Wilmington - My dear mother passed away peacefully on October 7, 2021 in the comfort of the home she shared with her daughter Patricia Frances Lehman.
Frances was born in Wilmington, Delaware, on the brink of the Great Depression, to Sherman Dawson Thomas and Sara Mae Taylor Thomas. She was the only girl among four brothers. Her uncle and aunt, William May Garvine and Florence Way Taylor Garvine, helped to raise the siblings. She was proud to be a third-generation Delaware native. Frances was predeceased by her husband, William John Lehman, Jr., and her four brothers: Jehu Swithin Taylor, Sherman Taylor Thomas, Norman H. Thomas, and Robert T. Thomas.
Frances graduated from Alexis I. du Pont High School, where she participated in choir, marching band, and orchestra (violin). She attended the University of Delaware after winning one of twenty scholarships meant to boost the supply of area teachers. Local high school students were evaluated based on interviews and competitive examinations. She was a member of Kappa Delta Pi, the honor society in education. While still a student, Frances was chosen as a youth delegate to the Mid-Century White House Conference on Children and Youth in Washington, D.C.
Frances met her husband at UD on the first day of classes and they married following their graduations, over the Easter holiday.
Frances was one of the first teachers at Greenville Elementary School, which opened in 1952, and she also taught at Oak Grove Elementary School. Later in life, she used her teaching skills in the activities department of Hillside Center, where she presented many original and interesting programs. Perhaps one of the most fun jobs was working in the gift shop during the Fabergé exhibit at the Riverfront Arts Center.
Frances’s greatest gift was as a mother who cheered and supported all of her daughter’s interests and accomplishments. She wholeheartedly believed, and frequently declared, that Patricia could do anything she set her mind to. We are a team forever.
My mother was an avid reader, enjoying hundreds of books from the Hockessin Library. Please consider a memorial contribution, specified for large-print books, to Friends of the Hockessin Library, P.O. Box 55, Hockessin, Delaware, 19707 (www.friendsofthehockessinlibrary.org).
I would like to personally thank all of my mother’s doctors throughout the years, and everyone at ChristianaCare Newark and Wilmington, and Delaware Hospice, for their compassionate care.
My mother had a strong faith in God and in His plan for her life.
Frances was fully engaged in current events, including the recent citizen space flights. Although we both agreed that space travel was not for us, my mother now has transcended the earthly boundaries of flight to earn the ultimate set of wings.
Services will be held privately. For online condolences visit: www.mccreryandharra.com