CHESHIRE – Mary Frances Pettay, 103, passed away peacefully on Friday, June 18, 2021, at Elim Park Health Care & Rehabilitation.
Ms. Pettay was born on July 27, 1917 in Salem, Ohio. She was the daughter of the late Carl and Ann Estelle (Loop) Juergens. She was predeceased by her sister Joanne Dalhquist and her life companion Jack Thomas.
She was retired from Avon Products Cosmetics, where she worked as a manager for over 22 years. Fran left a sparkle everywhere she went. Fran moved to Cheshire from Ohio in 1954 where she bought a house with her husband at the time and instead of buying furniture, bought a small sequoia tree and planted it in her back yard that still stands tall above all other trees around it. She loved her garden inside and outside and spent countless hours tending to her home. Fran loved all things bejeweled and glittery and could light up a room with her caring smile and sense of humor. She never missed an opportunity to host a party to bring together family and friends, her annual New Year’s Day party being her favorite event to host where she served her famous pork and sauerkraut and homemade applesauce. Gardening, planting, cooking, playing bridge, and being involved in the community were the simplest pleasures that Fran enjoyed the most.
Shortly after moving to Cheshire, Fran became very active within the Cheshire Community Theatre where she acted, directed, constructed sets and applied makeup. Fran is also a longtime Cheshire Garden Club member and donated many Kousa Dogwood saplings that can be found all throughout Cheshire. One of Pettay’s Kousas still stands tall out in front of Cheshire Arts Place, where she enjoyed attending weekly painting classes. Fran hopes to be remembered each year when the Kousas flowers bloom during late spring.
Fran is survived by her family, John and Sabine Liles in Germany; Cheryl and Jeremy Stanbro, Rome, N.Y.; Michael and Cierra Liles, Fort Benning, Ga.; Thomas Liles and Sean Farrel, Utica, N.Y.; Buck and Carol Novak, Cheshire, Conn.; Lawrence and Paula Loucka, Lady’s Island, S.C.; Dave and Cassie Maliar, Cheshire, Conn.; Brian and Sarah Roper, Plainville, Conn.; Karen Novak and Robert Carter, Southington, Conn.; and Claire Loucka and Carlos Ramos, San Antonio, Texas. She also leaves behind many lifelong friends whom she considered family.
Arrangements – A service was held to celebrate Frances’ life on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, at 10 a.m. at Alderson-Ford Funeral Home of Cheshire, 615 South Main St. Burial followed at Cheshire Hillside Cemetery. Friends could visit with her family on Tuesday evening, June 22, 2021, from 5 until 7 p.m. For online condolences and to share a photo or a story, please visit www.fordfh.com.