Sarah Frances Dutton (nee Neely)


Fran Dutton passed away peacefully in her sleep at Kingsway Lodge, St. Marys, Ontario on March 29, 2018 at age 89 after a life of much achievement.

Born to George Franklin and Zella Ann (nee Lane) Neely, she was raised on a farm just outside Dorchester. During the Great Depression, the family moved to London, where Fran received her education and shone, skipping two grades in a single leap. She married Charles (Charlie) Edward Dutton September 29, 1950, had three children, and served as the office manager of Alma Paint in London. Fran played a vital role in the London politics of the 1960s and 70s for Jack Irvine, John Robarts, and John White, and served several times as the deputy returning officer for London North during federal elections. She loved nothing better than the annual road trips that the family took each summer as they motored around North America. She was long a member of Omar Temple No. 111 Daughters of the Nile in London. A creative and talented craftswoman, she excelled at sewing, knitting, cross stitching, quilting, and the 17th-century art of tatting. After she and Charlie moved to St. Marys in 1978, she became a devoted golfer if never a gifted one.

Beloved wife of 53 years to Chuck (as she always called him), who passed away in 2003. Loving mother to Paul and his wife Barbara Dutton of Port Coquitlam BC, Janet Dutton of Toronto ON and Peter Dutton of Whistler BC. Proud grandma to Laura (and her partner Parker) and Kate (and her husband Uriah) Dutton, and great-grandma to Luella. She will be much missed by her family and friends. Predeceased by her brothers and sisters: Marian Gray, Robert Neely, Jean Hare, Peter Neely, Luella Neely, and Sheila Stevenson.

A special thanks to Fairhill Residence and Kingsway Lodge where Fran spent the last 14 years of her life. The family and Fran deeply appreciated the care she received there from all the wonderful people who treated her with much respect, kindness, and love. A special thanks to Bev Graff who stepped in when distant family members could not.

No one will soon forget the twinkle in Fran’s eye, her quick sense of humour, her vast knowledge of the towns, villages, and nooks and crannies of southwestern Ontario, her almost encyclopedic knowledge of the birds of Ontario, or her late-life encounter with puffins in Newfoundland.

Fran will be interred in Dorchester Union Cemetery at a later date. If so inclined, donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada in her memory.

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