she created a small slice of heaven for so many children. We should all strive to do as much.
Our thoughts are with you and your family Barbara Ann.
Ms. Frances played an extremely important role in shaping who I was as a rider and as a person. She built up my confidence and helped me view the world in a much more positive way. I owe a lot to this incredible woman and it breaks my heart to say good-bye to her, but I know her energy will always be with me and anyone else who has been impacted by Ms. Frances. I will cherish the 11 beautiful years I spent at Tack-N-Trot and I will always cherish the memory of Frances. My thoughts and prayers are with Barbara Ann as she goes through this very tough time. Remember that you are very much loved.
Frances played a huge part of my sister Faith's life..From 1996 when Faith began working full time at the farm all the way through Faith's illness and death in 2001, Frances (and Barbara Ann, Johnny and Bud) was there for Faith and her son Tyler. I will be eternally grateful for the opportunities she offered Faith. She will be missed.
My daughter, Ellie, began riding with Frances at TacknTrot almost 4 years ago. Frances always impressed me by her positivity, enthusiasm, and hard working nature. She was commanding AND kind, firm AND welcoming, and my daughter grew to love Frances as much as the ponies.... and that is saying alot for an 8 year old!! It always made me smile to hear her talking about Barbara Ann because her eyes would gleam with pride and love. I thank Frances for teaching my daughter how to ride a pony and more importantly for teaching her self reliance, confidence and respect for animals and others. We will miss her greatly. God bless you, Barbara Ann. I know your mom will be watching over you from above.... love, Emily and Ellie White
My thoughts and prayers go out to all of the Merryman Family. She touched so many lives over the years. She will be remembered and cherished forever.
We have many memories of your family at Swan Lake. We'll miss you. Lynn Garland
Barbara Ann, Keeping you in my prayers. May the gentle embrace of God's love surround you.
Mrs. Claire Storey
"Frances' hard work, generosity and affable nature make her my personal hero. She inspires me to follow her as a role model and to never give up on what I want in life. I have learned that she is truly an amazing and accomplished woman who followed her dreams. Her determination to reach her goal has led her to a fulfilling and satisfying life." These words were written by our beloved Kara on 10/7/08. We will forever be greatful for what she taught Kara and we will miss her dearly.
I spent my teenage years with "Miss Miller" at the barn with my closest friend. I still live in the area and when my daughter showed interest in horses at age 2, I knew where she would go to ride when she was older. It got to the point that we couldn't even drive by the barn anymore b/c I didn't want to hear the cries "when am I going to learn to ride there?". At age 6, when I thought she was ready, we joined TnT and rode in the wind,rain,sun,and snow,twice a week for 2 years. I talked to Frances many times a week and I think I nagged her more than she nagged me! Frances was a wonderful woman and equestrian even when she was on your case about something (that's what made her Frances). My daughter is 8 now and I could see the day when she would come to be a helper and eventually teach children how to ride herself when she was a teenager. I can't imagine her riding anywhere else!!
Dear Barbara Ann, John, family and many friends, We want to express our extreme sorrow and sympathies. Frances was like no other. An amazing riding teacher, confidence builder, mother and friend who will be greatly missed and never replaced. Chloe looked forward so much to her lessons each week and we were always so thrilled with Frances' way with her. She really seemed to understand each child and of course, knew her ponies so well. No words can convey our feelings at this time of sorrow. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers. Donna (Schaefer), Dean and Chloe Alexander
Dear Frances: Thank you for all you did for our family. Tack-n-Trot had become such an important part of Parker and Naomi's life, and we will all miss you.
Barbara Ann, deepest condolences on the loss of your mother. She was such a special person and a huge part of the community. She will be missed... Robin (Rio's Mom)
Riding on Sundays with Frances at Tack and Trot was a huge part of my childhood. I will always treasure those memories. I still think of them every time I'm in town and drive down Greenspring Ave. Frances had an amazing gift with those horses and teaching children. She will be remembered and truly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with Barbara Ann and the rest of the family.
