Frances Edwardine (Twohig) Hansen/Cleveland was born March 21, 1928 in Somerville, Massachusetts to Ed and Luta (Wood)Twohig. The family returned to Kentville, Nova Scotia where Fran spent a wonderful childhood growing up with her three younger brothers Ed, Ron and Frank. Many stories have been told of the rich adventures of these childhood days and of their carefree youth; skating, dancing, driving and motorcycling. Early in life she became a dedicated follower of fashion, always giving great care and thought to her attire. After completing her early education at Highbury School, Kings County Academy and Edgehill, Fran went on to study journalism for two years at Kings College and one year of secretarial studies at Mount Allison University.
In 1950 Fran married Erik Hansen of Coldbrook, NS. They lived in Connecticut, New Jersey and Ontario in the early years of their marriage. When Erik took a teaching position at Acadia University they returned home to Nova Scotia with their two small daughters, Gay and Lee. In Wolfville, daughter Sarah and son Rik were born. Fran poured boundless energy into the things she loved: her children and family, cooking, sewing, knitting, entertaining, Brownies and Girl Guides, dancing, swimming, paddling, hiking, skiing and of course reading. Always reading. Summers at the cottage were filled with sunshine and salt, good food shared with family and friends, swimming lessons, boating, fishing, sailing and the wonderful books Mom would read to us on those rainy days.
As her children grew Fran continued her studies at Acadia part-time, earning a B.A., a B.Ed. and a M.A. in English. In the late 1970’s Fran left her marriage to explore new horizons.. She pursued a varied teaching career, never staying in one position for long but always enjoying a challenge. She taught for a number of years in the prison system at Springhill and taught English as a second language with CUSO which took her to Kuching, Malaysia for three years. Running and traveling filled her spare time while in Malaysia. Upon her return Fran lived in Bedford, where she ran a driving school. She eventually in settled in Kentville to be near her parents and family. She helped to manage the Twohig apartments, retiring in 1998.
After retirement Fran found new love in her current husband Eric Cleveland. Fran and Eric fell in love on the dance floor and after several months as dance partners they were married in December 1998. Fran embraced Eric’s children and family as her own and was honoured by the way they did the same for her. Eric and Fran shared many common interests such as music and theatre, the Sierra Club, Council of Canadians, Blomidon Naturalists Society, Nature Conservancy of Canada, the promotion of alternate energy use and environmental stewardship. Fran enjoyed creative writing through Acadia’s Life Long Learning Program, singing lessons and was active in the Canadian Federation of University Women.
Together Fran and Eric faced her diagnosis with Lewy Bodies Dementia and its subsequent challenges. These were difficult days for Fran and her family as she lost the ability to enjoy her many interests and had to lay aside one activity after another. Fran remained at home until 2007 when she was hospitalized and eventually placed in a Nursing Home. She continued to dance, sing and entertain during her years in care, almost always with a ready smile. In 2010 she developed breast cancer.