Frances J Schaefer

June 2, 1927 ~ December 3, 2018 (age 91)

91, passed away happily, quietly, as she had lived her life, on December 3, 2018, of nothing more than old age, in Gardiner Home Hospice.


Fran grew up in Muskegon near Lake Michigan. She was an accomplished ice skater and swimmer. Her father was French Canadian. She graduated from St. Mary of the Woods College with a chemistry degree at a time when there was no work for women in that field. She believed in miracles.  A lifelong Catholic, she was drawn to the mystic saints. She worked on civil rights in the 1940's, running a settlement house in Washington D.C., organizing a soup kitchen, picketing the segregated theaters and cafes.


She worked as a social worker for the state of Arizona for over 25 years. After she retired, she volunteered for St. Vincent de Paul, Andre House, and as a hugger at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital for many years, and belonged to the Legion of Mary and Third Order.


She is preceded in death by her lifelong husband Bill Schaefer, her son Edward Schaefer, her parents Frank and Bea Groleau, and her sisters Barbara and Shirley.  Eight of her children survive her:Cathy, Mark, Billy, Michael, and Brendan Schaefer, Bea Graves, Libby Goff, and Mea Brink, and many grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

A memorial mass for Fran will be held Thursday December 6, 2018 at 9:30 am at St. Francis Church, 4715 N Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ (St. Ignatius Chapel).

Legion of Mary will hold a rosary for her on Wednesday December 5, 2018 in the evening.

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