Mary Frances Beeker Sheldon, age 84, of Island Lake, died Tuesday, March 12, 2013, at Wauconda Care Center.
She was born January 20, 1929 in Fremont, Ohio to Harold P. and Blanche M. (Rafferty) Beeker. Raised in Fremont, she graduated from Fremont Ross High School and Ohio University in Athens, Ohio in 1951 with a bachelor of arts degree. Moving to Chicago in 1956, she lived in the Hyde Park area before making her home in Island Lake for the past 44 years.
Early in her career, she was on WHKK Radio in Akron, Ohio, using the on-air name of Fran Foster. She was also the Women’s Programming Director for the station, and was part of a live Saturday Morning Children’s program called “Tell-A-Tale”. Later in her career, she was employed for many years as a proofreader and editor, working for Encyclopedia Britannica, Who’s Who of America, and a medical publisher in Barrington. Books and reading were everything to her, so she was thrilled to work in her last position at Krochs and Brentanos bookstore.
After moving to McHenry County, she embraced her love of nature by volunteering at the Volo Bog, where she wrote articles and did layout work for their newsletter. She loved all aspects of nature, and was “green” before it was popular. She also dedicated herself to the preservation and restoration of Slocum Lake. She enjoyed taking walks, and loved to share her knowledge about plants and wildlife with her grandsons. An animal lover, she enjoyed the companionship of many pets through the years. Her family enjoyed her skills as a wonderful cook.
She is survived by a son, Richard (Barb) Sheldon of Crystal Lake; two grandchildren, Steven and Greg Sheldon, both of Crystal Lake; a sister, Dr. Ruth Beeker of Tucson, Arizona; and her former husband, Richard G. Sheldon of Sarasota, Florida.
She was preceded in death by her parents.
Per her wishes, there will be no services. The cremation rite will be accorded privately.
Arrangements were entrusted to Justen Funeral Home & Crematory, 3700 W. Charles J. Miller Road, McHenry.
For information, call the funeral home at 815-385-2400, or visit www.justenfh.com, where friends may leave an on-line condolence message for her family.