Frances was a huge part of my family. Everyday in some way she was part of our day for almost five years. We did everything one could do TNT. We had double lessons, went to shows, did camp everyday for the entire summer, and did the State Fair. It goes without saying there was a huge love of the ponies ( izzy's first boyfriend was Milton and Frankie's was Mikey). I think it was Frances magic with my girls that really sealed the deal. My girls respected Frances. After we left TNT we furthered our love of the ponies and bought our pony Cowboy. It was hard to leave Frances, but she was our core and we knew we would be fine. Barbara Ann, the first and foremost thing that comes to mind when I think of you is how proud your mother was of you. Your mom had every right to be so proud. You are a beautiful and accomplished young woman. I hope I can parent my girls half as well as your mom did for you. God Bless you Barbara Ann, Johnny, and Mr. Bud. Our thought and prayers are with you during this heart breaking time. Jill, Alan, Izzy, and Frankie Cohen
I always loved seeing her around the children and ponies. She was such a powerful and kind person. The entire horse community will miss her.
Our deepest sympathy to all the family. Often saw her at the A show pony ring in-gate. A tragic loss, and her presence will truly be missed. God bless Barbara Ann and Johnny.
Our daughter Leah started at TNT this past spring...I recall after the first lesson Frances saying to me, "You're in trouble now, she's hooked!" Weekly lessons and summer pony camp fed Leah's love of horses and she was looking forward to being brought along by "Miss Frances" as were so many kids before her over the years. Frances will be greatly missed by the many families she touched and the students she introduced into the wonderful equine world. Our sincere condolences go out to the entire family and especially Barbara Ann.
The Phelps Family (Dan, Kathleen, Ben & especially Leah)
Have seen Frances around at horseshows. Never actually met her. I knew though that she was very kind and loving. A hole in my heat. I hope her family the best during these times. Amen
Frances had one of the biggest hearts for children and equines. She introduced so many children to the sport, including my Clare. A HUGE hole is surely left that she once filled in the hearts of so many. Being a woman of great faith, I know she is now in the best place.
I will always be grateful to her for taking in my horse and lovingly nursing him back to good health... and instilling in Clare a love of riding and a respect for our equine partners.
To Barabara Ann- every conversation with your Mom included news of your riding and academic achievements. She was SO very proud of you!
We will miss her & always remember the joy and laughter we shared.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Barbara Ann, Johnny, & all of the Merryman family.
Susan & Clare Walston
Thoughts & prayers go out to the family during this difficult time.
Miss Frances gave such an incredible gift to so many children and their families by being her own person, inimitable, generous, forthright, steady, and devoted - to Barbara Ann, her riding students, and her ponies - self. Her brilliant blue eyes, gallant manner of trotting/cantering down to the ring to teach a lesson, fabulous style of wearing a crisp colorful blouse with jeans, and her wonderfully strong voice were distinctively hers and will be remembered with deep affection by all who knew her. Miss Frances had such faith in life, in hard work, focus, in Barbara Ann, in sharing what she loved with others. Our family is so grateful that our lives were enriched by knowing her.
Barbara Ann, your mother was a great lady and we are so sorry for your loss.
Joyce, Olivia, Russell, and William Holbrook
Frances and Barbara Ann have had the most significant influence on my life of any people I have ever known.
From the age of two to eight years old (when I moved out of state) I spent the best time of my life at the barn with Frances, Barbara Ann, Zipper, and the rest of the barn crew. Frances taught me more about horses than anyone ever has. I was her first regular student of TNT in 1996 and I consider Frances my earliest mentor - her passion for horses and teaching sent my family and me on my way to a life with horses.
