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Frances Mary Vidas Green, 83

Frances Mary Vidas Green, age 83 of Salem, Oregon, passed away peacefully on October 20, 2011, with her family by her side after a short and courageous battle with cancer. 

Frances (Fran) was born on December 20, 1927, in Melcher, Iowa, to parents Joseph and Mary Vidas who emigrated from Croatia. Fran, along with her parents, older brother Philip, and younger sister Eva, settled on the family farm in Baudette, Minnesota. She attended Border Elementary School and graduated from Baudette High School in 1945. Fran received her Bachelors of Arts in Education from Bemidji State College in 1948 and attended Chapman College for graduate studies in education. Before moving to Salem in 2001, she lived and worked from 1961 to 2001 in Chula Vista, California, and previously lived in Tustin, California, Misawa, Japan and throughout the Iron Range of the Midwest.  

Fran was a dedicated teacher and spent over 40 years teaching at the elementary level in Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Japan, and California. Fran’s 29 years of teaching primarily second grade in the Chula Vista School District included Harborside, Rohr, Vista Square, Cook, and Loma Verde schools. She retired in 1990 and worked in the family printing business in National City, California.

Fran was a tremendous cook, baker, and the perfect hostess. She was extremely proud of her Croatian heritage and shared the customs, foods and traditions with all. Fran’s kindness, grace and love were shared with so many through her correspondences, fresh bouquets, and/or a plate of homemade sweets. Upon moving to Salem to be near her family and granddaughter Danielle, she continued to embrace this role.  Her kindheartedness was also evident as she served as a volunteer at Abiqua School working each week for the last six years helping children with their reading.

Fran enjoyed spending time with friends in several groups including Newcomers Club and the Writing Group at Center 50+. A collection of her stories, travels, reflections, and wisdom written for class were put together to create a memoirs book titled ‘The Childhood and Life of Frances Mary Vidas Green’. 

Fran was preceded in death by her parents Joseph and Mary; brother Philip; and husband Thomas. She is survived by her son Mark (Karen) of Salem; sister Eva Young of Chula Vista, Ca; granddaughter Danielle; as well as numerous other family members.

A funeral mass will be held Friday, November 18th at 3:00pm at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 721 Chemeketa Street NE, Salem, OR, followed by a Celebration of Life from 5:00pm to 8:00pm at The Dye Room at the Willamette Heritage Center at the Mill (Mission Mill), 1313 Mill Street SE, Salem, OR.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a donation be made to the ‘Frances Vidas Green Scholarship Fund’ at Pioneer Trust Bank, PO Box 2305, Salem, OR 97308. Checks can be made payable to the ‘Frances Vidas Green Scholarship Fund’.

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