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Frances Marie (Hansrote) Bechtol
June 6, 1950 ~ February 17, 2022 (age 71) 71 Years Old
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Frances (Fran) Marie Bechtol, age 71, passed away February 17, 2022.
Born in the quaint town of Cumberland, Maryland to Mary Josephine (Nevy) and Richard Hansrote, Fran grew up playing stickball, and kick the can with the neighborhood kids. At the tender age of 8, she announced to her father that she was going to marry one of those neighborhood boys; Charlie Bechtol. Charlie was smitten with her but too shy to say anything, so he kissed her and ran, hoping to dodge a punch. The punch never came, and on July 27, 1968, they were married. Not much later, Fran gave birth to Charles (Chuck) Bechtol Jr. Chuck clearly remembers adolescence, when Fran pulled him aside for an embarrassingly detailed and graphic conversation concerning birds and bees, along with an insistent lesson on how to be a gentleman.
Fran, Charlie and Chuck had lived in Fayetteville, NC for 11 years when they were surprised with a bonus baby girl, Rebecca Bechtol. After forgiving her mother for feeding her pigs feet as a baby, Rebecca soon learned that there was no stopping her mother from supporting her many activities. Fran even became the assistant cheerleading coach for Becky’s squad and later beamed with pride every time she spoke of her daughter’s nursing career. Their relationship transitioned to the best of friends and they enjoyed a trip to Memphis and many trips to the beach together.
The light of Fran’s life came in 2000, when her grandson, Trace Bechtol was born. Fran doted on him, teaching him to love the finer things in life, like pickled eggs and beets, poached eggs and grits at the Waffle House, and how to be her sous chef while standing on a kitchen chair to mix up a huge pot of mashed potatoes.
Fran instilled in her children and grandson an appreciation of the little things in life, like the smell and taste of Fran’s fried chicken, pink flamingos, and how to be still and soak in the beach.
Though raising her children while Charlie was deployed kept her quite busy, Fran took on a variety of jobs through the years, including substitute teacher (don’t misbehave in HER class), and several retail stores. Her first job (in Cumberland) was as an assistant mortician.
In her spare time, Fran was known to be spotted bowling on a league, having temporary obsessions in decorating with geese, owls, and cows, and scouring for a cherished antique.
Fran’s laugh was contagious, and as loud as her love for her family. Janis Joplin spoke to her soul (they are likely sharing a drink now), and Elvis loved her tenderly; so much that he gave her his scarf on one of his last tours!
Fran leaves us with love filled lessons including the importance of loving hard, laughing with your entire soul, and always leaving them wondering what you’ll do next.
Fran is survived by her husband Charlie Bechtol, her children, Chuck Bechtol and Becky Bechtol, and her grandson, Trace Bechtol.
A funeral service will be Tuesday, February 22 at 2:00 PM at Rogers and Breece funeral home. The family will receive friends from 1:00PM to 1:45PM before the service.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to St. Jude’s Hospital.