84, passed away peacefully at her home in Santa Barbara on May 2, 2014, after an arduous nine-year battle with cancer. Fran was born in Nettleton, AR (a suburb of Jonesboro) in December of 1929. She was the second daughter of Clarence Alvin Pearce and (Delcie) Mae Lunsford Allen. She attended Trinity College in San Antonio, Texas and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BS degree in Chemistry. Although she started working at M.D. Anderson's, a medical company, she loved travel and before long became a Flight attendant for American Airlines. She met Earl J. Finear of New York at UT, and they married in May of 1955. They moved to Santa Barbara, CA in the early 60's. She first worked at being a great mom to her three children and a volunteer at the Council of Christmas Cheer. Later, she and Earl ran their own Real Estate brokerage firm, while she was concurrently on staff at UCSB. She retired from there in 1999 as Coordinator of their Animal Care Council, ending her work life as she began it, in the science environment she loved.
An amazing, generous woman of integrity and tenacity, Fran was a loving and loyal wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, and friend. She had a sharp, wry wit and a wonderful laugh. She was a voracious reader in a myriad of genres, loving science (she once said she wanted to be a groupie of Carl Sagan's), psychology, history, animals, and most particularly mysteries. She collected modern first editions of mysteries for many years. Whenever we see roses, dogs, elephants, hummingbirds, pelicans, or pick up a detective novel, we will think of her and remember her with a smile.
She is survived by her three children Jacquelyn Finear Kerner of Ventura, David Richard Finear of Newport Beach, and Paul Jeffrey Finear of Santa Barbara as well as six beautiful granddaughters: Elysia Shiri Finear, Bethany Rose Finear, Hannah Elizabeth Finear, Sarah Ann Grace Finear, Gabrielle Marie Finear, and Gianna Francesca Finear, plus numerous friends. She was deeply loved and will be sorely missed.
Fran will be laid to rest in a simple graveside ceremony at the Catholic Cemetery on Hope Ave. in Santa Barbara on Saturday, May 10, 2014 at 10 a.m. This will be followed by a Celebration of Life at The Beachside Restaurant, at Goleta Beach at 11:30 a.m. If wished, flowers may be sent to the funeral home of Welch-Ryce-Haider, or better yet, in lieu of flowers please consider a donation to any one of her favorite charities: The Sansum Medical Clinic's Oncology Dept., Wounded Warrior Project, Direct Relief International, or the Santa Barbara Humane Society. Please visit www.wrhsb.com to leave an online memory or condolence. Arrangements entrusted to Welch-Ryce-Haider Funeral Chapels.