Marie Frances ""Fran"" Bliven

April 18, 1924 - Dec. 30, 2013

Marie Frances "Fran" Bliven, of Ithaca, passed away Monday, December 30, 2013, at MidMichigan Medical Center in Midland, Michigan. She was 89.
Fran was born April 18, 1924, in Flint, MI, to the late Mark E. and Gladys (Burns) Pailthorp; graduated from Flint Central in 1942; and married Donald H. Bliven in 1951.
She had many amusing life stories to share centering around raising five sons, her passion for being a professional seamstress, owning and managing a bar in the UP with her husband, and keeping the family's annual camping pilgrimages organized, coordinated and entertaining.
Later in life, Fran became a regular member of the Ithaca Senior Center and enjoyed music, playing cards, taking road trips, and adding to her collection of clip-on earrings and decorative sweatshirts. Additionally, Fran was a conversationalist. Or, in her own words, "I've never met a stranger". Be it standing in line at the grocery store or setting at an adjacent table in a restaurant, her enthusiasm for life had her initiating a conversation with genuine concern and passion, and thus, you are no longer a stranger.
Fran is survived by her sons, Kenneth L. (Carol) Sparks of Swartz Creek, Thomas W. Sparks of NV, Donald J. (Patricia) Bliven of AZ, Mark S. (Bonnie) Bliven of Cadillac and Howard K. (Carol) Bliven of IL; numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren; and special friend, Harry R. Sparks of Ithaca.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Donald H. Bliven, on February 29, 1996.
Cremation has taken place. A Celebration of Her Life will be held on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 2 p.m. at the Ithaca Senior Center.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Ithaca Senior Center, 1011 E. N. Street, Ithaca, MI, 48847.
Published in The Morning Sun on Jan. 8, 2014