Jul 11th 1931 - May 31st 2012
All who knew Frances Rodenberger certainly would agree that she put the spice into life. She was fun-loving and vibrant, charismatic and always on the go - to the next clearance sign! The timeless legacy Frances leaves behind is unmatched.
Although they were surrounded by the dark days of the Great Depression, a young couple was filled with unspeakable joy as they welcomed a healthy baby girl into their hearts on July 11, 1931. Baby Frances was the oldest of four children born to her parents, David and Margaret (Knight) Smith, and was raised in the family home on Regent Street in Kalamazoo, Michigan, alongside her three younger brothers. Her father worked for Consumers Power while her mother worked for a local paper mill. Frances attended local schools in Kalamazoo.
As a young woman Fran married Richard Wiers. Together they were blessed with four children: Mary, Larry, Garry and John. Although their marriage ended in divorce after 20 years Frances was forever grateful for the children they shared.
Throughout her working days Fran worked in retail. At first she was at S.S. Kresge, but she later settled in at Hardings Friendly Market in Parchment where she worked as a cashier and head of non-foods. Frances retired in 1988 after 19 years of dedicated service.
New and exciting changes were in store for Frances after a personal ad she placed in the Kalamazoo Gazette was answered by a man named Bob Rodenberger. They met for the first time at Big Boy on Gull Road, and it was love at first sight. The couple was married on Bob’s 57th birthday on January 19, 1985, at General Baptist Church in Parchment.
The couple lived in Comstock and enjoyed doing things like going out to eat, playing bingo, and traveling. Their destinations included Hawaii for the 50th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, an Alaskan cruise in 1992, and a cruise to the Caribbean as well. Fran and Bob also lived in Avon Park, Florida, for seven years where she loved all the festivals and shops down there and the frequent visits from family.
There were so many things to love about Fran. She was a shopaholic who was always in pursuit of the next great sale. Kmart and J.C. Penney were among her favorite stores, and it only seems fitting that she always fussed about being dressed well with coordinating accessories, too. Fran was a crafter who worked with her husband, giving his various projects the little bit of flair they needed. She was known for her cooking, especially her beef and noodles, and she loved baking up a storm around the holidays. With an insatiable sweet tooth from the time she was a young girl, Fran loved teaching her grandchildren how to make and decorate Christmas cookies.
Life will never be the same without Frances Rodenberger here, but the lives of numerous others will be greatly enriched because of her love.
Frances Rodenberger died on May 31, 2012. Fran’s family includes her husband, Robert Rodenberger; 3 children: Mary L. (Jim) Brouwer, Larry A. (Judy) Wiers and John E. Wiers; 7 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; a great-great-granddaughter, stepson, Douglas L. (Christine) Rodenberger and their 3 children: Matthew, Chloe and Hannah; and many nieces and nephews. Fran was preceded in death by a son, Garry R. Wiers and by 3 brothers: Dave, Paul and Don Smith. Services will be held Monday, 11 a.m. with visitation beginning at 10 a.m. at the Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler; 6080 Stadium Dr. 375-2900. Memorial donations may be directed to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com where you can leave a memory.