Not sure how many Mannix emails are included here but I know every one I reach is a Fran-Fan. Mostly, I am hoping that this reaches her grand and great grand children since you are her true legacy. Not many people who die at 94 years of age fill a church the size of St. Brendan's but Fran's Fans came to honor her.
I did not do Fran justice on the Thomas Funeral Home web site and I've been thinking about her ever since. I wasn't specific about Fran as an aunt and sister-in-law. Top ten things I remember about Fran:
1-Fran married a man whose sisters (Theresa, Anna, Mary, Margie & Doreen) believed he was the greatest man ever born after Jesus Himself. We all heard from our mothers about what a great guy their only brother, Sonny, was. Even his brother-in-laws felt that way. Sonny deserved that degree of adoration, but still. Imagine marrying into a family where everyone thinks your spouse can do no wrong? What pressure. Fran could take pressure.
2-Fran was as much a Mannix as anyone who descended from The Glen, Farranfore, Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland. She lived the phrase: 'Your people shall be my people.' Words to live by as an in-law.
3-Fran 'went along to get along'. At her funeral Margie said that Fran never said anything bad about any one. True.
4-Fran showed up. And so did Sonny. 6 kids of their own but they missed no big event in the lives of their nieces and nephews. We will never forget that. Thanks for showing up.
5-Fran was naturally elegant. I suspect, because she wasn't full of herself, that she would be embarrassed about my saying this. While Coco Chanel worked it, Fran never did, it came naturally. The woman had class. Period.
6-Fran valued friends the way Fort Knox valued gold. Every niece or nephew who spent the time asking her what was new would know where Fran and all the 'club friends' went in the past year. I was glad Margie mentioned that in her eulogy. I learned a lot about friends from Fran: 6 kids, a hubby and extended family but she still made time for her girls. Amen, Sister.
7-Fran never stopped learning: tai chi, water painting...
8-Fran was fun. Really fun. She liked to have it as well as relive it with people around her. When I told her some funny story she would laugh like she had been there herself. What's more fun than someone like that?
9-The Elite Legacy. No mention of Fran from the standpoint of niece or nephew would be complete without a comment about her brood. Kathleen was the one who coined the name 'The Elite'. We all knew about the 'Elite Mystique': that we were all held to the standard set by Sonny and Fran's kids. 6 great kids held up for us to emulate. (Talk about pressure!) But pat yourself on the back, Sonny and Fran.
10-Back to Fran as a wife and Sonny as husband. They showed a lot of respect and adoration toward each other. I bet that not every day was smooth and easy but Sonny and Fran kept the long view in mind. We noticed how they treated each other. Thanks for the example.
I keep thinking about what Fr. Hickey said at Fran's grave site commitment, about her being on a boat and we being sad waving goodbye to her. But on the other side of the sea are all these people welcoming her.
So my final memory is of the card table at 7 Wordsworth Street with Sonny & Fran, his sisters and their husbands,all our parents, sitting around. The house where we descendants of Dennis and Mary Bridget O'Connor Mannix became Americans. Also where we cousins had a lot of fun. It seemed then with all the laughing that 7 Wordsworth was a piece of heaven. Now the card table is all together again. Fran, her husband, his sisters and their husbands. All our parents who were not only siblings and in-laws but, most of all friends.
Grateful for all we learned at that card table and from Fran.
Fran's Fans Forever,