HORNELL-Mary Frances Dunning, 88, of Hornell St., passed away, surrounded by her loving family, Wednesday afternoon (Feb. 3, 2015) at McAuley Manor in North Hornell.
Born in Hornell on Sept. 6, 1926, she was the eldest child of the late Edward and Kathryn “Katie” McEntee.
A lifelong resident of Hornell, Mary Frances attended St. Ann’s School, graduated from Hornell High School and also attended Geneseo State Teachers College.
Mary Frances often reminisced about working at the Fanny Farmers store in Hornell along with her co-workers, Liz and Margie Green; she also was employed at Steuben Trust Company in the accounting department.
In 1946 she met the love of her life, Richard Dunning, and they courted to the sounds of the Big Band era. Many weekends they would travel to Loon Lake to listen to bands like, Benny Goodman, Ken Whiting and Bob Crosby. The two lovers married on October 31, 1949 and raised a family together giving birth to Kathryn Ann, Jann Lillian Margaret Frances “Peg” and Rich.
After their children were grown, Mary Fran returned to work at the former Irving School and eventually at the former St. Ann’s School in Hornell, where she taught sixth, seventh and eighth grade for 20 years. She was also an entrepreneur and health nut who sold Shaklee vitamins for many years.
Mary Fran and Dick were always involved in the Hornell community. She was a member of the Hornell Republican Club and served as a delegate to the 1968 Republican convention in New York City, a past president of the Hornell PTA and also served as a Bluebird leader. She was an avid reader and loved to knit or crochet clothing for her family. Her warmth and care of her kids and grandchildren will be remembered forever.
She was predeceased by her husband, Richard Dunning, a former mayor of the City of Hornell on May 29, 1989 after 40 years of marriage; all of her siblings, Patrick McEntee, Rosemary “Mitzi” McEntee Murphy, Joan McEntee, Phillip McEntee and her grandson, Robert Hennessey McCarthy.
Her loving family includes her four children, Kathryn Ann (Robert) McCarthy of Horseheads, Jann Lillian McCarthy of Rochester, Margaret Frances “Peg” (Eric) Smith of Wellsboro, Pa. and Rich (Lisa) Dunning of Hornell; her nine grandchildren, Jeffrey Carson, Jamie Carson, Kelly Carson Ector, Sean Patrick McCarthy, Mara Kathleen McCarthy New, Hannah Smith, Lauren Margaret “Maggie” Smith, Richie Dunning and Isabel Anna Dunning.
The Bishop & Johnson Funeral Home, Inc. in Hornell is honored to serve the family of Mary Frances Dunning.
Calling hours are 7-9 p.m. today (Sunday) at the Bishop & Johnson Funeral Home, Inc., 285 Main St., Hornell. Friends are invited to meet her family at St. Ann’s Church where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 1:30 p.m. Monday. Committal prayers and interment will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Town of Fremont.
In lieu of flowers, those wishing may contribute in her memory to the Hornell Area Family YMCA Building Fund, 18 Center St., Hornell, N.Y. 14843. Envelopes for memorial contributions will be available at the funeral home.
Online condolences or remembrances of Mary Frances are welcomed at www.bishopandjohnsonfuneralhome.com.