Francine Fabiani Peterson
Francine Fabiani Peterson, 72, Marshfield, WI, became an angel on Thanksgiving Day – Thursday, November 22, 2018.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 am on Thursday, November 29, 2018 at St. John’s Catholic Church, Marshfield, where a visitation will be from 9:00 am until service time. Rev. Samuel Martin will officiate. Burial will take place at Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis, where she will receive full military honors. Rembs Funeral Home is assisting the family.
Fran was born on June 25, 1946 in Poughkeepsie, NY, to Frank and Vita (DiLeo) Fabiani. Her namesake was St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of all living creatures. Fran’s love of animals ranged from caring for her faithful dogs to saving injured birds in the backyard.
Fran grew up in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY and moved to Florida with her family to finish high school. She graduated valedictorian of her class from the University of Miami, FL with a degree in nursing. During her college years, she sang as part of an acapella group The Singing Hurricanes and performed with the group on a USO tour. They performed all over the world – from Bob Hope to the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea to military burn units and ICU’s. Fran’s experience singing for wounded soldiers inspired her to become a Navy nurse. She was the first female graduate from the University of Miami – Florida to join the Navy. As a Commander, she served proudly as a Navy nurse for 12 years.
Fran and Doug (Captain, United States Navy, Retired) married November 5, 1972. Fran and Doug together moved 14 times around the United States (including Moscow in 1977) for 21 years in their military career. Wherever they lived, Fran found opportunities to use her amazing alto voice and her skills in interior design to get involved in the arts and education. Fran and family moved to Marshfield, WI in 1991 after Doug’s retirement from the Navy. Fran volunteered for the University of WI – Wood County for 14 years and decorated the school for many musical events and performances.
Fran’s personal life revolved around faith, family, food, music, and animals. She was a proud American. She was an avid gardener. She loved to read – she loved Shakespeare, she loved military mysteries and she loved United States history. Her grace was unmatched. No person who came into contact with Fran left without learning something or feeling a little more special than before they met. Fran was a fierce champion of her son and daughter, and always put a special “Frannie” polish to school outings and events when she volunteered. There is nowhere she wouldn’t drive and nothing she wouldn’t do to encourage and inspire her children’s education and musical study. She supported Doug in his marathon and cycling training and was the best cheerleader a husband could ask for. Wherever she went, you’d find her singing her favorite Tony Bennett classics or singing a couple of her favorite hymns – Amazing Grace and How Great Thou Art. She made playlists for people she cared about, including friends and family who needed music to lift them up during times of personal pain or illness. Her famous Italian cooking fed many stomachs and souls in need of nourishment and she regularly organized fundraisers and food drives for those unfortunate enough to be in the path of a flood or a hurricane. Fran also cared for her mother-in-law, Irene Peterson (also of Marshfield, WI).
Fran is survived by her husband Doug, her two children Bjorn (Stephanie) and Erika, her brother-in-law David, her brother Frank, and her sister Tina.
She is preceded in death by her sister Vita, her sister Rosemarie, her mother Vita, and her Father Frank.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations made to the Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance in her honor.
Fran was a kind and generous soul and a good human being. She was an amazing mother, a devoted wife, and a best friend to many near and far. She was smart, she was hilarious, and she will be sorely missed. One of her favorite quotes was: “I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
The Peterson Family thanks you for your kindness during this time and asks that you pass Frannie’s kindness and grace on to every person you meet.
Condolences may be sent online to www.rembsfh.com