On April 20, 2017, Frances Clara (McFarland) Heavner, 91, departed from her home in Fort Ashby, entering the gates of heaven that were opened wide. She ran into the arms of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ as He proclaimed, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Welcome home." Frances was warmly embraced in a group hug by her husband, Glover "Ed" Heavner; sisters, Ada Elvander and Margaret Jackson; mother, Olive Odgers McFarland; father, Arthur McFarland; and stepmother, Mary Free McFarland.
Frances, or "Fanny" as her friends called her, was born on July 7, 1925, on Maryland Avenue in Cumberland. Frances' mother died when she was nearly two years old, leaving her and her two older sisters motherless. God blessed the family with a sweet angel named Mary to be their new mother. The house was livened by two later arrivals, Virginia "Ginny" and David. They had lots of adventures together at the family farms of their grandparents on Pleasant Valley Road which is now Rocky Gap State Park. She especially loved to sing with her sisters in church.
Following graduation in 1943 from Fort Hill High School, where she was a member of the National Honor Society, Frances attended Catherman's Business School. While working as a secretary, she met the love of her life, Ed, when he came to buy insurance for his car. On their first date, they had to stop and get water out of the creek for his car's radiator, yet she still went on a second date. Ed and Frances were married on April 17, 1949, at the Cumberland First Church of the Nazarene. They lived with Ed's aunt and uncle who reared him as their own, Jasper and Molly Morral of Fort Ashby, until they built their own home on Route 28 near Fort Ashby. There they raised four children and a variety of cats and dogs.
Frances was very active at First Church of the Nazarene, serving on the church board, teaching Sunday school, and participating in LIFT. She loved to take little old ladies to church with her, sharing an example of compassion in action to her kids. Frances encouraged her children in their school, afterschool, and church activities, driving them to 4-H, cheerleading practice, baseball games, and piano lessons. She worked at home, at Grants Dept. Store, for Dr. Richard Williams, and at JC Penny, from where she retired in her 70s.
Frances will be greatly missed by son, Jay Heavner and wife, Vivian, Cocoa, Fla.; daughters, Joyce Hedrick and husband, Bob, Fort Ashby, Janice Lyon and husband, Roger, New Creek, and JoAnn Peterson and husband, Tom, Kingwood. Her legacy lives on in grandchildren, David Lyon and wife, Jessica, Jennifer Strauss and husband, Michael, Allison Smith and husband, Eric, Matthew Fletcher and wife, Heidi, Mark Heavner and wife, Leah, Michael Fletcher and wife, Stacey, Jason Hedrick, Miriah Bell and husband, Ted, Andy and Jared Heavner, Sarah Bliss and husband, Ben; and step-grandsons, David, Johnny, and Jamie Peterson. If she had one fault, it was the pride she had in her great-grandchildren, Makena Strauss, Noah, Kate, Landon, and Lyla Fletcher, Clara and Madeline Bliss, Brooke and Bradley Bell, and Bryson and Ashton Lane. Also mourning Frances' loss are brother, David McFarland and wife, Jeanie; sister, Virginia Northcraft; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Visitation will be held at Upchurch Funeral Home, Inc., Rt. 28, Fort Ashby, on Friday, April 28, 2017, from 4 to 8 p.m.
A service celebrating Frances' life will be at the funeral home on Saturday, April 29, 2017, at 10 a.m. with the Rev. Gary Barkley officiating.
She will be laid to her eternal rest at Fort Ashby Cemetery next to her Ed.
Donations in Frances' memory may be made to either the First Church of the Nazarene, 508 Oldtown Road, Cumberland, MD 21502; or Western Maryland Food Bank, P.O. Box 243, Cumberland, MD 21502.
The family appreciates the kind, compassionate care provided by Frances' caregivers, Carol, Diana, Nancy, Charla, Crystal, Joyce, and Alissa.
Published on April 24, 2017