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In Memoriam

Frances K. Raeder

COOPERSTOWN – Frances K. “Fran” Raeder, 94, of Cooperstown, passed away Sunday night, October 22, 2023, at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown.

She was born October 12, 1929 in Brooklyn, a daughter of Joseph and Mary (Tecza) Kurdziel.

For many years, Fran worked as an interior designer for Benjamin Moore in Hackensack, New Jersey. During her time there she handled many assignments, including choosing names for new paint colors and “colorizing” the Brookfield Zoo in Illinois.

It was during her years with Benjamin Moore that she met Paul Beckwith Raeder, vice president of their eastern division. Fran and Paul were married October 11, 1980 in Harrington Park, New Jersey.

In 1990, not long after retiring from their careers with Benjamin Moore, Fran and Paul moved to Cooperstown. Paul grew up in Grand Gorge, so he was happy to be near his childhood home. Fran, a New York native, had more modest aspirations. She was quoted in a Friends of Bassett newsletter, “I wanted to live in a small town and I wanted to own a Victorian home. I was thrilled to find all that I’d hoped for in Cooperstown.” And Cooperstown was pleased to have her, as well!

Upon moving to Cooperstown, both Fran and Paul quickly immersed themselves in the community. They volunteered at Bassett Medical Center, St. Mary’s “Our Lady of the Lake” Roman Catholic Church, and the Baseball Hall of Fame. They were also long-time supporters and active members of The Farmer’s Museum and Fenimore Art Museum.

Throughout her life, Fran traveled extensively to all corners of the world, including her many trips to Poland to visit relatives. She loved all kinds of animals and shared her life with multiple dogs over the years. Fran was an avid reader and was known to share “the good ones” with her family and friends. She treated her nieces and nephews like they were her own children, providing love, guidance, and support throughout her life. She was always the “cool aunt”—taking them on adventures they would not have experienced otherwise, such as sightseeing in New York City via limo, a river trip to Russia, and more. She was 94 years young; still vibrant and smart as a whip. She will be very missed!

The family is extremely grateful for the excellent care Fran received from the Bassett nurses, doctors and staff.

In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her husband of 26 years, Paul B. Raeder, who died March 27, 2007; a sister, Stella Lewandowski, and husband, Joseph; and a brother, Edward Kurdziel, and his wives, Arlette Spinney and Joan Sierakowski.

She is survived by nieces and nephews, as well as great-nieces and nephews.

Fran’s family will receive friends from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. Saturday, April 27, 2024, at St. Mary’s “Our Lady of the Lake” Roman Catholic Church, 31 Elm Street, Cooperstown.

Immediately following the visitation, a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. at the church with Fr. Michael Cambi, pastor, officiating. Following the Mass, all are invited to the Parish Hall located directly behind the church for a time of fellowship and refreshment.

Fran will be privately laid to rest near Paul in Fairview Cemetery in Grand Gorge.

In lieu of flowers, Fran’s family respectfully requests that memorial donations in her memory be directed to Angel Network of Cooperstown, Attn: Matt Monahan, PO Box 1186, Cooperstown, NY  13326 or Susquehanna SPCA, 5082-5088 State Highway 28, PO Box 267, Cooperstown, NY 13326.

Arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.


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