HAMILTON — Mary Frances (Fran) Bennett, 86, of Hamilton, passed away Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018, at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula. She was born Aug. 12, 1932, in Green County, Tennessee to Harry James Blazer and Mary Aileen (Carlisle) Blazer. She was raised and educated in Tennessee (except for a move to Cleveland, Ohio, during the war years).
In 1950 she married Ralph Galloway with whom she had her only child, Debbie. In 1962 the family moved to Sacramento, California, for Ralph’s new job. In 1973 Fran and Ralph divorced. Fran then married Jack Bennett in 1974 and remained married to him until his death in 2000. In 2002 she moved to Hamilton to be closer to her daughter and her family.
Fran had several jobs during her lifetime, including positions with Borden’s Foods and Bank of America, but her most beloved job was that of church organist. She was an organist for 37 years, first at Stone Drive Methodist Church in Kingsport, Tennessee, and finally at Lutheran Church of the Ascension in Citrus Heights, California. Her musical ability was a true gift in that she learned how to play the piano and organ all by herself as a child and a young woman.
Fran loved sewing and cooking and after joining Faith Lutheran Church she became a member of the quilters. Making quilts and being with the quilters became one of her favorite activities.
Fran is survived by her daughter Debbie Crane, husband Tom Crane of Hamilton; grandson Peter Crane, wife Natasha, children Inessa and Ryan of Champlin, Minnesota; granddaughter Naomi Crane, husband Doug Hicks of Butte; stepdaughter Debra Jo (Bennett) Hokoana of Bishop, California; and brothers, Ed Blazer of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Bill Blazer of Clearwater, Florida, and their families.
A memorial service to celebrate Fran will be held Saturday, Nov. 17, at 11 a.m., at Faith Lutheran Church, 171 Lewis Ln., Hamilton. Luncheon will follow the service. Please share your condolences with the family by visiting www.dalyleachchapel.com under the obituary section.