As a young kid, I can remember going to the race track with Frances, Barbara Ann, and friends during pony camp and we picked horses to win. Frances explained the sport and we used our winnings to go out for pizza afterwards. I remember piling into the old white and blue horse van to go swimming at the Merrymans' house after a day of pony camp. I remember Rocky pulling me into a field of soybeans during a ride down the "trail of tears." Riding Ibn in lead line at the Penn Nat'l horse show. Watching "thrills and spills" video tape over lunch. Cantering for the first time up the long side and Frances playing call to the post on her black megaphone. Riding bareback with Barbara Ann on Bobo, Mikey, Buggy, and Rocky in the back pony paddock, and always falling off. The list goes on...
Sending all our love and support to Barbara Ann and the rest of the Tack N Trot family. Frances was our inspiration. We will always miss her and her influence continues to shape our lives. Knowing her was a true gift.
I had the good fortune to meet Frances and Barbara Ann a few years ago. When my granddaughter, Leigh, expressed interest in riding, I suggested to my daughter that she contact Frances. From the moment Leigh began riding, she loved it, thanks to the warmth and caring that Frances and her staff shared with her.
To Barbara Ann, one of the loveliest, poised and accomplished young women I have had the pleasure of knowing, please know how much I am thinking of you and how willing I am, along with countless others, to help you in any way that I am able. Your mother loved you so much and was so proud of you.
Philip and Louis will always know how lucky they were to learn how to ride with Miss Frances.
Our boys have developed a love of riding because of three memorable years with Ms. Frances and all the wonderful people at TackNTrot. Camp each summer was a special time for them as well and as a result they will have fond thoughts of her the rest of their lives. Our thoughts go to you Barbara Ann and all the people your mom touched with her strength and passion.
Philip, Louis, Heather and Peter
Our prayers are with you!!we will miss Frances at the pony ring.
Mrs Frances taught me how to ride, canter and jump. I loved riding with her every Friday. I also loved going to her camp this past summer. I will miss her and always remember her!
My daughter started riding only 2 months ago but in that time we saw the true gift that Frances had with young riders. Each Sunday we were met with enthusiasm and a passion that you rarely see. Her energy and warm heart will be missed. I am so grateful that my daughter had that time with Frances and feel especially appreciative that her ride last Sunday was with Barbara Ann.
Barbara Ann, we will do whatever you need and support you in any way that we can. Your mother was so proud of your accomplishments and talked of you often.
George, Caroline, Will and Leigh Rayburn
Erin really enjoyed the short experiance of riding with Frances at Tack and Trot.Thanks and Heartfelt Sympathy.
Frances and I were chatting at the Capital Challege Horse Show exactly 4 weeks ago today. I told her how proud I was of Barbara Ann's finesse and how beautiful a young lady she has become. Frances agreed with me with a smile. That is how I will fondly remember and admire her.
Sincere condolences to your family and friends.
I love you, Barbara Ann.
We were so thankful to have had the short time we had with you, Frances. In just six months of spending Sunday mornings with you our Hannah has become a much more confident little girl. Thank you for the encouragement, the care and the infectious confidence you passed to all the girls. You will always be in our hearts.
France's was a great horse trainer and an inspiration for all young people with a love for horses, teaching them the hard work that happens before and after the riding. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Barbara Ann and family in this difficult time.
We are heartbroken by the tragic loss of Frances. My daughter Lauren began riding with Frances when she was 7. What started out as a once a week lesson turned into a true passion for riding. Frances found our pony Prada for us and took us to Pony Finals this past August. She was so excited when we won a ribbon. I've never known a more hard-working, passionate, energetic person. She was the heart of Tack N Trot and touched so many lives. It's so hard to believe that she is gone.
Frances, Lauren has a true passion for horses because of you. You were like a second mom to Lauren and Tack N Trot is her second home. You've taught her so many life lessons that go beyond riding horses. I hope you know that I appreciate everything you've done. We are forever grateful and blessed that you were in our lives. You were an amazing mother, teacher and friend and will be in our hearts FOREVER. I pray that you are at peace in heaven, teaching the angels how to ride ponies.
