Madison/Stevens Point - Frances (Fran) Kostka Wood, age 87 passed away peacefully on Saturday, November 30, 2013 at Heritage-Monona. She was born in Stevens Point, WI, on May 17, 1926, the daughter of August and Anna (Dayo) Kostka.
On August 27, 1966 Fran was united in marriage to George E. Wood at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church.
Fran had degrees in English and Speech and a Masters degree in Library Science from UW-Milwaukee.
She worked several years on UW-Madison campus with the University Industry Research Program and later with the Engineering Library Information Services Division. Fran's passions were travel; theatre; reading; dancing; estate, garage and book sales; teaching English as a second language; volunteering; and yes, she also had her pilot's license.
Fran is survived by loving family members and many dear friends that include Nancy and Warren Onken. She was preceded in death by her husband in 2009 and her parents. A Mass of Christian burial will be held at OUR LADY QUEEN OF PEACE CATHOLIC CHURCH, 401 S. Owen Drive , Madison, WI, on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. with Monsignor Kenneth Fiedler officiating. A visitation will be held at the church Wednesday at 9:30 until the time of Mass. Burial will be at Resurrection Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer's & Dementia Alliance of WI, Agrace HospiceCare, or a charity of your choice.
Thanks so much to the caring staff at Heritage-Monona and Agrace HospiceCare for the respect, loving care and support provided Fran. Memory of her will be cherished by friends who shared her enthusiasm and would wish that Fran and George rest in peace.
More than anything else, Fran was a mentor. She taught me the fine art of working with people.
I live in the Stevens Point area and read of Fran's passing in our newspaper. My mother, Eleanor (Mosey) Buretta, of Manitowoc, deceased) was a cousin to Fran. Unforunately, I only met or spoke with Fran on a couple occasions. I recall that my mother and her siblings -- Virginia Benzinger, Mary Olive Dworak (deceased), & Mary Mosey (deceased) always enjoyed staying in touch with their cousin, Franny. On behalf of them, I wish to extend my sincere condolences.
Fran will be remembered as a long-time member of the Zonta Club of Madison, having joined in 1970 and serving as president and area director in her earlier days. She had been active in rummage sales used to raise money for their charitable work and had later enjoyed holding garage sales with friends. Though she hadn't been able to participate in recent Club activities, she still enjoyed attending meetings and seeing old friends again and will be missed by all who remember her.
I still remember the first time I met Fran and Enid. I was a student worker at the old Engineering Library in 1975 and she had heard I was interested in Library School. She seemed a bit formidable at first but it didn't take long to become friends. I ended up working directly for Fran by the time I was a senior and then a grad student. I learned so much from her then and in the years that have followed. She was a mentor, a friend and my other mother. She had a love for life, for friends and for excelling at whatever she did. she loved to track down things that others had trouble finding and I found that I loved doing that myself and I do it everyday as an engineering librarian with a firm that investigates how and why things of all types fail. I will miss you Fran but will never forget you. You were a fantastic role model!
Fran was also a mentor and dear friend. Through my friend Diane Egbert I sought out Fran in 1991 upon my return from New York. She was extremely support in my effort to jump start my career in Library Science in Madison. She and George, along with their friends, opened their doors to my 9 year old son and I during the Christmas holiday. She and George were also very helpful to me during my son's school years--for wish I will always be deeply grateful. I will miss our get-togethers for coffee and/or lunch to do catch-up. I will miss her tremendously, I am grateful, however, that she I met her and we became friends, as she truly enriched my life. Love you Fran.
There are so many memories, it's hard to know where to start. My first memory of Fran was when she was working at MURA and came to the Engineering Library to get information for a staff member. And she always ore high heels. (As I remember, Fran hated boots and winter.) She tolerated - for Georg's sake - cats and even grew a little fond of them. I remember her first Ford car, but I didn't feel very safe riding with her behind the wheel. Fran had her hair done regularly and loved Perfect Brandy Manhattans. So far as she was concerned, Milwaukee was home, and she talked often about riding the bus between there and Madison: how she could go to sleep, and when she woke up she knew exactly how far (long) to Madison.
In later years Fran and I traveled together, and I vividly recall yanking her back on the curb when we were in England and she looked for traffic coming from the left.
Fran was good at many things: Hiring good people, selling information services to commercial customers, knowing who to contact in a given campus library for what information.
I will miss her.
I worked for Fran in the Information Services Division 1970-1972. She was great to work with and we remained friends over the decades. I loved her zest for life, her kindness, her fine mind. She was one of a kind and I will miss her.
Fran became my mentor when I started working in the UW-Madison campus libraries, and I learned an enormous amount from her about using reference tools and being a good librarian. She also became a good friend to me and to my wife, Perri. We shall miss her very much.
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