She lived through her son Rob’s catching the basement on fire while lighting up a spider on a clothesline, John’s vrooming up and down the property lines on his motorcycle for a month when she grounded him, Ann’s room which always looked like the after-effects of a rummage sale, Jane’s adamant refusal to go to church, and Meg’s tumultuous times with Michie Lozowsky, who is still convinced that she is truly a Milford and was switched at birth. Fran organized the chicken barbeques at her home when the Busos and Shapleys (her siblings and their children) visited from their overseas assignments, ducking flying ice cream bombs, dramatic interpretations of MacBeth complete with stabbings and ketchup-covered tee shirts, hide and seek in the dark games which could cover a quarter-mile radius, (lake-included), and ended after 11 p.m when she hosed and dried them all off, put them in their respective cars, and sent them all home with a big “Whew! Thank God that’s over!”
Her greatest joy was all of her grandchildren; she hosted innumerable visits with tea parties, sandwich platters, sit down dinners, picnics, card games, and lunches when they left school during breaks and brought their friends. Although she often threatened to put up a sign that said, “No Sanctuary,” her house was a refuge for us all. We knew we could come home and she would be there, with us and for us. We have all been gifted by her presence and this legacy.
May she rest in peace, or if given the opportunity, ask the big questions she always considered, and finally get her answers. We love her and she will be missed.
Fran was predeceased by her husband, Robert Stilwell Milford in 1978 and her son, Robert Shapley Milford in 2013. She is survived by her daughters Ann Ade (David) of North Carolina, Jane Cooney (Bud) and Meg Schneider (Robin) of Skaneateles, and her son, John Milford of Pennsylvania as well as 13 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at the Robert D. Gray Funeral Home in Skaneateles on July 20th, at 9 a.m. Burial services will be private. There will be no calling hours.