Edgefield – Fran Beals passed away peacefully at home on Friday, June 30th. She was a devoted wife, married to her loving husband for 70 years, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, extraordinary teacher, volunteer, gardener, and world traveler. She was a resident of Edgefield County for nearly 60 years. Fran was born in Buffalo, NY on November 16, 1927, as an only child to Cornelius and Claudia Coakley. She is survived by her husband Richard (Dick) Beals and their 4 children and spouses: Rodney and Jane Beals, Karen and Lidvin Kjerengtroen, Cindy and Robert Gilbert and Neil and Monique Beals. Also surviving are 10 grandchildren: Lars, Heidi, Kristoffer, Sara, Hannah, Thomas, Clara, Nicholas, Monique, and Christopher; along with 9 great grandchildren.
Fran graduated from Buffalo Seminary college prep for girls and after graduation started one of her many adventures by traveling alone cross country on a train to California and entering Stanford University. She is a graduate of Stanford University in Graphic Design, was a student at Lowell Institute of Technology in Textile Design where she met her husband and later graduated from University of SC with a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education. She obtained a further certification in Gifted and Talented Education.
Fran was involved with so many activities over her life. She was a scout leader, taught swimming believing it was critical to all, volunteered at the Episcopal Churches everywhere the family lived and was an officer in the local Les Dames Des Fleurs Garden Club service organization. Her curiosity drove her learning which was infectious to her and to us all. She began teaching her youngest son in public school, but she went on to meet the challenges of teaching science to the many talented students at St. Mary’s School in Aiken. She impacted the lives of everyone she met particularly students by encouraging excellence, curiosity, and persistence. After 12 years at St. Mary’s School, she went on to teach and further develop the gifted and talented resource program in the WE Parker Elementary School. She used her life to motivate others, incentivized learning, and rejoiced in her student’s successes.
Fran embraced the challenges of country living in a historic old house. During all this, she became an avid photographer documenting all her explorations and family ventures. Fran was interested in the people she met all over the world during the many eco-tours she and her husband enjoyed. These trips revealed her warm loving concern, fueled her adventuresome character, and most of all demonstrated her love for learning. Fran did not live for herself but for others. She was a true blessing and will be missed by so many.
The family is ever so appreciative of the caregivers who graciously and tirelessly cared for Fran over the past 9 years: Dale, Deloris, Annie, Ethel, Debra, Gail, and Pearl. Private graveside services are planned for later in July. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her memory at St. Mary Help of Christians Catholic School, 118 York ST SE, Aiken SC 29801 (803-649-2071).