Frances June Kovash

Date of Birth

June 4, 1924

Date of Death

June 29, 2008

City of Death

Santa Barbara

A celebration of life will be held Saturday, July 19th for Frances June Kovash, beloved mother, grandmother and great grandmother, who passed away at Serenity House on June 29 after a long struggle with lung cancer. She was 84.

Frances was born to Peter and Thea Holt on June 4, 1924 in Dickinson, North Dakota. Though she was raised during the depression as the youngest of seven children, Frances did not want for anything. The apple of her daddy’s eye, Frances was rarely punished for her indiscretions. Whether she was hoarding the Christmas candy in her closet or cutting up her sister’s girdle, little “Fa Fa” was always forgiven.

In 1944 Frances married her high school sweetheart, Edward Kovash. As the wife of a military officer, Fran moved several times during her married life. A warm and kind person, Frances quickly made friends at each new location and worked hard to make her family feel at home in their new town. She was a Gray Lady hospital volunteer, performed regularly in the skits and talent shows put on by the Officer’s Wives Club and served as editor of the club’s monthly magazine. She and Ed made many lifelong friends during his years in the service and Fran continued to correspond with them throughout the years.

After Ed retired to Santa Barbara in 1969, Frances worked in the catalog department at Sears for 16 years. This was the perfect job for her, considering her passion for shopping. Fran’s stamina for shopping was legendary. She knew many of the Robinson’s clerks by name and she always had an item in the trunk of her car waiting to be returned (as if she needed an excuse to do more shopping).

Frances loved to entertain and she would often host an impromptu dinner party with seemingly little effort. No matter the occasion-a luau, anniversary dinner, or a night of playing bridge-Fran was eager to welcome family and friends into her home. Frances loved to “play it by ear”, never wanting to be tied to a daily schedule (much to her husband’s chagrin). One thing she and Ed did share was a passion for music and dancing. They regularly attended the Dixieland jazz festivals and the dances hosted by the local Elks Lodge. Fran and Ed called this area home for 35 years before retiring a second time to Sun City West, Arizona.

To paraphrase Will Rogers, Fran never met a child she didn’t like and she particularly enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her easygoing manner and infectious laugh made her a favorite with the youngsters, plus they could always count on Granny Franny for a treat.

A two-time cancer survivor, Frances was grateful for the extraordinary care provided by her medical Dream Team of Rosanna Petronella, P.A., Gregg C. Newman, M.D. and Robert S. Wright, M.D. The family especially thanks Dr. Wright for going above and beyond the call of duty to ensure compassionate care during Fran’s recent illness.

Thanks to the staff of Toltec Living Center for providing Frances with a warm and loving home away from home. And many thanks to Fran’s long-time friends for standing by her during this difficult year and for gathering at Serenity House on the day of her passing to tell stories about the good times they’d shared.

Frances is survived by her sons Gary (Dianne) Kovash of St. Louis, MO and Terry (Sadie) Kovash of Moore, OK; daughter Roxanne (Richard) Erskine of Santa Barbara; seven grandchildren, Kara Kovash, Kimberly Kovash, Christine Kovash, Wade Kovash, Lillyan Kovash, Ryan Erskine and Risa Erskine; two great-grandchildren, Alias Erskine and Sterling Kovash; and numerous nieces and nephews. Frances was preceded in death by her loving husband of 63 years, Edward Kovash. She is loved and missed beyond words.

A celebration of Fran’s life will be held Saturday, July 19th at 11:00 a.m. at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 380 N. Fairview Avenue in Goleta. Donations in Fran’s name may be made to LifeChronicles, 327-A South Salinas Street, Santa Barbara 93103 or to The Cancer Center of Santa Barbara, 300 West Pueblo Street, Santa Barbara 93105.


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