In Memory

Frances Norris (VanGelder) - Class Of 1946


August 12, 1928 – August 5, 2013

Grand Terrace, California

A long-time resident and active participant in the Grand Terrace community, Fran passed away on August 5, 2013 a week before her 85th birthday.

Born in McCook, Nebraska, Fran was the third and youngest child of Leo and Mae Norris. She attended grade school through high school in McCook. In August 1946, she married George Van Gelder after he was discharged from the military following World War II. They subsequently had three children while living in Nebraska. In 1958, the family moved to Grand Terrace where Fran spent the remainder of her life.

Fran was a secretary by profession for 20 years; however, her passions were civic and volunteer activities. She received many commendations and awards for her service and dedication. Fran served on the San Bernardino County Grand Jury, County Juvenile Justice Commission and Adult Correctional Advisory Council. She also served on the Grand Terrace Planning Commission for 17 years, including 5 years as Chairman. Other volunteer work included service at the Grand Terrace Fire Station, St. Bernardine Medical Center Auxiliary and Travelers Aid of the Inland Empire.

She was a member of the American Business Women's Association and Beta Sigma Phi, an international women's organization.

Fran enjoyed music and singing throughout her life. As a youth in Nebraska, she played piano and sang duets with her sister. In Grand Terrace, she joined a Mothers Singers group. Fran was an avid supporter and attendee of the San Bernardino Civic Light Opera and served on the Board of Directors.

Preceded in death by her husband, George, in 2004, and granddaughter Crystal Van Gelder in 1988, Fran is survived by her three children; Randall, Cheryl Drake and Kent, as well as her granddaughter Wendy Drake Jackson and great grandson Drake Jackson.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in memory of Fran Van Gelder to St. Bernardine Medical Center Auxiliary, 2101 North Waterman Ave., San Bernardino, CA 92404.