Home / Articles / Features / Remembering / MARY FRANCES LAVIN
Print this Article
Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010 07:02 am


June 28, 1934 – June 10, 2010

Mary Frances Lavin (affectionately known as Aunt Mary Fran) left an impression on thousands of young people in central Illinois over her 30-year teaching career. For 34 years she was a public school teacher at Fairview, Dubois, Washington and Lanphier schools. Then after retirement she substituted at Ursuline and Sacred Heart. Students who had Mary Fran will always remember her unique personality and her passion for her subjects. On her students she left an indelible impression. Many students maintained contact with her over the years and she truly cared about them and their families. At her funeral, all of her pallbearers were students she had taught more than 20 years ago – a testament to the legacy of a good teacher.

She was active in the community through her work with more than 20 organizations, including Sangamon County Historical Society, Brinkerhoff Home Auxiliary, Lincoln Library board and Catholic Daughters of America. For 16 years she volunteered as a tour guide at the Old State Capitol, enjoying her time dressing in period garb.

As for why Aunt Mary Fran was special to me, she showed me that a woman could be strong, educated and get what she wanted out of life. I revel in the fact that she had visited all seven continents! She taught me words in French, showed me how to use chopsticks and took me on historical trips – even to Hawaii. In her own way, she showed me that the world was not some place to be afraid of, but to be explored and celebrated.

Through showing me treasures from my own family and from Springfield, Aunt Mary Fran taught me the value of family and how to be proud of who I am and where I am from. She will be greatly missed.

Log in to use your Facebook account with

Login With Facebook Account

Recent Activity on IllinoisTimes


  • Mon
  • Tue
  • Wed
  • Thu
  • Fri
  • Sat
  • Sun