Fran Page, 76, of Stevensville, MT, passed away June 2, 2017 at St. Patrick Hospital after a nearly month-long series of increasingly complex medical difficulties.
Born Frances Jeanette Sokolofsky to Victor Alexander Sokolofsky and Pauline Marie Bertch on the family farm on March 28, 1941, near Carson, ND, Fran graduated from Carson High School in 1959. She went on to attend Bismarck Junior College where she studied clerical subjects and first began in retail sales.
On November 19, 1962 she married Charles Michael Page at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Bismarck, while they both worked at the State Capital. The couple later moved to Fargo where, through her work as a savings and loan secretary, she helped her husband obtain his degree at NDSU.
They later moved to Grand Forks, where he initially was a counselor for the Employment Service and she began a successful career as a manager for Tupperware. It was during this time that the couple celebrated the birth of their daughter, Becky, and son, Charles Jr.
For more than 20 years, the couple lived in various parts of Grand Forks including on the UND campus, while her husband pursued his doctoral degree and worked for the Medical Center Rehabilitation Hospital. Fran stayed busy working in clerical, party plan sales, and managed a clothing store in the local mall. She became an important and valued community volunteer—particularly on behalf of St. Michael’s Catholic Church, where she coordinated wedding receptions and oversaw major catering functions. Fran acquired many friends throughout her life and participated in numerous activities including the sport of curling.
In 1984, the couple moved to Missoula, where her husband directed the Rehab Center at Community Medical Center. Fran became office manager for Ernst Home & Nursery, a position she held until the closing of the corporate chain in the late 1990s. Once again, Fran was an active volunteer for many community organizations, especially relating to preparing food, hosting countless numbers of homestay guests, both foreign and domestic, either “up in the Rattlesnake” and “up on Parkview” for more than 20 years. They spent a great deal of time exploring Montana, taking in local events, cross-country skiing, and day hiking.
In “retirement” Fran kept up her hostess duties and, for a period of nearly five years, cared for seniors in their homes and assisted living facilities who were on hospice and/or had Alzheimer’s. She was particularly gifted in providing comfort to folks at the end of life, and would have continued had not her own condition of a debilitating neuropathy intervened these past five years. During the past decade the couple has lived in the beautiful Bitterroot Valley near Stevensville, which she dearly loved.
Fran is survived by Charles, her husband of 54 years, her daughter, Becky Page Garner (Rowdy), grandsons Grady and Will Garner; son Charles Jr., granddaughter Emily, and so many others by birth and marriage who had the great fortune to have known and loved this very special person. She did not want a formal service to mark her passing, however, a celebration of this well-lived life will be held later this summer.
The family wishes to thank the professional staff of St. Patrick’s Hospital for the outstanding care received during Fran’s stay.