Francine Stern died on July 7, 2021 in Portland, Oregon at the age of 82. She is survived by her sister, Doris Klein; her daughters, Lexi Stern and Eva Stern; her daughter-in-law, Holly Duthie; Eva’s partner, Vahn Armstrong; her brothers-in-law Alvin Schecter and Sheldon Klein; and an abundance of nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. She is preceded in death by her parents, Harry and Anne Feinman, and her sister, Judith Schecter.
Fran was loved by all who met her. She was regarded as the cool mom by her daughters’ friends. She loved her girls and cared deeply about their happiness and well-being. She was caring, gentle, and funny, and very loyal to her friends and family.
Fran (aka Fronzy to her family) was born in Brooklyn on July 3, 1939. She went to James Madison High School in Brooklyn and graduated as an Art major with a minor in European Literature and Speech from Brooklyn College in 1960. She met Daniel Stern, her future husband and father of her children, on a blind date. They were married in 1963 and divorced in 1987.
Her artistic talents were obvious from a very young age, and she went on to have a varied and interesting career. In the early 1960s she worked as an editorial assistant at Mademoiselle Magazine and Automobile Quarterly. She taught art and English at Meyer Levin Junior High School in Brooklyn, NY. She founded her own jewelry making business called Drury Designs, and in the 1980s co-founded a greeting card company called Instant Gratification with her friend Marilyn Harris. She later received her real estate license and worked at Gutterman Real Estate in Great Neck, NY, and at Weichert Realtors and Houlihan Lawrence Realty in White Plains, NY. Wherever she put her energy, one thing is for sure: she did it all her way.
Fran was truly one of a kind. She was a multi-talented artist, bringing her gifts to the media of drawing, photography, sculpting, jewelry making, greeting card design, and sewing. Her graceful and stylish stone sculptures skillfully explored the human form. Her daughters were often the subjects of her photography, and she also sewed them everything from ponchos to a prom dress. Her jewelry pieces were big and bold, with large pendants that her daughters lovingly refer to as “hubcaps”. Even the doodles that lined the borders of her shopping lists were worthy of art exhibitions. Many wonderful memories of her will continue to live on through the treasures that she created.
She moved from Westchester, NY to Portland, OR in 2013. There she found a wonderful community through the Senior Studies Institute at Portland Community College.
Her family would especially like to thank the staff of Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland for the wonderful and compassionate care they gave her in her final days. She went peacefully, listening to Puccini’s Madame Butterfly.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to either the Oregon Symphony or to Multnomah County Animal Services.