Beno, Fran M.
Beno, Frances Mona
Fran (Swelle) Beno died Monday, May 26, 2014.
Fran was born May 3, 1934 in Green Bay to Jack and Sylvia (White) Swelle. She grew up on Willow St. on Green Bay's northeast side and attended Nicolet Grade School and Washington Junior High. She graduated from East High School, "with the super class of 1952."
During her school days, she recalled, "I loved playing piano and took lessons from Mrs. Lee R. Smith."
Fran's other fond memories of her growing-up years included swimming at Joannes Park, visiting the North Branch Library, playing kick the can and roasting potatoes along the East River. She enjoyed playing with cutout paper dolls and singing from the Your Hit Parade songbook. Unforgettable was her favorite song.
In her teen years, Fran worked at S.S. Kresge and enjoyed lunch downtown at Chili John's and Al's Hamburgers. In 1951, she led cheers on the sidelines at City Stadium with the Packerettes.
In the mid-'50s, Fran took a job as a switchboard operator with Wisconsin Bell, using plugs to connect calls.
Fran was married to Ronald G. Beno on May 16, 1956. She loved her job with the phone company, but corporate policy demanded she leave it when she learned of her first pregnancy.
Fran had four children, Mike, Lisa, Rick and Kathy.
"Ron and I and the children enjoyed summer vacations in Three Lakes during the '60s," she recalled. "Ron's sister Betty and her husband Lloyd joined us, as well as my sister Karen and her husband Gerry. We played bridge for hours and Password with the kids. We had so much fun swimming, fishing and seeing the Skip Wagner shows at The Other Place.
In the mid 1970s, Fran took a job as "desk clerk and chief typist" for the Downtowner Motel where she remained 23 years.
After retirement in the mid 1990s, she taught English to new citizens as a volunteer for the Literacy Council. She worked part time in childcare and was particularly proud to volunteer as a "Foster Grandparent" for Encompass, a division of Bellin Health.
"As soon as they can play patty cake, praise them—even babies love it," she told Bonnie Klika, her friend and supervisor.
Fran enjoyed the books of Patricia Cornwell, James Patterson, Dan Brown, Sidney Sheldon and Mary Higgens Clark. She loved the programs I Love Lucy and The Carol Burnette Show…not surprisingly, given her off-beat sense of humor. "I love to laugh and be crazy with my daughters," she said.
When she realized that her time was short, Fran wrote, "My best friend from early childhood to this day is Dory Nooyan Skotzke, of Appleton, who survives me. I will be an angel in Heaven, still loving her so much, and watching over her."
True to her distinctive sense of humor, she couldn't close without one friendly nudge to friends and family from Green Bay who didn't share her view on one subject:
"PS: I loved Brett Favre…and even cheered for him while wearing purple!"
For this reason and more, Fran's family and friends agree she remains Unforgettable.
Fran Beno was preceded in death by parents Jack and Sylvia Swelle, sister Karen Danielski, and brothers-in-law Gerry Danielski, Lloyd Biersteker and Dale Tank. Survivors include her sister Jamie Tank and brother John "Jack" Swelle; children Mike (Carol) Beno, Lisa (Dan) Hanson, Rick Beno and Kathy (Rick Wickersheim) Beno. Grandchildren include Erik and Aaron Hanson, Malarie (Tanner) Johnson, Matthew (Kymberlee Gross) Beno, Jenny (Paul) Culver and Tony (Lacee Engel) Marasco. Great-granchildren Talon and Brock Johnson, Kados Beno, Mitchel, Leo, William and Teddy Culver and Luciana Marasco.
Gathering of family and friends will be held from 9:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. on Monday June 2, 2014 at Resurrection Catholic Church 333 Hilltop Drive, Allouez. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 A.M. with Bishop Robert Morneau officiating.
The family thanks Dr. Dan Koster and the staffs at Birch Creek Assisted Living, Unity Hospice and the Fourth Floor at Bellin Health for their care and professionalism.
Published in Green Bay Press-Gazette from May 27 to June 1, 2014
Hansen Family Funeral and Cremation Services
1644 Lime Kiln Road Green Bay, WI 54311