Frances Margaret Welsh
Feb. 2,1930 – September 24, 2020
Fran Welsh was born on February 2, 1930 in Akron, Ohio, the youngest of the four children of Grace and Ed Welsh. Her older sister Mary is deceased; her brother J.V. Welsh lives in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, and her other sister Joanne lives in Maryland.
Fran attended St. Vincent School in Akron from the first grade through graduation from high school. She the attended Ursuline Catholic College for Women in Cleveland and graduated with a BA degree and a teaching credential.
All Fran ever wanted to do was teach and she began immediately for one year at St. Vincent’s and transferred to the Bath-Richfield School District where she taught from 1953 until 1963. Seeking a change in school philosophy, Fran accepted a contract to teach at Ceres High School. She taught for five years and then helped open and staff Argus Continuation High School. She was there for 17 years, 14 as principal. In 1985-’86 she served as Principal of Ceres High and retired the summer of 1986.
Fran was always involved with her parish – St. Jude’s in Ceres-and worked in many areas. Fran was also a member of Soroptimist International of Ceres, Friends of the Ceres Library, and the Ceres Historical Society. Fran’s personal motto was always, “I wanted to be a teacher. God made me a teacher. And wasn’t I the lucky one!”
Postscript Frances (Fran) Margaret Welsh died at home on September 24, 2020. She wrote the above obituary in 2008. Her older sister Joanne died in 2014 and her brother J.V. passed in 2014. Fran is survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
A true “pioneer,” Fran drove 2,500 miles across the United States to accept her new job, sight unseen, at Ceres High School from Fleming Hass. Fran was the first female history teacher at Ceres High.
Fran was so much more than simply “involved” in her Church and a “member” of the above listed organizations. She taught high school catechism, R.C.I.A., and served as a lector for many years. In 2007 she was presented the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, an award conferred by the Pope for distinguished service to the Catholic Church by lay people and clergy. Additionally, she served as an officer for all the above organizations, was awarded Soroptimist of the year in 1982 and was recognized by the city of Ceres as “Citizen of the Year.” Fran began volunteering for Community Hospice in 1979 and did so for many years. Her life was truly one of service and guided by faith.
A truly remarkable woman, I am sure Fran wouldn’t mind if we shared with you a couple more of her mottos: “If you’re lucky enough to be Irish, you’re lucky enough,” and “Keep your eye upon the donut, and not upon the hole.”
Information on Fran’s services will be published when the dates have been confirmed.
Donations may be made to: St. Jude’s Catholic Church, 3824 Mitchell Road, Ceres CA 95307; or Soroptimist International of Ceres P.O. Box 395 Ceres CA 95307.
–Ceres (Calif.) Courier
Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020