Mary Frances (Fran) Johnson Partain, 85, died July 2, in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. Originally from Paragould, Ark., Fran lived all over the world with husband, Lt. Gen. Edward A. Partain, U.S. Army, retired. Fran was a strong, independent and gracious army wife who cared for her children, volunteered in the military community, Red Cross and church. She was a loyal and loved friend.
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In 1949, Fran was crowned Miss Paragould and went on to compete in the Miss Arkansas competition. Engaged to her childhood sweetheart, Edward, she transferred to Skidmore College, N.Y. Upon his graduation from West Point in 1951, they married in the Old Cadet Chapel. In their 22 military moves Fran made even faraway places like Iran feel like home and made many lifelong friends.
After retirement Fran and Ed settled in Whispering Pines, N.C., where they were actively involved in the community and church. Fran remained in North Carolina after Ed's untimely death. She later moved to Florida to be close to son John where she enjoyed making new friends, going to church, and spending time with her family. Fran happily recounted tales of a life well lived to friends and family, and made those around her feel special.
Fran is survived by daughter, Lisa Hampton (David), Los Alamos, N.M.; son, John Partain (Claire), Niceville, Fla.; grandchildren, Christopher, Katie, Thomas, David, Patrick, Jessica and Rosie; brother, William Johnson (Carole), Jonesboro, Ark. The family deeply appreciates the caregivers from Covenant Hospice and Home Instead, St. Simon's clergy, and special Westwood friends who treated her with such kindness and love in her last few weeks.
A memorial service for Fran is planned for fall 2014 at West Point, N.Y., where she will be interred with her beloved. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to the
, Wounded Warriors Project, or local Hospice Organization.
Expressions of sympathy may be viewed or submitted online at www.Twincitiescremationsfunerals.com.
Twin Cities Cremation & Funeral Services
1405 John Sims Parkway E Niceville, FL 32578
Published Online in Northwest Florida Daily News on July 9, 2014