Barbara Ann, your mom was so proud of you. She loved you more than anything. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. We love you and will always be here for you. (Jennifer, Lauren, David, Judy & Frank),
Barbara Ann, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. We are so sorry for your loss. The Delerme Family (Raul, Denise, Gianna, Alexa, and Mia)
I can say without hesitation, that going out to Tack N Trot every Sunday for the last several years w/ my brother and our daughters has been an hour we have cherished week in and week out. Ms. Frances was one of a kind. She was as hard working and as tough as they come. Our girls loved her. We all will miss her dearly.
Frances touched each of our lives in such a special way. We feel greatful for the time we had with her and are forever changed. Barbara Ann, please know that we care for you deeply and if there is anyway we can help, we would be more then happy to do so.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Barbara Ann know you have your special guardian angel is looking over you. Your mother was very proud of you and loved you very much. You and your family are in my prayers
We are heartbroken by this tragic loss. Frances was a wonderful teacher and amazing person. Barbara Ann and the Merryman family are in our thoughts and prayers.
The McChesney Family (Wendy, Lee, Ella and Brett)
We have lost a true gift to the horse world. Barbara Ann, our hearts are heavy for you. We look forward to once again seeing that enchanting smile of yours in and out of the ring.
Our Warmest condolences. The Denrich Familsy and Staff at Mr. Charles Market
My thoughts and prayers are with Barbara Ann and the rest of Francis' family and friends at this very sad time. I will always remember her sweet smile; such a very nice person.
Jacki Holland NDP '73
I can't think of anyone who fits the phrase "larger than life" than Frances. She loved the children with all of her heart and shared her life's greatest passion with them: her other love (the ponies). But nothing could compete with her adoration of her beloved Barbara Ann. Despite running Tack n Trot on her own and raising Barbara Ann, Frances was always moving forward, always thinking of the kids, never of herself. She was a great role model not only for her daughter and for her students, but also for the moms.
As a mom, I was always awed by her energy and single-mindednes. I know I was always awed and challenged by her passion and drive. "If Frances can do all of that on her own, why can't I do x,y or z?" I can remember frequently asking myself. As for my daughter Juliana, Frances taught her so much beyond riding. She taught her about discipline, responsibility, hard work and rewards for all of the above.
Frances, we will all miss you greatly. You have touched many generations of riders and their families. Barbara Ann, know that many arms are outstretched to you at this time ready to embrace and help you. We've watch you grow up from a little tot into a fine young lady, and just the champion we all knew you would be. With love,
Frances was such a tremendous teacher, and inspired us so much. I can think of no finer teacher of riding, responsibility and poise. Much missed already. Thoughts and prayers for her family, especially Barbara Ann.
May God's love sustain you and your family during this time.
We were terribly saddened to hear of Frances's passing. Our hearts go out to Barbara Ann and all those who loved Frances. We will always cherish our time at Tack n Trot and Frances's deep caring for all the children.
So sorry. Had a nice conservation on Sat. with her at WIHS. I think she had a great heart for all of those young ones who needed a guiding light. Hard working horseman. Will be greatly missed.
Frances was one of the finest ladies I have ever has the pleasure of knowing. She touched the lives of my children, like she did with so many others. We were blessed to have had her in our lives. Barbara Ann, John, and the rest of the family are in our prayers. I am so sorry for your loss.
The Merryman family is in our thoughts. Barbara Ann, your mom was so proud of you. I know she will always be on the rail watching and smiling.
May the love of friends and family help carry you through your grief. Frances will be greatly missed. A great teacher and a wonderful person. God has another angel.
I am so very saddened at the news of Frances' passing. My heart aches for Barbara Ann and for all those who knew and loved her. We will always hold a special place for her in our hearts. Love, The Rehak Family (Sean, Jodi, Samantha and Sean Michael)