Frances Therese (White) Kageleiry, of Dover, died early Saturday morning, March 19. She was 89.
Born on October 10, 1932 to Philip White and Susan (Callahan) White, Fran grew up as the baby of the family on Rutland Street in Dover with two sisters, Rosemary and Kathleen, and a brother, John.
She attended St. Mary’s Academy for grammar school and high school, graduating in 1950. She had fond memories of walking from her home on Rutland Street through the woods to go swimming at Bellamy and walking to school each day with her best friend, Elaine Davy.
At St. Mary’s High School, she and her classmates would dance at lunchtime, but she said she “really learned to dance” when she began to date Jim Kageleiry, who was 9 years older, and had been named “best dancer” in his class at Dover High School.
After high school, Fran worked for the Portsmouth office of the IRS for eight years.
During this time she began dating Jim Kageleiry, whom she had met years before.
According to a diary she started keeping at the time, they went dancing, went to the beach, met each other’s friends, and fell in love. She wrote that she was impressed by how everyone smiled when he walked in a room. He would later say that he loved her gentleness, her wicked sense of humor, and her beauty. It didn’t hurt that she was a terrific baker who was able to master some family recipes for Greek pastry.
Jim and Fran married in 1958 and went on to have four children, of whom she was immensely proud, and eventually nine grandchildren and one great grandson. She taught her children to follow their curiosity, to use their manners, to speak up for themselves, and to keep trying when things looked bleak. She led by example.
She often sang around the house, and in high school was known for “never being without a song,”
Fran loved to swim, ride her bike, and cross-country ski. She loved the family dog, Copper. She made friends easily, and kept them for a long time.
She was a charter member of St. Joseph’s Church, and a lector for many years. She volunteered for many civic causes — at church, at school, the hospital, or driving cancer patients for treatment; she would herself become a 25-year survivor of cancer.
For many years, she was a consultant for Mary Kay Cosmetics, where she made many friends. She enjoyed participating in the Garrison Players, and was a member of Cocheco Country Club for years, where she learned to golf. She became known for the beautiful, detailed quilts she made for friends and family.
Fran could occasionally surprise her children with new skills they had no idea she possessed, never mind mastered. Once, while the entire extended family was up at Lake Winnepesaukee, Fran said she’d go waterskiing. Her brother, John, drove the boat, and much to her children’s surprise, Fran immediately got up on her skis. They made a large circle around the waters off Moultonboro Neck, going out of sight for a while, then circled back to shore, where Fran casually dropped a ski and continued on skiing slalom, waving at her family on the beach, who stared back in awe.
She and Jim traveled extensively, to Europe, Greece, Scotland, Ireland, the Caribbean, and on numerous car trips with her family around the United States. She was able to visit all 50 states.
She tried to always look on the bright side of things. She was an excellent listener, a wonderful companion, kind, determined, curious, and gracious.
She was predeceased by her husband, Jim Kageleiry, and by her sister Rose August, and brother John White. She is survived by her sister, Kathleen Ringeisen; her daughter Jamie Kageleiry of Oak Bluffs, Mass., her son Chad and wife Sheila; son Paul and wife Rosalyn; and son John Kageleiry, all of Dover; her grandchildren: Chris, Caroline, and Andrew Kageleiry (and wife Megan); Ian and Hallie MacCormack; Thea and James Kageleiry; Mya and Desmond Kageleiry; and great grandson, Henry Kageleiry; and dozens of cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
Fran was a beautiful person, loving wife, and caring, supportive mother. She is missed.
A wake is planned for Tuesday, March 29, from 4 – 6 pm at Tasker Funeral Home in Dover, N.H.; a funeral mass will be held at St. Joseph’s church in Dover, on Wednesday, March 30, at 11 am, followed by interment at St. Mary’s cemetery in Dover.
Donations may be made to The American Cancer Society, or the Parish of The Assumption in Dover, N.H.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Tasker Funeral Home. Please go to www.taskerfuneralservice.com to sign the online guestbook.
Posted online on March 25, 2022
Published in Portsmouth Herald/Foster’s Daily Democrat/Seacoast Sunday, Portsmouth Herald/Foster’s Daily Democrat/Seacoast Sunday
Tasker Funeral Home 621 Central Ave Dover, NH 03820
March 29, 2022
04:00 PM – 06:00 PM
St. Josephs Church 150 Central Ave Dover, NH
March 30, 2022