Frances "Fran" Goodwin (Barker) Melia, of Needham, loving wife, mother, grandmother and friend, passed on November 7, 2022.
She goes to join her husband of 57 years, Robert G. Melia Sr., her parents Roland and Margaret Barker, her brother Roland Barker, Jr., and his wife of many years Beverly, as well as her cousin and his wife, Richard and Barbara Barker.
She is survived by her sons and their wives: Robert G. Melia, Jr. and Stephanie of Orlando; Stephen A. Melia, Sr. and Maura of Millis; and Joshua R. Melia, Sr. and Lynne of Needham. Fran loved her six grandchildren who called her "Grandma": Stephen A. Melia, Jr., Samantha Melia, Marissa Melia, Robert G. Melia, III, Joshua R. Melia, Jr. and Annabella Melia. She is also survived by her caring sister-in-law, Geraldine (Melia) Fetch of Needham and Bluffton, SC, her nephew, James Fetch of Newton, many other nephews and cousins in and around Cape Cod, as well as countless friends and neighbors.
She was born on March 28, 1937 in Glen Ridge, New Jersey and grew up in Upper Montclair, NJ. Fran graduated from Montclair Senior High School in 1955. She then attended the University of Rochester nursing program and graduated in 1957. She continued her education with postgraduate degrees from Columbia University (1960) and Boston University (1965). She held an active nursing license in the State of Massachusetts for 57 years, practicing and teaching in multiple hospitals, universities and local and state agencies. Fran spent countless hours giving not only to her family, but to everyone she encountered; Fran did not know a stranger. Her love of people and education led her to teaching and working with young children long after most of her peers had retired.
“Sweet Beautiful Fran” loved the arts, Cape Cod, New York City, tennis and sailing. A lifelong reader who loved to learn, she was also an avid walker whether it was finding the hidden gems in an around Needham or traveling across the Bass River Bridge to get her daily Dunkin Donuts. Fran was also famous for her gardens, helping neighbors and her own children to cultivate beautiful flowers and plants year-round. Fran loved her grandchildren and enjoyed spending time with them, sharing stories of her own childhood, and taking them on multiple adventures up and down the Eastern Seaboard from New England to Florida, including frequent trips to the beach and museums and the zoo.
Relatives and Friends are kindly invited to a Celebration of Life Service for Bob and Fran on Saturday, December 17th at 11am at the First Baptist Church of Needham, 858 Great Plain Ave, Needham.