August 30, 1935 – April 30, 2021
If you knew her, you loved her. Fran will be remembered for her unfailing kindness, open-mindedness, and bubbly spirit; her sympathetic listening ear, and her wisdom, which she earned through the journey of life. Each chapter in her life grew her into the woman she would become.
Born in Council Bluffs, Iowa to Marvin Lester and Mabel Emma (Shipley) Petersen, Frances Ilene moved west with her family during her teenage years, first to Englewood, Colorado and then to San Mateo, California. After graduation, while working at the Ferry Building in San Francisco, she met and fell in love with a handsome sailor, Fred Petersen and became Frances Petersen Petersen. In time, they moved to Sacramento where their daughters Denise and Lynda were born. The family moved to Modesto in 1960 and welcomed their son Eric a few years later. Fred died in 1974 at the age of 42, leaving Fran to raise three children on her own. This she did bravely, supported by many friends, her church, and her coworkers at Memorial Hospital. Fran met and married Bill Houston and they were together for 12 years before their life paths separated. Several years later, Fran met and married a bright light in Jack Ulrich, who brought a smile and new-found joy to her life. They cherished each other until Jack's death. Fran then married her final love, Stanley Ziegler, with whom she found deep peace and contentment. To see them dancing together in the kitchen was to witness pure happiness. The couple moved to Jerome, MI in 2017. Fran died in Stan's arms, exactly where she wanted to be.
Fran taught us to never pass judgment until you walked a mile in someone's shoes and to love without reservation. She touched so many lives in her long, full life, and left each person feeling happier and more hopeful from having known her. Above all, Fran wanted to love and be loved; in this, she succeeded and made the world better by her presence.
A graveside service will take place at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 21 at Lakewood Cemetery