Frances belonged to the Royal-Airs Drum and Bugle Corps and she was deeply missed when she died. I was a member of the Color Guard and Frances was our Color Guard Captain. As a survivor of the OLA fire and as a member of the corps, we (the corps) always remembered all of the OLA victims on the Anniversary of the fire by playing taps at Queen of Heaven Cemetery. Frances was one of three members of the corps that died as a result of the fire (Roger Ramlow-bugler and Valerie Thoma-color guard member, were the other two). Our prayers are with you Frances.
-- (Carol Woodall, Friend)
I remember Frances for her involvement in school activities. She was elected Vice President of Room 211, and was on the 8th grade class council, which was involved in planning events for the class. She was quite involved, and was always coming up with ideas. She was a real leader, and recognized by her class. She was very outgoing and well liked.
Frances was one of three girls who came back in the room from some type of school assistance, and told Sister Helaine that there was smoke in the hall. Karen Hobik and Janet Delaria were the others. I sat by the door, and saw the light smoke in the hall. Both Frances and Karen died, but could have survived if they did not come back into the hall to advise us of the fire. All three girls were very brave.
-- (Ed Glanz, Friend)
When I was about 3-4 years old, I remember going through a bottom dresser drawer full of family photos with my mother. We came across a 4 x 5 black and white picture of Frances. My mother told me that Frances was either my cousin or her cousin (I don't remember that detail) and had just died in a fire. At the time, it didn't seem to mean much. We lived in Miami, and I had never met Frances. My mother told me that my sister, Linda, had, and that they were about the same age.
It has always seemed odd to me that, even at 4 years old, I can picture us sitting on the floor with all those photos scattered around and her singling out that one to show me. My guess is that she was doing that right after learning of the fire and was going through the drawer to find the picture and I was just tagging along.
About ten years ago, my Aunt Marie found the book "To Sleep with the Angels" and bought several copies. My mother gave me hers, and it's on my bookshelf. I've read it three times.
My sister is a judge, and I'm a scientist now. Imagine what might have been if not for that fire.
-- (William Jones, Cousin)