Frances Joan (Shingledecker) Avery, age 93, went home to her Lord on the afternoon of March 30, 2020 surrounded by her family. She was born at home on November 5, 1926 to Owen Dunning and Ada Mildred (Stillson) Shingledecker. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers Owen Jr., Roger Alan, and Loren George Shingledecker and her sister Annabell Lee Yaw.
Fran is survived by her husband John P. Avery of Osceola, her daughter Janet Tavernier of Battle Creek, Michigan and her son Kevin Avery of Mishawaka. Also surviving are four grandchildren Sarah (James) Lunn of Muizenburg, South Africa, Kate (Rob) Blakely of Nappanee, Rebekah (Adam Shaw) Wells and Adam Tavernier, both of Mishawaka. Surviving as well are eight great-grandchildren; Emma Davidhizar, Madelyn Blakely, Charles Blakely, Shelby Wells, Logan Wells, J.J. Lunn, Hudson Lunn, and Caleb Lunn.
Fran attended Roosevelt, Battell, and Mishawaka High School which she graduated from in 1945. Fran worked as a hall monitor and on the Alltold school paper. She was active in the Mishawaka Alumni Association and her class reunion committees.
Fran was also a hard worker. She started babysitting and house cleaning at age 10. She also worked at McClellan's five and dime store. After graduation, she worked at Ball Band until 1950 when she started working at Oliver Corporation. She also worked as a hall monitor at Elsie Rogers and Kennedy schools where her children attended. Later, Fran worked for 5 years at Notre Dame’s Lobund Lab.
On July 10, 1948, Fran wed John Patrick Avery in Willow Creek United Methodist Church. Fran and John celebrated over 71 years of marriage. After their honeymoon visiting Indiana’s state parks, they moved into the basement of their home. After three years, with the help of family and friends, they were able to finish their home on Francis Street in Mishawaka. In 1969, they moved to their current home in Osceola.
When her children were in Elsie Rogers and Kennedy schools, she was active in their PTA’s, girl scouts and boy scouts as a leader. Fran was active with the North Side Penn Township Volunteer Fire Department since its inception as a telephone call dispatcher, as well as holding several offices in the fire department auxiliary, including President. Her entire family was involved in the annual Jonah Fish Fry fundraisers for the fire department.
Fran was a long time and active member of Pleasant Valley United Church of Christ in Osceola where she served in many positions including teaching, Sunday school Superintendent, Women’s fellowship, and other groups within the church and associations.
Due to the current situation here in the US, a private family graveside service will be held for her husband and children with Dr. James DeFransisco presiding. A memorial service celebrating her life will be held at a later date at Cruz Family Funeral Home in Osceola. An update to the obituary information will be posted as the guidelines for social distancing are relaxed.
The family wishes to thank their many friends and extended family for their prayers, help and food during these last few months. Fran loved everyone and will be greatly missed.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Fran’s name may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice. To leave an online condolence for the Avery family, please follow the links provided on the tribute wall tab above.
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