Fran and Dave were our resident "Grandparents" at Active Endeavors. Since I joined Active in 1998, I was immediately drawn to both of them. We could never figure out who loved the other more?!?! They would often shop alone for each-others birthday, Valentine's Day, Anniversaries, Mother's Day, Father's Day... especially when they'd join us during our Christmas Open House. They showed everyone what true love meant, and that true love lasts a lifetime! Fran was the sweetest and most caring individual. She's always ask about me and my family first, even when she was battling illness or other battles. God bless to her entire family and to everyone she's touched.
While this is belated, the heartfelt celebration of Fran is sincere. My parents knew Fran and Dave through the UI Physical Therapy Program, where my father was an adjunct lecturer. We established scholarships when Dad died and would host a luncheon every spring for the scholarship winners - and Fran would join us to sit by Mom and wrap Mom is love and care. Mom recalled Fran with such love and enthusiasm for life and always looked forward to meeting the scholarship winners - but especially to having that special time with Fran. Her light shines on.
Ah! Dear cousin Fran! How I shall miss her! Franny and I were firsties (first cousins) and besties. As BFF's (Best Friends Forever), we were cowgirls forever as children. But our friendship first began as we shared a carriage as firsties in infancy. It continued as we visited back and forth between Queens and Brighton Beach. Franny was the most fun of anyone! When Franny visited me during summers when we were small, we were cowgirls. We'd ride our horses (bicycles) across the prairie into town (the local library), load up our saddlebags (bike baskets) with gold (books), chow down some vittles (ice-cream and pickles) from the saloon (nextdoor deli) and gallop back to the ranch (my home) to read books. When I visited her family apartment in Brooklyn, we got to swim in the Atlantic Ocean as well as ride a stagecoach. At the beach, we'd marinate in water until our lips turned blue or the jellyfish spooked us out. When we returned back to her home, we'd ride the stagecoach (a bunkbed shared with cousin Joe) which withstood many an outlaw ambush and wild scuffles (merciless jumping up, down and off).
As adults, though states separated us, we nourished our friendship with letters and occasional visits. I chuckle when I remember how always prepared for anything Franny was, and how always ready to be helpful. For example, she constantly carried that special snipper...just in case she needed to help deliver a baby at anytime and anywhere.. I remember cousin Franny as creative, energetic and industrious...always having home-baked quiches in the freezer, sewing her own beautiful clothing, adoring her family and being a genuine whiz bank scrabble player. She made her guests feel heard, supported and endlessly welcomed. Loving and tender, she was a quick and witty woman. I remember sitting in the car with her and her mom (my aunt Miriam) and her admiring the colorful stones on her mom's necklace. Miriam replied: "It will be yours when I die" to which, without missing a beat, Fran replied "Oh! I don't want it that much!"
And I cherish the memories of Nielsen cousin visits back and forth, of how our children delighted in the friendships that bloomed among them: of overnights, Thanksgivings, hot tub dips, swimming, boating, horsing around, trips to the zoo...of how heartbroken we were about Chris's sudden death.
You will be sorely missed, dear dear cousin Franny. But how blessed we all were to have you in our lives.
I send my abundant love and condolences to the beloved family you leave behind...
To the Nielsen family: I am sorry to hear of Fran's passing. I have so much respect for her kindness. One of my favorite memories were of Fran and Dave leading their four kids to the park, all riding their bikes, to watch Chris play baseball. And her friendly, genuine personality. Decades later, she was the same wonderful friendly person when I ran into her at NDAC. She will be missed, but not forgotten. She was a role model and she lived the right way. God Bless her and all of you.
Dear Nielsen Family,
What an amazing person your mom was! I always remember her constant smile and great laugh. It was so obvious how much she loved you all and the positive energy she shared with all who met her. One of my favorite memories was making her a necklace with all of these crazy colors and she wanted it to wear to work to brighten people's day. She was always thinking of others. I know she is still taking care of you, just from a different location and will continue to bless your lives with the memories you share. Thinking of you all and sending love.
Becky (Terry) Hudson
I had the privilege of knowing Fran from our years of working at Mercy Iowa City. She was a gem, so full of energy and so kind to all patients and co-workers. So sorry to hear of her passing. My sympathies to her family. Pat Williams
Sending prayers to the family of Fran. She worked with my mother Jane Knopick for many years at Mercy on 3-West. She was always a very positive and caring person. I enjoyed the many conversations that we would have when I would come to eat lunch with my mom.
God now has two loving Nurse angels with him in heaven...as we lost Jane in 2020.
My condolences to Fran’s family and friends as you mourn her passing.
She was a great positive influence to all she worked with. I knew her best from teaching classes of CRP to medical staff and lay people. Her integrity was passively given to all around her. May her love of life and goodness keep you strong and joyful as you continue your journey aligned with the gift of life that she gave you.
And God Blessings,
I think Fran touched all our lives when we all were just youngsters on the old 3west. She mentored and cared for us when we lacked confidence and experience. Always helpful and non-judgmental. She was so inspirational and set the standard of what an exceptional nurse could be. She will always be in our hearts and minds. Thankful today that I had the privilege to know her.
To Fran's Family and Friends sad to hear about Fran's passing she will be greatly missed by all she touched so many I remember her always on the go in the Hallways of Mercy Iowa City may God Give Everyone the comfort needed now inthe days a head and always
Dave and family, I was sorry to read of the passing of Fran. Y beloved mom Jane Knopick (whom sadly passed away in 2020) had the pleasure of working with Fran on 3West. My mom always spoke so highly of her fellow nurse Fran and I know that my mom and their former supervisor Jackie Barta greeted Fran with open arms when she arrived in Heaven. Prayers and peace to all of you.
Dear Dave and Family,
Reading about Fran's life and interests gave me a smile. She had a joyful exuberance that was contagious. Hundreds of Mercy surgical patients had the benefit of her thoughtful and skilled care. Fran was a positive difference in many lives. I send my good thoughts to all. You are her loving legacy. As we recognize our national day of Thanksgiving I have gratitude for knowing Fran. Peace and pause as you mourn Fran's death. Yes, we celebrate Fran but mourning is a needed time of grace and appreciation for the gift of Fran. Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.
So sorry to hear of your Mother's passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
I am sorry to hear of Frans passing. We both had kids at Lemme Grade School, Southeast and City High and were active in scouts and sports. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family.
I am so sorry to hear of Fran’s passing. I worked with her at Mercy Hospital. She was such a great nurse and really loved her patients. I will never forget her. She was a ball of fire!