Frances (Dugan) Weiffenbach of Falmouth, Mass., who devoted herself to family, friends, her church, the democratic process, and volunteer service, died peacefully on Feb. 29, 2016, at JML Care Center in Falmouth. She was 91 when she slipped away from an earthly life well lived. Fran will long be remembered as the best friend of every dog who had the good fortune to lick her face and place a paw in her hand.
Fran came to the Upper Cape community from Winchester, Mass., in 1977. Her husband, internationally renowned physicist George C. Weiffenbach, Ph.D., predeceased her in January 2003 after 53 years of marriage. She diligently served on Falmouth’s Board of Registrar of Voters for about 20 years and with the League of Women Voters.
In addition to spending many long election days checking in Precinct 6 voters at the Morse Pond School on Jones Road, Fran was an active communicant at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Woods Hole, a dedicated participant in art classes and reading groups, and an avid platform tennis player and professional tennis enthusiast. She spent many a Sunday striving to complete The New York Times’ crossword puzzle.
Fran was born Oct. 23, 1924, and grew up in Nutley, N.J., with her late parents, Francis and Agnes (Dougherty) Dugan and older sister Marguerite, who is also deceased. Fran graduated from Caldwell College for Women in New Jersey with a Bachelor of Science degree in social business in 1946. She played basketball and belonged to the Dramatic Club all four years. She was the basketball team’s captain during her senior season. She worked for the telephone company before marrying Mr. Weiffenbach in December 1949. She accompanied her husband during his science-related trips across this country and abroad.
Fran is survived by her five children and their families: Daughters Mary Fran Buckley, and fiancé Bob Haskell, of Falmouth and Barbara Weiffenbach, and husband Welcome W. Bender, of Brookline; sons G. Thomas Weiffenbach, and wife Cynthia, of Sharon; Paul Weiffenbach, and wife Chaminaa, of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; and John Weiffenbach, and wife Jill Burgholzer, of Saint Michaels, Md.; nine grandchildren, Sara Buckley Fell, Sean Buckley, Jeffrey Guarente, Welcome B. Bender, Matthew, Allison, Michael, Amena and George Weiffenbach; and four great-grandchildren, Conor and Erin Fell and Willa and Waylon Buckley. A son-in-law, Francis Buckley, predeceased her in 2006.
People may pay their respects at the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, 475 Main St., Falmouth, from 4-7 p.m. Friday, March 4. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Patrick’s Church, 511 Main St., Falmouth, at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 5. Interment beside Fran’s husband, a World War II U.S. Army veteran, at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne will be private.
In lieu of flowers, people are encouraged to send donations in Frances Weiffenbach’s memory to The 300 Committee Land Trust, 157 Locust St., Falmouth, MA, 02540 / www.300committee.org; or Friends of the Falmouth Public Library, 300 Main St., Falmouth, MA, 02540; or to a charity of one’s choosing.