Frances A. Schipper
Camden — On Nov. 29, 2012, a lady loved by all left us to be with her Lord. During the last few years she lived at Quarry Hill in her apartment surrounded by beautiful paintings and other art work she had done in the past.
On May 14, 1908, a curly blonde-haired girl, Frances, saw the first light of day. She has brought joy to her family and many other people since that day.
He mother, Sadie Pendleton Alexander, gave birth to her at home on Willow Street, in the house her husband Frank had built. As the family grew, the Alexanders moved to 35 Pearl St. They included Fran’s three sisters Celia, Emily and Ruth. Also her grandfather James Alexander lived with them, and Sadie's father, Richard Pendleton, was the oldest Civil War veteran living in Camden.
He father, Frank Alexander, was Camden’s tax collector for many years. He played in the Mt. Battie Band and had his own dance band as well.
Fran graduated in the “roaring 20s” from Camden High School in the class of 1926, with about 33 other classmates. When they presented the gifts during Class Night, the one to Frances read: ”Well, Fran, it seems you have drawn an appropriate gift for yourself…It is a string of hearts by which you may remember all the suitors, whose hearts you have broken in the past.”
The year she graduated, some of the businesses in town were: Boynton’s Pharmacy, A. H. Plumbing, Crawford the lawyer, W. F. Hart, M.D. Camden National Bank, Comique Theatre, Carleton Pascal & Company, Knox Woolen Co., Camden Yacht Building and Railway, Inc., and Dougherty’s and others familiar ones. How time has passed
From Camden High School she went on to Farmington Normal School and studied to be a teacher. That was a perfect choice because she loved children and they loved her. She taught the third grade at the Elm Street School for about 10 years.
She married the man of her dreams on Easter Day 1936, and left Camden to follow her wonderful husband, Fred Schipper. They enjoyed a happy and prosperous life. They traveled for both his work and for pleasure. Several years ago Fred passed on and with a broken heart she returned to Camden. She was not lonely for long. Her former students greeted her with open arms, taking her to breakfast, lunch and sometimes dancing.
For the last 10 years she has hosted a birthday party for her friends and former students. There was always food, fun, music and laughter at those wonderful parties. Many sang to her, danced with her, joked with her and reminisced. Her laughter, joy and love were so contagious. The crowd of guests depicted Camden as it had been in the 1930s. Everyone knew one another, and you might have called it “old home week.”
Her motto was “I am going to live while I am living," and she certainly did right up to the age of 104-and-a-half. Fran was truly an inspiration to all who knew her. She passed away peacefully, surrounded by caring people: From Quarry Hill, from Kno-Wal-Lin and from Hospice as well as from a marvelous group of private care nurses.
She was predeceased by her sisters, Celia, Emily and Ruth, her husband Fred, her brother-in-law, “Smitty” Clifford R. Smith, and her nephew, Frank Rose.
She leaves behind her nephew, J. Brian Smith and his wife Negar and their children, Negin, Vahid, Tristan and James and grandchildren, Levi, Wesley, Andrew and Alexander. Also she leaves her adopted son, John Schipper and his wife Liolia, Frank Rose’s family, his wife Louise and his sons Raymond, Clifford and Frank and many, many friends.
She will be greatly missed and never forgotten.
There will be another notice in May. A date and time will be specified for a graveside service at Mountain View Cemetery. If desired, please send donations in memory of Frances Schipper to Meals On Wheels, Knox County, 46 Summer St., Rockland, ME 04841.