Orrington - Mary Frances Branch, "Fran," passed away on April 21, 2021 at age 56 after a valiant battle with stage IV metastatic breast cancer which was invisible to all upon diagnosis two years ago. She was surrounded by family.
Fran was born on December 13, 1964, in Kilmarnock, Scotland, to Camille Crenshaw and Armond Groves. She grew up in many places, including Villefranche-sur-Saône, France, and Nashville, Tennessee, where she graduated from Hillwood High School. She graduated from Rhodes College with a Bachelors in Political Science in 1986, and from University of Alabama Birmingham with a Masters in Public Administration in 1992. She and her husband David later lived across several states before finally settling in Orrington, Maine, to raise their three children on and in the cool waters of Brewer Lake where they thrived together for nearly 21 years.
Fran was a devoted mother, wife, daughter, and sister, a one-of-a-kind human being, and a modern-day shield-maiden for love and family. She is described by many as a “no-nonsense,” “feelings on her sleeves,” “honest to a fault” woman that made friends everywhere she went, even with the briefest of encounters. She could be silly and was a true naturalist full of wonder for the many corners of the world she so enjoyed exploring. She was an athlete, anchoring a state record-winning mile relay in high school, participating in her college’s inaugural women’s soccer team, and taking up tennis and swimming as an adult.
She was an avid community member, spending much of her time at Center Drive School and cheering from the sidelines for her children’s numerous sporting events at John Bapst Memorial HS. She was a talented chef and volunteered delivering meals to her surrogate “Grands” through Meals for ME, as well as gardening and serving as deacon at All Souls Congregational Church. She had friends too numerous to count from social circles that shared her love of tennis, books, theater, hiking, gardening, chickens, and her love of helping the old and the young.
Fran is survived by her husband of nearly 30 years, David A. Branch; their children Madeline, Jane, and Paul; her mother Camille Monohan and stepfather Bill; her father Armond Groves and stepmother Jacqueline; her brother Steve and his wife Gina; her aunts and uncles Carolyn Chaudoir, Joanie Beatrous, and Robert Groves; many cousins, nieces, and nephews; and her beloved pets Oliver, Harry, and Eliot. She lives on in the hearts of all; we miss her but know that she is finally at peace in the arms of her grandparents, her Uncle Gary, her brother-in-law Steve, her first love and husband, John Hargett, and is surrounded by the 14 pets she had loved whose names she could easily recount.
Relatives and friends are welcome to call from 5-7 p.m. Friday, April 30, 2021, at Brookings-Smith, 133 Center St, Bangor. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 1, 2021 at All Souls Congregational Church, 10 Broadway, Bangor with the Rev. Chad L. Poland, pastor and teacher, officiating, or via BrookingsSmith.com and click on the available life tributes icon.
To share memories of Fran, please visit: https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/franbranch. Those who wish to remember Fran in a special way may make donations to METAvivor, Inc. at METAvivor 1783 Forest Dr., #184 Annapolis, MD 21401.