BERTRAND, Frances (Fran) Mary
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Our dear mother and grandmother, Fran (Frances) Bertrand (nee Monner), passed away peacefully on October 29, 2012, at the age of 94, after a short illness, in Abbotsford, BC. She was the beloved wife of the late Ross Bertrand for 71 years - an amazing accomplishment. They were proud Albertans, only moving to BC in 2010 to be near family. Fran is survived by sons Michael (Ricki) and Ron (Shelagh) and by daughters Nancy (Tod) and Shirley (David), and by six grandchildren: David, Stuart (Alicia), Andrew, Julie, Emily, and Matthew. She is also survived by sisters-in-law Mabel Gerding in Vulcan, Marilyn Rhodes in Edmonton, and Jean Bertrand in Ottawa, as well as many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband, Ross, by one son William Ross, her brothers and sisters - Lawrence, Wilbur, Wayne, Winnie, and Bob, as well as parents Mike and Myrtle Monner. Fran was born on April 17, 1918, and received her education, in the Milo, Alberta area. After they were married, and Ross went overseas in 1941, she attended Normal School in Calgary and taught until 1945 - the end of the war. While raising her children, she continued to sub-teach in Milo, Claresholm, and Lethbridge, as well as teaching "Wheat Weaving", "Fully Alive" and "Keep Fit". A lifelong learner, Fran was active in the Claresholm "Reading Club" and in the Lethbridge "Mathesis Club" - women's study groups. She and Ross enjoyed many active years of travel (seeing much of the world), of volunteering, of golf and dancing, and of making new friends while living in a senior condominium - Grandview Village in Lethbridge. As her grandson David said on her passing, "Grandma Fran may have passed away in BC, but her soul is among the wheat fields and coulees of Southern Alberta". She was an old soul, full of wisdom and kindness, a great role model for all of us. Our deepest thanks to the kind staffs at Hallmark-on-the-Lake senior home, where Mom and Dad lived for 2 years, and Bevan Lodge, Mom's home for the last few months. And special thanks to Larynda Brown, Mom's faithful care-giver for the last year. The family will hold a private memorial at a later date, followed next summer with the interment of Mom and Dad's ashes in the cemetery near Milo, Alberta. To quote Fran: "Since we have spent most of our lives together, we might as well be together in death."
Published in Vancouver Sun and/or The Province on Nov. 10, 2012