Frances “Frankie” E. Remer of Wilmington, Delaware and St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada passed away peacefully on Thursday, October 10, 2019, surrounded by family at her home in Centreville. Born in Baltimore, MD on November 26, 1927, Frankie attended Bryn Mawr Academy and St. Mary’s Boarding School before continuing on to Bradford College. As an extraordinary artist and a patron of the arts, she volunteered at The Delaware Art Museum for many years. Along with her dear friends Ginny Johnstone and Mary Sharp, Frankie opened The Gallery at Centreville in 1961, which continued to be a mainstay for local and regional artists and exhibits until 2010.
Frankie and her late husband John first fell in love with the magic of St. Andrews in the early 1970’s, and wasted no time in making it their second home. An artist at heart, she quickly became involved with Sunbury Shores Arts and Nature Centre, serving on the board of directors in various capacities. She loved hanging artwork for exhibitions, making beautiful wildflower arrangements for openings, and of course encouraging every budding artist who crossed her path. Always anxious to learn, she painted and printed images mostly of nature, which gave her incredibly creative life greater meaning. She bonded with the many people who use the Centre, and they became an important part of her St. Andrews life. In typical Frankie fashion, she was loved and adored by everyone she met, and embraced by the entire town as one of their own. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren were lucky enough to spend many summer days with “Sassie,” as they called her, catching frogs, looking for fairies under toadstools, combing the beach for Indian “artifacts,” painting rocks in her studio, and learning about all of the magic of St. Andrews from the best teacher of all.
Loved by many for her compassion and absolutely disarming joie de vivre, Frankie will be sorely missed by all whose lives she touched. She was the matriarch of the Edmunds, Ketcham and Remer clans and made sure the families stayed in close touch regardless of miles between them. A loving, nurturing and flat-out-fun mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Frankie was also an avid gardener and cook who gifted family and friends with homemade pickles, chutneys and preserves made from the bounty of her beautiful gardens. She was an accomplished fly fisherwoman who could proudly “outfish” any man, a salmon fishing guide, and a true renaissance woman who brightened all of our lives with her wit and whimsy.
Someone once wrote that “there are two important days in a woman’s life: the day she is born and the day she finds out why.” Frankie found her “why” early in life, and she spent the ensuing years teaching others through her grace, strength, warm-heartedness, laughter, determination and overall bad-assery. She faced every obstacle head on, handled every loss with incredible courage, and never faltered or complained about anything thrown her way. Sassie taught all of us the true meaning of unconditional love and acted as the calming force in any storm. Clearly and deeply, she left the world a better place. We are all better people for having known her, and although we can’t bask in the light she shared with all of us any longer, we will always feel the warmth of Frankie’s sun.
Frankie is survived by her children, Christine, Hellie, Jay and Liz; grandchildren Mac, Cammie (Fuzz), Munchie (Wes), Page (Matt), Mastin, Nick and Alden; and great-grandchildren Keely, Finn and Amelia. She was predeceased by her husbands, Frank D. Ketcham and John “Sid” Remer; her daughter, Mabel Ketcham; and her granddaughter, Sarah Keturah Marvel.
Her family would like to extend a special thank you to everyone from Vitas Hospice for taking such incredible care of Frankie (and the rest of us.)
A celebration of Frankie's life will held in the Spring, details to follow. There will be another celebration of Frankie’s life in St Andrews. Date and time as yet undetermined. In Lieu of flowers the family suggests donations made in Frankie’s name to conservationfund.org. To make online condolences and check updated service information, please visit mealeyfuneralhomes.com