Francene M. Blasius Smith of Mayville, age 98, passed away peacefully Friday, June 29, 2018 at Fisher Senior Care and Rehabilitation in Mayville. She is survived by her granddaughter, Trina (Tim) Imes of Charlotte; grandson, Don R. W. Smith of Gaylord; two great-grandchildren: Tessa Marie Imes and Trenton R. W. Imes also of Charlotte; special brother, Jack Hobson of Chesaning; special cousins, Wilaine Northway of Grand Blanc, Keith (Jill) Kauffman of Caseville/Sand Point and Evarene Newman of Saginaw; several nieces and nephews; and special friends: Frank (Cindy) Franzel of Mayville, Melissa (Doug) Sugden of Mayville, Robert “Bob” Sugden of Caro, Diane (Smith) Sugden of Surprise, Arizona and Bill (Judy) Raymond of Mayville; and a community of many other friends.
Francene was born September 19, 1919 in Mayville to Franklin and Neva (Wells) Blasius. She graduated from Mayville High School at the age of 16 in 1936 and soon after found her true calling as a teacher and guidance counselor. Teaching and education were Francene’s great joys in life and she was truly gifted. She changed the world and lives of many, just by being herself. She was also very active in the Michigan Association of Retired School Personnel with a chapter in Tuscola County, having luncheons and meetings. She took her turn as president for two years and attended annual state meetings in Lansing for several years. She also participated in the Michigan One-Room School House Association and the Historical Society of Michigan.
Interestingly, for several years she sewed heavy horsehide work gloves with gauntlets for Kaul Glove Company at her home. When the glove company started a factory in Mayville, she went to work there teaching a group of local women how to make the gloves.
One hot summer day, while playing ball with the boys in the yard at home, Ward Smith, a boy who lived a mile down the road, stopped and joined in the game. He asked Francene to go to a show. Having just washed her hair and waiting for it to dry, Fran refused, but suggested another time. He did ask again, and it resulted in nearly five years of dating/courtship.
Francene was married on June 5, 1943 to Ward L. Smith. They were truly a match. Francene took devoted care of Ward after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease until his death on March 31, 1991. They had one son, Louis Ward Smith, who preceded her in death on June 12, 1997. She was also preceded in death by two brothers, Ward and Clare Blasius.
Francene was a remarkable person. She made a deep and lasting impression on those she met. Her passion and energy always shined through on a cloudy day. Her thoughtfulness and kindness enriched the lives of many people and earned her the 2015 Mayville Sunflower Parade Grand Marshall Honor.
In younger years, Francene used to knit, make afghans, Barbie clothes and quilts. She loved going to a good auction and or a good flea market. She also enjoyed just sitting in on a good court case that had a jury, and became familiar with all the local attorneys and judges in our county. She also traveled abroad and across the USA. Francene wrote a story of her journey of her life accompanied by pictures. At year end, she would write a summary of all her experiences from that year.
In later years Francene enjoyed watching the birds at her feeder, coloring daily in her adult color books, reading a good book sometimes meant “burning the midnight oil.”, having company and visitors, receiving telephone calls, going for rides in her car and her weekly visit to have her hair done. She had a large collection of turtles. Favorite shows included the Price is Right, news, Wheel of Fortune and Who Wants to be a Millionaire just to name a few. She loved soft swirl ice cream and chocolates. Francene knew and believed in the Lord as her Savior.
She was a wonderful, beautiful person. Our lives have been so enriched by her love, and life will never be the same without her.
There will be a Memorial Service in her honor, celebrating her life at 11 a.m., Friday, July 6, 2018, at Mayville United Methodist Church with Pastor Carole Brown and Reverend Michele Hile officiating. The family will receive visitors from 10 a.m. until time of the service.
Francene has made it known, and the family suggests that in lieu of sending flowers, please consider a memorial donation to: the Mayville Area Museum of History and Genealogy, 2124 E. Ohmer Rd., Mayville, MI 48744 (please specify use of donation for Museum or Veterans Pavilion) or bring school supplies to the church to be donated to Mayville Community Schools
Francene spent countless hours in the country school and the office at the Museum, serving as secretary, updating records and recording donated items. She assisted with tours and exchanged information about its history.
Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.:
Proverbs 22:6 “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
Friends may share an online condolence at

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