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Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation
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Life Story / Obituary
As her family and friends can surely attest, Nancy Frain truly understood the secret to a life well lived. She was a constant source of strength, even in the most difficult of times, and she was always supportive of those around her. Nothing brought Nancy greater joy than spending time with her loved ones. She was well known for her determination and her solid work ethic and was a true inspiration to all who were near. Deeply loved, Nancy will be forever missed by those who knew her best.
During the first half of the 1940s, William Easley served our country in WWII flying B-17s and B-29s for the Army Air Corp and later as a flight instructor for B-25 advanced training. It was in 1944 when William married his sweetheart, Barbara. Soon after, while our allies declared victory, William went on to attend the U of M Dental School and together, he and Barbara celebrated the birth of a baby girl they named, Nancy Diane on October 30, 1945, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Growing up, Nancy was a typical young girl of her generation in many ways but, according to her beloved grandfather, she was a busy child and no stranger to getting into “trouble”. She was raised in the family home as the oldest of three children, later joined by her brothers, Rob and Jon. When Nancy was seven, the Easley family settled in East Grand Rapids as William joined a local dental practice. While he worked to expand his practice, Barbara dedicated herself to being a homemaker and later owned an antique business, The Heirloom House. Throughout Nancy’s childhood, the Easley family enjoyed sailing together on Reeds Lake and in Muskegon. She enjoyed many family get-togethers, and spending time with friends.
While pursuing her education, Nancy attended Wealthy Elementary School, East Grand Rapids Middle School, and then went on to Cedar Lake Academy, a boarding school. She was a very successful student, but found she had a true love for singing as she sang as a soprano in her school choir as well as in a traveling group. She graduated from Cedar Lake in 1964, ready to move on to bigger and better things.
New and exciting changes were on the horizon for Nancy and as she studied for a nursing degree at Grand Valley College, she met a magnetic and charming man who would soon become her husband, Robert (Bob) Frain. The two first met at an establishment in Grand Rapids in 1968. Bob was a young widow with a son, Kirt. Nancy and Bob were married on March 26, 1969, in Grand Rapids, settling close to his work as a chemist, in Tallmadge Township.
All who knew Nancy can surely agree that, of all the things she loved in life, she treasured her family above all else. She and Bob were overjoyed to welcome four more children into their hearts and home. Christopher joined the Frain family in 1970, followed by Matthew in 1972, Tim in 1973, and finally Jennifer in 1976. Over the years, the family lived in a few different houses on the southwest side of Michigan before settling into a home on Leonard in Tallmadge Township. Nancy certainly had her hands full with five children to care for, but she thrived in her role as a mother and did her best to raise her children into kind and hardworking individuals. Later on, she was thrilled to become a grandmother of 12. Nancy adored her grandchildren and doted on them whenever she could. Though she and Robert ended their marriage in divorce in 1995, she was forever grateful for their years together and the family they shared. Nancy always considered herself blessed to be surrounded by so many loved ones.
Nancy was never afraid to work hard in order to support herself and her family. Later in life, she became a real estate agent and also followed her mother’s footsteps to learn antiques and ran estate sales through the St. Ann’s Guild. As an involved member of her community, Nancy volunteered through her church’s youth Pathfinder’s program. She was a frequent volunteer at her children’s school as well, where she served as a choir director and baked bread to raise money.
Never one to sit still for long, Nancy pursued several hobbies to stay busy in her free time. She was an avid reader, and she would devour books of any topic, especially those related to cooking, health, spiritual life, and self-help. Nancy enjoyed National Geographic Documentaries and classical movies, such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s and The Sound of Music. She would often go on long drives to clear her head or process her problems. Nancy also liked sewing, and she had a lifelong passion for music and singing. She was known for her extensive vocabulary, likely acquired from all of her reading and from her grandfather.
When reflecting on the life of Nancy Frain, it is easy to see both her unwavering strength and her unconditional love for her family. Over the years she faced many different and significant health challenges and through it all, she retained a very positive and upbeat attitude with a fierce will to live with purpose and to support and love those around her. She was a social butterfly who enjoyed surrounding herself with friends and family members. Nancy wholly invested herself and her heart in her friendships, fostering deep and personal relationships with others and was a genuine friend. She was fiercely independent and was never afraid to stand up for what she believed in. Nancy will be forever remember for her resiliency and putting love at the center of her life. Though Nancy will be dearly missed, she leaves behind a priceless legacy that her loved ones will be proud to carry on in her footsteps.
Nancy Diane Frain age 77, of Grand Rapids, passed away on November 26, 2022 surrounded by her family. She was preceded in death by her parents, William and Barbara Easley. Nancy is survived by children, Kirt (Sally) Frain, Christopher (Jamie) Frain, Matthew (Amy) Frain, Tim Frain and Jennifer (Bradley) Taylor; grandchildren, Nathan, Marissa (Kade) Stevens, Tyson, Boomer, Elizabeth, Scott, Levi, Rebecca, Daniel, Isabelle, Andrew and Luke Frain and Gabriella, Alexa and Addison Taylor. Also surviving are her siblings, Rob (Robin) Easley and their son, Marshall Easley and Jon (Barb) Easley. The memorial service will be held at 4 PM on Saturday, December 3, 2022 at Grand Haven SDA Church, 15051 177 Ave Grand Haven, MI 49417. The family will gather for visitation on Friday from 5:30-8 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – Alt and Shawmut Hills Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW. Contributions in her memory may be made to Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. Please visit www.heritagelifestory.com to read Nancy’s life story, submit a favorite memory or photo or to sign the guestbook.