Beverly, MA — Frances (O’Leary) Howard, 100, died peacefully on Wednesday, August 14, 2013. Frances was born on November 26, 1912, and was the daughter of the late Arthur and Mary (Griffin) O’Leary. She graduated from Peabody High School, class of 1930, with her yearbook caption reading “Always a Lady.” As the oldest child growing up on the family farm, she had many responsibilities including helping to raise the other children. She went on to work for Parker Brothers in Salem where she met her husband, the late Leroy Howard. The two resided in Beverly and had a summer home in Wells, Maine. After the death of her husband in 1963, Frances went to work for the Massachusetts Welfare Department until her retirement in 1978. Frances enjoyed traveling with her sister, Ruth, and brother-in-law, “Rosie,” and most Saturdays and Sundays had her nieces and nephews in the back of her car on the way off to some adventure. Frances had a passion for the arts; stenciling, ceramics, chair caning, lamp shade design, dried flower arrangements, homemade stationary and bookmarks. She could do it all, but her true passion was painting and her family’s homes are filled with her artwork. She was a member of the Guild of Beverly Artists and her paintings have been exhibited on many occasions. Frances loved to knit, cook, bake, and garden. She loved the beach and being outdoors. She was an avid reader and had a thirst for knowledge. Her family loved to hear stories of her life on the farm, the games at Parker Brothers, her victory garden and World War II. She had a zest for life, and trying new things and everything was always “lovely.” She was young at heart and her enthusiasm was infectious.
Besides her husband, Leroy, Frances was predeceased by her four sisters, Margaret and Mildred O’Leary, Winifred (O’Leary) Deschene-Conant, and Ruth (O’Leary) Frasca; two brothers, Edward O’Leary Sr., and Leo O’Leary. Frances is survived by her sister-in-law, Eileen O’Leary of Peabody; her nieces, Kathleen O’Leary of Peabody, Nancy Lafond of Derry, N.H., Janice Ouellette of Peabody, Jean Deschene of Salem, and Debra Hancock of Andover; her nephews, Dr. Edward O’Leary of Middleton, Richard O’Leary of Hampstead, N.H., and Robert O’Leary of Rowley; her grandnieces and nephews, Kerry, Michael, and Mandy Lafond, Erin Delmore, Sean Ouellette, Lauren, Veronica, and RJ O’Leary, and Christina and Ronald Hancock; as well as her great-grandnephews, Michael Lafond and Alex Marchese and great-grandnieces, Madeline Lafond, Alyssa Marches Sophia and Payton Hancock; and her dear friends, Emily Rockwell and Marguerite Gallagher.
ARRANGEMENTS: Her family will gather at the Conway, Cahill-Brodeur Funeral Home, at the 82 Lynn St., Peabody facility, on Tuesday, August 20, 2013, from 9:15 until 10:15 a.m. to receive friends, followed by a funeral Mass in St. Ann’s Church, Lynn St., Peabody at 10:30 a.m. Burial will be in North Beverly Cemetery, Beverly. For directions and guest book, visit www.ccbfuneral.com.