Frances M. DeCillis

December 16, 1935June 11, 2020

Frances (better known as Fran, or Franny) Mortensen DeCillis was born on December 16, 1935 in Everett, MA, and died on June 11, 2020 in Columbia, SC. She was a loving mother and grandmother and is survived by daughter, Kathy DeCillis Decho; son-in-law, Alan Decho and granddaughter, Olivia Decho; son, Nick DeCillis and son, Paul DeCillis; daughter-in-law, Helene DeCillis; grandson, Alexander DeCillis and granddaughters, Natalie and Ava DeCillis.

Fran was the daughter of George and Helen Mortensen of Sayville, NY and the younger sister to the late Roger Mortensen and the late Brian Mortensen and is survived by her sister, Carole Meade and numerous beloved nieces and nephews.

She was a lover of adventure and felt a special connection to nature. She was an eager conversationalist, loved good books, good food, and writing.

Fran grew up in Sayville, NY where she later married Nicholas DeCillis and had three children, Katherine, Nicholas and Paul.

Fran earned an MA in Literature and graduated Suma Cum Laude from Stony Brook University. She taught high school English on Long Island for several years before moving out west to Arizona where she lived from 1980 to 2005. During this time, she served as County Clerk, Elections Director, and Director for Personnel for Santa Cruz county, and spent her free time exploring the local deserts and mountains around Rio Rico Arizona where she lived.

Fran moved back east after retirement where she resided in coastal South Carolina, closer to her children and beloved ocean beaches. Her final days were spent in Columbia, SC.

We would like to thank the staff of the Crossings of Columbia for their invaluable time, effort and affection that they have shown her through these last years. Fran will be missed by all.

Please feel free to sign the online guestbook here on our website. Funeral arrangements will be in NY, and arrangements will be made when safely able to do so due to COVID. Memorials can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Frances M. DeCillis

have a memory or condolence to add?

Ann Grell

June 26, 2020

My favorite story with Franny was when we arranged to give each other a couple "time out" for a weekend. My 4 children would stay with Franny and her 3 children and we had a couple time out . Then her 3 children would come stay with us for a weekend so Franny and Nick could have a couple time out.
An unexpected benefit was that when you only had your own children, that became a "piece of cake". Thanks, Franny , for all the laughs, fun and joy you added to my life with your wonderful free spirit. God put us together to balance out my serious side !!!
I was happy to visit you in Arizona with Ira and we saw so many interesting aspects of your life there.
I miss you, my dear friend and I'll do some catch up "talking time" with you in quietness.

Carolyn Miles

June 11, 2020

Fran was loved by so many in Harmony..She was spoiled by everyone.and she knew how to get her way .She had to be center of attention.and she knew how to stand her ground .When I was staff they could not get her to do anything.Fran had snacks 24 hours a day 7 days a week .Iwill miss her but God called a beautiful angel to spread her wings to eternal life ..