Frances Robertson Amidon
1925-2014 MONTEREY Frances Robertson Amidon, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, friend, confidante, and community pillar of Monterey, died on Sunday, June 8, 2014, in Great Barrington. She was born on December 31, 1925, in Worcester, to George and Frances Robertson. She attended public schools in Worcester where she met her future husband Dean P. Amidon, in the eighth grade at a school dance. At a young age started playing piano and violin and sang and performed with her very musical family: everything from Rodgers and Hammerstein standards to Scottish dances. During the late 70s and early 80s her love of music led her to a stint in the vocal performance group the Sweet Adelines. On June 18, 1945, she and Dean married when he was on leave from the Navy. By 1949 they had two sons, Skippy and Peter, and relocated to Berkshire County, eventually settling in Monterey in 1952, adding two more sons, Phillip and Jay, to her happy family by 1955. Fran was an avid gardener and lover of the outdoors. She was a downhill skier and water skier for much of her life; and swam every day she could through the summer. Fran was a generous community supporter. She started the first preschool in Monterey in her basement and led the local annual American Cancer Society daffodil fundraiser for over 20 years. She was a member of the town Republican Committee, and served as Monterey Park Commissioner. She taught most of three generations of town and summer residents to swim, and regularly gave hair cuts to many town children. She was an active member of the First Congregational Church in Great Barrington, and for seven years was the church secretary. In recent years she walked the mile to and from the center of town to join the Monterey Coffee Club almost every day of the year. A hands-on mother, she spent much of her time at her sons' schools encouraging not only their education, but also their hobbies and passions. Her home was always open to those in need of a port and she often found herself brimming over with nephews and nieces, her sons' school buddies, and later, grandchildren. In 1972 she and Dean purchased a small cottage at the edge of Lake Garfield in Monterey, which quickly became a second center of family and community life. She often remarked that the size of the cottage mattered not, that there was always room for unexpected friends and family to join them for meals and socializing. As recently as last summer she could be found sailing, rowing, or regularly swimming from her cottage to the town beach. Frances Robertson Amidon was a remarkable person who left a glimmering mark on Monterey for seven decades. Family meant everything to her, and the family that she and Dean created and shared will remember her always and never forget the love she gave -- as inexhaustible as the natural spring at their lakeside cottage. Fran was predeceased by her two siblings, David Robertson, and Miriam "Mim" Robertson Smith, and by her husband of 68 years, Dean Amidon, who passed away last October. She is survived by four sons and their wives, Skip and Blakely Ann, Peter and Mary Alice, Phillip and Jami, and Jay and Faye; 13 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren. Calling hours will be this Saturday, June 14, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Finnerty & Stevens Funeral Home, 426 Main St., Great Barrington, Mass. The funeral will be Sunday, June 15, at 2 p.m., at the First Congregational Church in Great Barrington with a reception afterwards in the adjoining Church Parish Hall. Donations in memory of Frances Robertson Amidon can be made to the First Congregational Church, c/o Finnerty & Stevens' Funeral Home, 426 Main St., Great Barrington, MA 01230.
FINNERTY & STEVENS FUNERAL HOME INC
426 MAIN ST GREAT BARRINGTON, MA 01230-1821
Published in The Berkshire Eagle from June 11 to June 13, 2014