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Frances Marcelle Rockwell Roesch passed away surrounded by her family on November 23rd, 2012 at the West Florida Hospital in Pensacola, Florida. Fran was 86 years old born in St. Louis, Missouri to Lorca Elizabeth Laborde Rockwell and William Thomas Rockwell. Orville J. Roesch, her husband, passed in 1989.
Fran earned her degree at St Louis University in 1947 from St. Louis University where she also worked as the Assistant to the Dean of Students. She married Orville on her birthday in 1949. After settling down and having had four boys, she volunteered at Litzinger Special School in Town and Country, Missouri as well as typed books in brail for the blind.
In 1977 the family relocated to Norwalk, Connecticut where she and her family operated restaurants in Southern Fairfield County. Shortly after her husband's death, Fran retired and began working as a docent at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion and Museum in Norwalk.
In 1995, she moved in Navarre Beach, Florida where the family had vacationed since 1970. It was here that she became an important contributor in the creation of the Navarre Public Library. From lobbying Tallahassee towards the referendum to construction, Fran worked tirelessly. When the Library became a reality, she worked for years organizing and operating the Library's bookstore, which involved many weekend book sales and fundraising drives. The many volunteers, many of whom remained lifelong friends, amazed her. Fran accomplished all this while having to temporarily relocate and rebuild her beach home twice - once after Opal then again for storms Ivan and Dennis. The Friends of the Navarre Library honored Fran by naming the bookstore after her, an honor for which she was the most proud. After concluding her life in the Navarre community, she and her beloved rescued greyhound, Taffy, continued her independent life style at the Azalea Trace Community of Pensacola. Until recently, she volunteered at the gift shop in West Florida Hospital. Taffy ultimately passed but Fran adopted Buttons, now again an orphan.
Frances, our mother, above all was a loving homemaker and mother. She was also an individual who was competent, thorough, economical and dedicated. After the death of Orville and for twenty-five years, she lived her life independently and on her terms.
Frances Marcelle is survived by four sons: Joseph (Sable) Norwalk, CT; Michael of Century, FL; Clayton (Debra) of Pensacola and Thomas of Miami Beach. Renee Broxson of Freeport her dearest niece, was in attendance at the passing and was a blessing.
The family would like to especially thank the staff and doctors of the Woodlands Dr. Gannon and the staff of Covenant Hospice. The love and warmth shown Fran - was inspiring. Thank you.
Services in Pensacola are scheduled for Saturday, December 8th at 9:00 a.m. in the Azalea Trace Auditorium at 10100 Hillview Drive (Admin. Building).
A Church Service in Navarre will also be held December 8th at 1:00 p.m., St. Sylvester Catholic Church, 6464 Gulf Breeze Parkway (Hwy. 98 near Midway), A reception will be held from 3:00 until 5:00 p.m. at the Navarre Public Library, 8484 James Harvell Road (off Hwy. 87) in Navarre.
In lieu of flowers, Fran requested that donations be made to the Greyhound Rescue Fund at Greyhound Pets of America/Emerald Coast (www.gpaec.com/donate).
Express your condolences in our guestbook at pnj.com/obits
Published in Pensacola News Journal from Dec. 4 to Dec. 6, 2012