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Welcome to the memorial page for

Frances Robinson

May 15, 1920 ~ February 8, 2017 (age 96)

Frances (Fran) Robinson, 96, known to many as GranFran, passed peacefully in Napa, CA on February 8, 2017. The first of five sisters, Fran was born to Bill and Lalah Todd on a farm outside of Big Spring, Texas in 1920. She married her childhood sweetheart, John Robinson, at their pastor’s home in 1939, and after short jaunts in Long Beach, Texas and San Leandro, the couple settled in Napa, CA. Together, Fran and John were instrumental in the formation of two churches – Halcyon Baptist in San Leandro California and Calvary Baptist Church in Napa. The couple had five children – Michael, Pat, Steve, Mary Beth, and Nancy. In her later years, Fran also spent three years in Cave Springs, AR with her son Pat and his family before returning to Napa.

Fran was a strong support not only to her family, friends and her church, but also to many others who came into her life. She would pray for all and was truly interested in their lives and families. She was a person with whom you could share your struggles and rather than judge, she would pray with you and offer encouragement. Even well into her 90’s, she could recall details about people. Always with mercy and compassion, she accepted everyone, and always saw their potential for success.

She loved sourdough bread, dark chocolate, and tomatoes. From growing up in the Depression, she had little tolerance for waste and did not like to dispose of things, sometimes to her family’s chagrin. Before arthritis hampered her, she played the piano, and loved to garden, cook, sew, and make homemade Christmas ornaments for her many grandchildren. She loved to read and she really loved country gospel music.

But foremost in her life was her love for her Savior, Jesus Christ. Fran was instrumental in the spiritual growth and development of many young people – many who remained close to her throughout her lifetime. Together with her church sisters, she regularly visited those who could not leave their homes, bringing them McDonalds hamburgers and tapes of her Bible study classes and church services. Throughout her life, Fran was a veracious reader of the Bible, even enjoying it on her Kindle in later years where the print could be enlarged to accommodate her failing sight. She could be heard softly singing hymns in the middle of the night when sleep eluded her.

We honor what the scriptures refer to as a great “woman of valor” Frances Robinson. Our Mother, Our GranFran, Our Friend and Teacher.

Fran was preceded in death by her husband, John; daughter, Mary Beth Rose; and sisters, Billye Nance, Joyce Skipalis, and Peggy Domenichelli. She is survived by her sister, Nelle Hopper of Big Spring, Texas; sons, Michael (Kathy), Pat (Eloise), and Steve; her daughter, Nancy Nunley (Brian); 11 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren.

Words of sympathy may be sent to the family on-line at

Burial services will be private, but a Celebration of Fran’s life is planned for March 26 at 2 pm at CrossWalk Community Church in Napa.

 Service Information

Celebration of Life
March 26, 2017

2:00 PM
Crosswalk Community Church
2590 First St
Napa, CA 94558

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