Mary Frances was a selfless, loving spirit. In her youth, she embraced her religion with a passion and aspired to someday become a nun; but the early death of her father lead her down another path. Being the devoted daughter and sister that she was, she instead chose to stay home and be with her mother while her brothers went off to work to support the family. Compassionate and giving, she was always the first to lend a helping hand to those in need. A constant companion to her mother, she tended to Mary senior's every need; cooking, cleaning, shopping and making sure her mother was well cared for. When her second niece, Megan, was born, she readily agreed to care for her during the day time hours while Michelle returned to work. Her love of animals and gentle heart made her a favorite with the stray cats in the neighborhood. Even during lean times, she always managed to find a few scraps for her furry adopted orphans. In school, she excelled in academics and was a straight "A" student. She loved collecting dolls and was thought to be "lucky" because of her numerous wins on the "Wheel of Fortune" at the school carnivals. The nuns would often approach her to place their bets for them at that particular booth, as she seldom walked away empty handed. Artistic and creative, she enjoyed sketching and painting. While visiting the school after hours with her dad as he worked on a project, she quite innocently began doodling on the chalkboard and in no time had covered the entire board with an elaborate holiday scene. Her masterpiece was discovered by the nuns the next morning. They so admired her artwork, that this particular chalkboard did not get erased for weeks! In her adult years, her appreciation for plants and flowers lead to a well-honed green thumb. Her irises were the envy of the neighborhood and she relished the time spent working on her lawn and garden. There wasn't a half-dead ivy or a wilting poinsettia that couldn't be revived by her magic touch and the TLC that seemed to extend beyond her plants to all those she came in contact with. Shy and quiet, she was satisfied to go unnoticed in the corner, yet the impact she had on all of us here today, those of us she loved and who loved her so much, speaks louder than mere words. She made our lives richer with her unconditional love and unwavering support. Her death has left a pain in our hearts that will be difficult to ease even with the passing of time. She will be greatly missed, but with the rising of the sun and each new day, we know she will still be with us; whispering her words of encouragement and guiding us through the days that lie ahead.

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