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Frances K. "Fran" Barrows


1921 - 2020
Frances K. "Fran" Barrows Obituary
Frances K. "Fran" Barrows

Indianapolis - Frances K. "Fran" Barrows passed away on January 14, 2020. She was born February 27, 1921, in Imperial, Pennsylvania, the daughter of John Kostrevic and Anna Franko Kostrevic. In the early 1930s, she moved with her mother and younger brother Ed to the village of Fredericksburg, Ohio (near Wooster). She graduated from Fredericksburg High School in 1939, where her class numbered about 15, and went on to Muskingum College (now University), in New Concord, Ohio. She graduated from Muskingum in 1943 with majors in English and speech/drama and a minor in home economics.

She taught for one year at Louisville (Ohio) High School prior to her marriage in 1944 to Gordon A. Barrows, whom she had met when he worked briefly at Muskingum prior to serving in the Army Air Corps. Following Gordon's military discharge in late 1945 they lived briefly in Vermont, where son Robert was born, and then moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where Gordon undertook graduate work in clinical psychology, and she helped organize a preschool. Fran's infant niece, Anne Kostrevic (Ed's daughter), joined the family in 1953 following the untimely death of her mother. Fran reared Anne as her own daughter.

In early 1955, the family moved to Toronto, Canada, where Fran taught at a private nursery school. In 1958 came a final move to Indianapolis. Gordon worked for the Indiana Department of Mental Health until his unexpected death in 1962. Fran became the librarian at John Strange Elementary School (MSD Washington Township), a position she held for 19 years and during which time she planned and implemented multiple library expansions/renovations. Along the way, she earned a master's degree in education, with a focus on library science, from Butler University. She then spent 11 years as the coordinator of library services for all of Washington Township (about 15 schools), retiring in 1987.

In addition to her "day job," Fran worked part time for many years in the women's fine fashions department at the L.S. Ayres branch store in Glendale Mall. She was a long-time member of the chancel choir at Northminster Presbyterian Church, which brought her much enjoyment and many friendships.

Fran was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Gordon; her brother Ed; an aunt and two uncles; close childhood friend, Pauline Mohr; and dear family friend, Bryson Graham. She is survived by her son, Robert (wife, Leigh Darbee) and niece, Anne L. Smith (husband, Lane). She was "Grammie" to Anne's sons Cade (wife, Jenny), Evan, and Shane, and "Great Grammie" to Logan and Olivia.

A private graveside service will be conducted at Oaklawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery. A memorial service will be held at 1:30pm on Saturday, January 18, 2020, at Northminster Presbyterian Church, 1660 Kessler Boulevard, East Drive, Indianapolis 46220. Memorial contributions may be sent to the church, earmarked for "musical programming," or to a .
Published in the The Indianapolis Star from Jan. 15 to Jan. 16, 2020
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