Frances Katherine Mazzei
April 18, 1926 – July 20, 2020
Frances Mazzei, 94, passed away peacefully at her home on July 20, 2020. She was a great Woman, Mother, Grandmother and Great-Grandmother. Frances was born on April 18, 1926, in Fresno, the daughter of the late Catherine and Michael Lerda.
Frances cherished & was extremely proud of the family she has left behind; a family that was devoted to her care. As many of you know, she greatly enjoyed sharing the stories of our lives, over and over again, at every opportunity...often with Fran’s special creative embellishments. She was well known for her world class lack of patience, not holding back her opinion, her penchant to tell it like it is, and she had a knack for making others feel special. For Frances, there was always something in the world that needed saving... and she was there to do it. Adversity was no adversary for Fran. Her resilience in light of challenge inspired her family, friends, and all those who had the fortune of knowing her. Fran always found meaning in life’s difficulties. She helped others to appreciate all the good life had to offer, instead of wallowing in sadness. Her optimism was a driving factor in her full and fruitful life.
One of her favorite sayings was “Never let anyone tell you that you cannot do something, you just have to work hard.” And she lived those words...she worked hard all of her life; raised 3 children while working fulltime and didn’t retire from her employment until the age of 90.
Frances was a champion for girl’s sports; she served as the Director of the Fresno Volleyball Club. For decades she represented Fresno volleyball club and was an integral part of countless young athletes achieving scholarships to play volleyball collegiately. Because Fran grew up in an era during which women's sports were non-existent, she highly valued providing the opportunity for girl’s participation in sports. To pursue this passion Fran navigated the athletic world to become an icon in the sport of age group volleyball.
Frances lived at the Windham Senior Living Community in Fresno, where she was beloved and remained fiercely independent until the end.
Frances was preceded in death by husband Rudolph Valentino Mazzei and brother Mike Lerda. She leaves behind her devoted, loving and appreciative daughters, Denise (Mazzei) Kinder, and husband Bruce; Christine (Mazzei) Goldman and husband Greg; Diane Mazzei and wife Susan. She was blessed in life by four granddaughters, whom she treasured and adored: Jessica (Kinder) Bennink and husband Corry; Kristen (Kinder) Holman and husband Jeff; Chloe and Shelby Goldman, as well as her four beloved great-grandchildren, “the Little’s”: Casey Bennink, Jordan Bennink, Ryan Holman and Andie Holman.
All who dearly loved her will never forget her grit, undying love, and caring nature.
In lieu of remembrance gifts or flowers for Frances, please consider a donation to the Marjorie Mason Center, 1600 M Street Fresno, CA 93721, (559) 237-4706 or you may have a mass said for her at any Catholic church.
She will be missed by not only the entire family, but by the community she touched on a daily basis.
Frances Katherine Mazzei
July 30, 2020
Fran was awesome and awe-inspiring. My sincerest condolences to Fran's family. May her memory forever be a blessing.
July 28, 2020
I got to see Fran and have lunch with her a few months ago. I never thought it would be the last time i would see her. She was a dear friend of mine. I met her in 2007 when i started working for CCLD. Fran showed me the ropes and took me under her wing. She worked harder than anyone there. We became good friends and she would always stop by the house if I was sick to see if I needed anything. She was always taking care of someone. She loved her family especially her granddaughters. She was such a strong woman..a fighter..who took no crap from anyone. I loved her for that. She will be dearly missed and I feel lucky to have known her . See you on the other side my friend! Love you.
July 23, 2020
We at CCLD are saddened by Fran's passing. She served as an inspiration to so many of us. Her sweet, kind, and tenacious spirit was infectious. When Fran talked about her family, her face lit up. Her family was her world as I'm sure she was theirs. My heartfelt condolences. May God comfort you during this difficult time and give you peace in knowing that you will see her again.
Claudia Henley (Hille)
July 22, 2020
I was so saddened to hear about Fran. I worked with Fran many years at CCL, and at one time I was her supervisor. She was always willing to help her co-workers in any way she could. Fran was so dedicated to her job while at CCL. I can remember all the stories that she would share about her family life/events and oh how her face would just "glow" as she was sharing about her family with others. The loss of someone is never easy. Fran will always be in your hearts and memories forever. Sending healing prayers to all of you.