Anna Frances “Fran” Wenger, 79, passed from this life to the next at Greencroft Healthcare in Goshen Saturday after coping with cancer in the last four months.
She was born to Mary Ellen (Martin) Zimmerman and Eli B. Zimmerman Oct. 4, 1933, in Blue Ball, Pa.
She is survived by six siblings living in Pennsylvania: Marian Z. (Amos) Zimmerman, Kathryn M. (Milton) Horst, Raymond (Ada Mae) Zimmerman, Mary Jane (Isaac) Musser, Ellie (Mahlon) Oberholtzer and Sylvia (Harold) Martin.
On Aug. 7, 1965, Fran was married to Marion R. Wenger in Goshen. He survives along with their three children, Mark Wenger, Elkhart, Joel (Julie) Wenger, Fortville, and Maria Wenger, Atlanta, Ga. There are five grandchildren living in Indiana: Holly Wenger, Lindy Wenger, Adam Wenger, Hayden Wenger and Coel Wenger.
After a distinguished career in academic nursing as teacher and administrator, Fran was retired as Professor and Director Emerita of the Goshen College Department of Nursing. Drawing on her research and study she wrote for nursing journals, nursing school textbooks and a health care manual in the field of her specialization for her Ph.D. degree, culturally appropriate health care. She combined classroom and clinical teaching with directing travel-study groups abroad. She mentored many students in the health sciences who have similar interests.
Following more than 30 years of post-secondary nursing education, Fran became an activist, serving as liaison for Faith & Health Consortia in an arc from Berkeley, Calif., to Cape Town, Republic of South Africa. She became part of a teaching team enabling Ethiopian university faculty in health sciences for the Carter Center’s Ethiopian Public Health Initiative, a decade-long promotion of grass roots health care which was summarized in a co-authored manual, “Educating Health Professionals in Low Resource Countries; A Global Approach” (Mosby, 2010).
Closer to home, Fran served as a volunteer on the Greencroft Goshen Board and as a volunteer in curriculum planning and dramatic reading for her home congregation, College Mennonite Church.
During these years of public service, Fran found time to be a loving wife and mother and grandmother, and a widely admired friend, all the while relishing her urge to travel and to discover new places and explore different cultures. She was a curious and eager learner.
Friends are invited to a visitation in College Mennonite Church Meeting Room from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday.
An 11 a.m. memorial service is planned in the sanctuary of College Mennonite Church Wednesday, followed by a fellowship meal and sharing among those attending the service.
Memorials may be directed to Mennonite Central Committee US or the Goshen College Department of Nursing.
Yoder-Culp Funeral Home, Goshen, is assisting the family with arrangements.
Online condolences may be sent to www.yoderculpfuneralhome.com.