Liturgy of Christian Burial
Obituary of Fran Elias
Fran Elias (née Maccario), a lifelong Madison resident, passed away peacefully on Saturday, October 16, 2021 at her home on North Street. She was 95.
Fran was born in Madison on February 26, 1926 to Michelina & Fiorentino Maccario. She spent the majority of her life at 21 North Street. Fran deeply loved Madison and this family home.
She was born Philomenia Maccario, although she rarely used this name, and instead went by Fannie, Francis or most commonly, Fran.
Her husband, Stephen “Steve” Elias, Sr., predeceased her in 2004 after more than 45 years of marriage, and her daughter, Anne Elias predeceased her in 2010.
Fran is survived by three daughters, Diane Elias-Radler and her husband, Thomas, Madeline Polidor-LeBoeuf and her husband, Lynn LeBoeuf and Stephanie LeBoeuf and her husband, Duane; one son, Stephen Elias and his wife, Claire; nine cherished grandchildren, Megan Radler, Katie Radler, Ryan Radler, Matthew, James, Haley LeBoeuf, Evan LeBoeuf, Ian Elias and Kevin Elias; and many loving nieces and nephews.
Fran was the oldest and last surviving of her five full siblings, Sue Bello and her husband, James, Millie Seaberg and her husband, Swede, Mary Mastrobuono and her husband, James and Carmen Maccario.
She also had five half-siblings which all have passed on before her, Ted DeMaio and his wife, Eleanor, Lena Mercurio and her husband, Frank, Carmen DeMaio, Donna Goduto, James DeMaio and his wife, Lucy.
Fran was a lifelong parishioner of St Vincent Martyr church and graduated from Madison High School.
She worked as secretary for the Madison Board of Education before marrying her husband, Steve in 1958.
Steve & Fran briefly lived in Morristown where her twins were born in 1959. However, upon the life-altering injury of her father and sudden death of her mother in 1960, Fran moved back to her childhood home in Madison to care for her father who was bed-ridden.
Fran’s husband Steve was a police officer in those early years and she took the primary care responsibility for her father’s care and the raising of their five children.
Fran’s husband Steve started the family’s business a few years later (Ely’s Aquatic Farm in Florham Park) and Fran stayed home with the children and her father in the small home where her father’s place was the dining room containing his special hospital bed and furniture. She made this the family home.
Fran’s father lived for 13 years with the family before his passing away which is why 21 North Street became the family hub, especially for holidays.
Fran’s freedom outside the home during those years was very limited. Someone always had to be home with “pop” at all times. Every Saturday Fran would get a sitter for her children and she would go get her hair done. This became a lifelong luxury for her…getting her hair done each week.
It’s also the reason she loved shopping – even grocery shopping, as it provided much needed time out. She would line up packages on the front steps and slowly sneak them into the house thinking somehow Steve didn’t realize what was coming in.
Fran always loved shopping for her children in the early years. That meant the Christmas Sears catalog. Fran literally went crazy at Christmas and it is believed that everything out of that catalog made its way under the family Christmas tree. Catalog shopping was also a lifelong love of Frans, dating back to these days, as was the lifelong love of Christmas as the most special time of the year. The house was open to everyone, from breakfast after Christmas Eve Mass, through Christmas Day and the entire holiday week thru New Years. Fran loved being surrounded by family, food and beautiful sweets. She loved making the holidays special.
Fran would always have an abundance of foods from traditional salami, sausage, and Italian meats like prosciutto and capicola, to beautiful pastries and cakes, one more beautiful than the next, and the more the better. Her tables were the subject of many family photographs, attempting to capture and preserve the unbelievable abundance & beauty. She was a very generous person throughout her life. To Fran, giving meant loving. Making the holidays special meant showing how much love she had for her family.
Over the years her children, in-laws and grandchildren looked forward to her special gifts and beautiful cards commemorating every birthday, anniversary, holiday, graduation and special occasion.
As time freed up in life, Fran would spend a day each week shopping with her sisters and going out to lunch. The sisters loved eating a local diners.
They began having Friday night card parties where Fran loved playing poker with her sisters, their spouses, nieces and nephews. These were grand celebrations of life and family filled with raucous laughter and great competition. Over the years, poker changed into other gambling games such as 31 and pokeno, just to name a few. In her last month, her grandchildren organized an overnight of gambling with grandma to give her something fun to look forward to.
Fran loved everything sparkly and glittery. The more sparkle, the more beautiful her world.
Her grandchildren gave her so many opportunities for her to give that special item to the special child. The “Christmas” stockings, which were in reality baskets, that were overflowing with specially picked gifts. She began for the next year the day after Christmas. A room in the house was dedicated to the Christmas baskets. The children will always remember how special they were to her and each hand-selected item chosen just for them.
Fran was a wonderful loving wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister & aunt. She was a family woman whose life was made up of family moments that will live in the hearts of those who love her forever. She created traditions & special times which will live on. We have all been very lucky to have had her with us with so long.
Rest in Peace Fran. See you again soon.
Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend a visitation to celebrate Fran’s life from 4:00PM to 8:00PM on Thursday, October 28, 2021, held at the Madison Memorial Home, 159 Main Street, Madison. Funeral services will begin at the funeral home at 9:00AM on Friday, October 29, 2021 followed by a 10:00AM Liturgy of Christian Burial at St. Vincent Martyr Church, 26 Green Village Road, Madison. For those that wish, you may attend the Funeral Mass virtually via livestream by visiting www.svmnj.org. *For the safety of all, the family kindly requests that all those attending the visitation and funeral services wear a mask regardless of vaccination status. Interment will follow at St. Vincent’s Cemetery, Madison.
In lieu of flowers, please make charitable contributions in Fran’s memory to the Madison Volunteer Ambulance Corps, 29 Prospect St, Madison, NJ 07940
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