Our Aunt Francis passed away on Monday, Nov. 26 after complications recovering from a recent fall, she was 94 years old.
“Franny” was born in New York City on Feb 9, 1918, the daughter of Katherine Fitch Dickinson and Edwin Boynton Dickinson. Her early years were spent on Long Island along with her brother John Fitch Dickinson. Franny attended Lawrence Country Day School in Hewlett, NY and graduated from The Nightingale-Bamford School. She was a provisional member of the Junior League and an active volunteer at the 5th Ave and Flower Hospitals.
She later moved to Westport, CT with her parents and subsequent moves to New Canaan and Kent, CT, she resided near one of her nephews in Woodstock Vermont.
Franny loved the outdoors, bird watching, her black Cocker Spaniel, Cricket, and, more than anything, spending time at the family’s camp on Ragged Lake in Owls Head, New York. The Northern Adirondacks were the Dickinson home base and Franny’s grandfather, great grandfather and other family relatives hailed from Malone and the surrounding towns.
Franny delighted her nephews and niece with her friendship and captivated them by reading stories like “Winnie the Pooh,” Rudyard Kipling’s “Just So Stories” and others by the kerosene lamps and on cool evenings near a warm fire. Her voice was melodic and her laugh endearing as she might bring to life descriptions such as the Elephant Child’s misadventures along the banks of the great grey-green greasy Limpopo River.
Fanny loved tramping through the woods, swimming off the dock and patiently playing cards with any number of the attending children at varying ages and capabilities. She loved to knit and donated much of her work to charity.
Even at 94, we always depended upon Franny to remember in detail any small tidbit of family history and marveled at the way she could call to mind the people, places and events from the past.
Franny was such an enriching part of our lives and will all miss her.
This obituary first appeared in the December 6, 2012 print edition of the Vermont Standard.
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