Frances Mande has lived in Westport for 66 years.
But that’s only 2/3 of her life. Tomorrow (Tuesday), she turns 100.
An avid community member, Fran was a regular at the Senior Center, Westport Library and Levitt Pavilion before the pandemic. During COVID she has stayed engaged over Zoom, participating in current event classes and book clubs.
Frances moved to Westport in 1956 with her husband, Irving Mande. They raised 3 children — Alan, Jerry and Susan — here. Irv died in 2006. Fran continued to live in their home until the pandemic. She moved in with her son in Maryland, waiting for Covid to end.
Fran has many fond memories from her decades in Westport. She loved attending shows at the Westport Country Playhouse, taking her kids and grandkids to Compo Beach and Mario’s restaurant, and participating in many town programs.
She also enjoyed the Westport Road Runners program. She proudly remembers her picture in the Westport News for finishing a 10-mile race, in her 70s.
“I miss going to the Senior Center,” she says. “I used to spend 2 or 3 hours a day there. Suddenly, all that was gone.”
Happily, her return is imminent. Fran comes back Friday, to celebrate her birthday with friends and family.
“I like that,” she says. “It’s sort of a circle. It’s where I raised my family, and where I’m celebrating.”
Her thoughts on turning 100?
“Wow,” she laughs. “How’d I make it?”
The Westport Center for Senior Activities will hold a birthday celebration for Frances Mande this Friday, June 10, from 2 to 4 p.m. All friends and community members are invited.
(Hat tip for this report: Fran’s grandson, Thomas Mande.)
Happy Birthday Fran!!
And many, many more
Happy Birthday! By the way, I’m In Maryland too.
I had the privilege of teaching Fran strength training at the Senior Center for several years prior to the pandemic. Fran came to my classes 2-3 days/week and used the cardio and strength training equipment along with dumbbells and body bars. She never had any excuses as why she could not do something and never complained. She made friends in all of her classes and was an absolute pleasure to talk with and help. I can only hope that I have her strength, independence and outlook on life when I turn 100 years old.
Happiest of birthdays, Fran. I look forward to stopping by the Senior Center on Friday for your most deserved celebration!