1pm Visitation 2pm Service
Celebration of Life Ceremony D
... When I close my eyes I see you ...
... When I open my eyes I miss you ...
At age 66, Francine lost her life to cancer. For two years she fought to repair her health but the cancer would not go away. She never complained, never gave up a day of work and she moved through her last two years with grace and dignity despite her illness.
Francine was loving and real. Her values and outlook were real. Her smile was captivating and her words spoken softly. People felt comfortable around her and if you listened carefully, you could hear music as she quietly hummed to herself. During her illness, three things kept her going; her work, her hope and her children. It was only at the very end that she asked for assistance.
Francine had a good sense of humour and she enjoyed stories and jokes. She was a wonderful mother of two children, a business woman and a friend to others. Her values will live on through her children and grandchildren. In whatever role Fran played, she stood apart as someone special.
Born to Alice and Urgel Martel on November 23rd, 1948, Francine was the third in line of a family of eight children. Siblings Carmen, Simon, Monique, Benoit, Aline, Norman and Denise shared a childhood with Francine in Ottawa, Ontario. The family lived in the Westboro area where Francine attended Sainte-Jeanne d’ Arc grade school then onto St- Conrad and Notre-Dame du Bon Conseil for high school.
Like many of us as children, Francine had a sweet tooth; she loved candy and she would collect pop bottles to buy “black balls”, her favourite. She also liked to be the boss by taking control on Saturday mornings for house cleaning duties assigning work to her brothers and sisters amidst a clamor of spirited words.
Her love of the arts was evident at a very young age. Piano lessons were part of her early learning and she sang in the school choir and was frequently chosen as a soloist at school concerts. Although music became a big part of Francine's adult life in a different way, drawing became her passion.
A young Francine would work meticulously for hours at the family dining table creating sketches and drawings. For many years her art was put on hold as she raised her young family but more recently her passion was rekindled and her many drawings and paintings are a testimony to her talent. She became a member of the Artists Association of Clarence-Rockland where many of her art pieces have been on display at art shows.
Her taste for art and blending of colours was not confined to the canvas for she loved to make her own clothes from patterns featuring bright, exciting colours and as a keepsake, she had a large and varied collection of twist and twirl marbles in a glass jar.
Before graduating from high school in 1966, she was choosing a “Winter Carnival Princess.” After graduation, she started working at the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in Ottawa. With school now behind her and the whole world in front, Fran’s life was about to change when she met her future husband, David Abraham.
After a courtship and an engagement, Francine and David were married on October 25th, 1969. Francine continued to work at the Met Life until 1974. She then left the insurance industry and with David, started a business called “Musicare.” Musicare became their life as Fran and David worked to build their business providing musical instruments to school children, repairing brass, woodwinds, percussion, string and electronic instruments. Over the past forty years, Francine has been at the office administration helm providing guidance and support to teachers, students and parents.
Soon after starting Musicare, her life was ready for children. In 1975, their first son Andrew was born then a short time later in 1977, Mark arrived. Mothering and business now filled her days and nights. She enjoyed every aspect of it and her creativeness showed through as she spent hours making clothes for the boys as well as the mothering essentials of games, schoolwork and life's lessons.
Enjoying the outdoors, Fran designed a cottage and it was built. Here, many hours of four season fun took place with the children. Fran would dress them up in warm clothing to go out ice fishing, ski dooing, cross country skiing or show shoeing in the woods. Springtime was about making maple syrup and enjoying fresh syrup on pancakes, blueberries and bacon. Summer time meant fishing, swimming, water skiing, boating and outdoor gatherings by the deck on the lake for BBQ’s and a cold beverage. The gathering of cottage friends to celebrate birthdays was something Fran enjoyed as she took pleasure in hosting and cooking for others.
But life is not cut and dry and in 2006, David separated from Fran to pursue a journey with a spiritual teacher seeking understandings about the connection between humanity and what possibilities exist within the universe. Fran accepted this separation knowing that David wears his heart in the right place.
Moving in another direction, Fran continued with her passions including gardening. She loved flowers of all kinds and from the vegetable and fruit gardens, she grew a variety of fresh staples for the table and root cellar and for the freezer she made jams, jellies and pies of all kinds. No one could bypass her cooking.
Spare time was devoted to relaxing with a good book and a cup of tea. This of course changed when the grandchildren Blaiden, Cadence, Kayley, Aleka and Olivia came along. Family was very important to Fran and the cottage life continued in a different location but still in a place where she could watch her grandchildren grow and learn the outdoor skills she gave her sons.
Francine’s choice in life was about being involved. No matter what chapter in her book of life was open, she fully immersed herself in it and more importantly wanted to share it with family and friends.
Francine will be missed by many but never forgotten by those who knew her.