Mary Geraldine Franzen
The Matriarch of our large family passed away at the age of 97 at home surrounded by her children and family. Mary was born in a house on Bath Street to John and Charlotte Seymour. She was proud of the fact that she was a 6th generation native of Santa Barbara.
She was predeceased by her parents, her husband of 58 years, Aloysius, siblings Virginia Dover, Barbara Stauch and Cecelia Beraldo.
Mary is survived by her children Mary Green and John Franzen of Santa Barbara, Linda Manke Rasmussen of San Antonio, TX and Kathy Christoferson (Bud) of Los Alamos, CA, 11 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren, 24 great-great-grandchildren, plus 2 on the way, in addition to numerous nieces, nephews and cousins from the Dover, Stauch, Beraldo, Schafer, Seymour and Franzen families.
Living such a long life one can just imagine all the changes she experienced; the earthquake of 1925, the great Depression, WWII (she was a “Rosie the Riveter”), man walking on the moon and now our High Tech Age.
She was always reminiscing about the olden days in Santa Barbara; fishing in Mission Creek, riding horseback on State St. and family gatherings at Zaca Lake. During prohibition her family along with local prominent citizens made and shared the “fruit of the vine” at the family home known as “230 West”. Servicemen were always welcomed for a home cooked meal, music and dance.
Being that she never drove a car, she walked or bused all over her beloved city until the age of 95. She was a constant and familiar sight with her shopping cart “hittin’ the streets” and sharing fact and fiction to all.
She was an active member of San Roque Catholic Church until her death. She was also a 50 year member of the Women of the Moose Chapter 525.
She had many talents; she made a museum out of her home with various collections and made a park out of the yard. No one left her home without a gift from either the collection or garden. She was a woman of very many nicknames lovingly bestowed on her. She was famous or infamous for the retelling of old limericks taught to her in childhood.
Mary spent her whole life in Santa Barbara attending Garfield Elementary, La Cumbre Jr. High and graduated in 1941 from Santa Barbara High School. During WWII she met her husband at the local skating rink and married at Camp Cooke, CA in 1943. After her children were grown she travelled all over the country to welcome new babies and attend college graduations of the “kids”. She also made trips to Canada, Spain, France and Italy.
We hated to let her go, but, we smile at the thought of her “hittin’ the streets” in Heaven looking for an ice cream cone and See’s.
Our special thanks to Dr. Elizabeth Kim for her 31 years of caring and in her very last day the staff at Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital-ER, Dr. Daniel Litten and staff on the Med/Surgical Floor, and the VNA Health (Hospice).
A visitation from 6pm to 7pm with Rosary at 7pm at Welsh-Ryce-Haider, 15 E. Sola St. on Friday, October 11. Mass will be held at 10am on Saturday, October 12 at San Roque Catholic Church, 3200 Calle Cedro, immediately followed by burial at Calvary Cemetery. 199 N. Hope Ave. A Celebration of Mama’s Life will follow after at the Moose Lodge, 110 W. Victoria St. In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite charity.