Frances (Trinidad) Slade, 95, of East Providence, formerly of Pawtucket, died Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 after a brief illness.
She was the wife of the late Earl Slade, who died in 1977. More recently, she was the partner of Marc W. Kohler of East Providence.
Born in Pawtucket on Dec. 9, 1925, she was the daughter of the late John and Mary Clara (Viera) Trinidad. Fran was a graduate of the former Pawtucket East High School (now Tolman).
After high school, she set out for Florida, where she met her future husband, a native Georgian, in Miami. She and Earl were married in 1948. They moved to Attleboro, Mass. In 1955, then to Pawtucket, where they raised their children.
Fran owned natural charm and people skills, and gravitated toward jobs involving the public. For 30 years, she worked as receptionist and switchboard operator at Pawtucket City Hall, retiring in 1990.
Callers to City Hall in the 1970's and '80's were treated to Fran answering the main phone line, "Beautiful City of Pawtucket. How may I direct your call?"
For a time she also worked part-time as a hostess at the Holiday Inn in South Attleboro, Mass. and the former Elsa's Lodge in Pawtucket, as well as an assembler at ITT Electric Co. in Pawtucket.
Civic minded, she served on Pawtucket's Bicentennial Committee, as a USO girl in Jamestown and an air raid warden during World War II. She was a lifetime member of Weight Watchers.
Her retirement from City Hall was a retirement in name only. It became a jumping off point for new ventures. Gifted with a melodious singing voice, she performed with the East Providence Community Chorus and the Cumberland-Lincoln Chorus. She also sang in the choir at her church, St. Margaret's of Rumford.
Well into her advanced years, Fran showed an energy level beyond people half her age. She met Kohler, a puppeteer, in the early 2000s, and she joined him in entertaining children.
They painted faces and put on workshops. Fran performed for children as Mother Goose at various parks, playgrounds and festivals. And performing for kids turned out to be a natural calling.
She loved her annual role as Mrs. Claus, often opposite Marc's Santa, at Slater Park's Winter Wonderland.
She is survived by a son, Earl D. Slade (Tina) of Pawtucket; a daughter, Linda Afflick (Bob) of Ormond Beach, Fla., and a step-granddaughter, Shannon McMillan of North Smithfield.
Fran was predeceased by her husband and her parents, as well as her brother, John E. Trinidad of Attleboro, Mass.
Fran's life will be celebrated with a Mass of Christian Burial on Friday, January 15th, in St. Margaret's Church,1098 Pawtucket Rumford. Covid restrictions may limit attendance to 50.
Burial will be private. For more information, contact www.manningheffern.com