Francis Olier, beloved husband of the late Mary Eleanor Hughes, adored father, grandfather and great-grandfather passed away peacefully at age 96 on November 15th surrounded by his loving family. He was a remarkable man who led an extraordinary and happy life. He loved and was loved by so many and will be sincerely missed. The son of John and Ida Olier, he grew up with his three sisters, Bea, Millie and Terry and brother John (all pre-deceased), in the Brightwood area of Springfield. He attended Springfield public schools and learned his strict work ethic as a young boy while needing to provide for his family after his father died. Fran joined the Army in 1943 and was very proud to serve his country. In World War II he bravely served in France, England and Germany for three years, being discharged at the rank of Sergeant. After the war, Fran was employed at New England Dental Laboratory on Worthington Street in Springfield. Fran was a very hard-working man – a talented artist, who studied, and perfected his craft and became a well-respected master ceramist. During those years at the lab, he made prosthetics of all kinds for Western Massachusetts Hospital, helping his fellow veterans as well as children with cleft palates and patients in need of implants. He mentored many young men learning the craft and was a guest lecturer at Tufts University Dental School. Fran eventually purchased New England Dental Laboratory and loved owning and working there until his retirement. Fran was a Renaissance man; he was a romantic, artist, musician, songwriter, golfer, a fantastic dancer and pilot. He was a pairs dance roller skating champion and skated in roller derby as well. He was a fun and funny guy - always telling a story, a joke or singing one of his thousands of songs. In 1947 he met the love of his life, Mary Eleanor Hughes. It was love at first sight and a whirlwind romance. Legend has it that he used to dive bomb her parents’ house in his biplane and drop love notes or a bouquet of flowers. They were married on Thanksgiving Day, 1948. Fran and Eleanor soon started a family; their first of four daughters was born in August of 1949. Life was always fun in the Olier household. Lots of wonderful family and friends enriched their lives.The years on Drexel Street were filled with good neighbors and lots of kids. He was a proud member of The Knights of Columbus and spent many a summers day at Lake Lorraine with his family. Fran loved the beach and summer vacations on the Cape were very special times. In 1965 he moved his family from East Springfield to East Longmeadow where they made many friends and watched their girls grow up. In later years, Eleanor and Fran spent their winters in Hollywood and Hallandale Florida with family and friends. He took great joy in walking the beach and even rollerblading (in his 80’s) on the Hollywood boardwalk with his grandkids. He was a wonderful grandfather and was very much involved in his grandchildren’s lives. He loved to travel with his family. He spent his last eight months with his daughter Nancy and son-in-law Bart who – earning the eternal gratitude of his family – lovingly nursed and cared for him until his passing. He was deeply devoted to his sweet and adoring wife Eleanor who he took such wonderful care of for 57 years. They are now together in eternal rest. Fran leaves behind his daughters, Irean Schreiber and her late husband Dr. Herbert Schreiber of Nantucket, Patricia Anne Olier of Wilbraham, Nancy Olier Hill and son-in-law Bart Hill of Ludlow and Francie Olier Richardson and son-in-law Bill Richardson of Wilbraham. He was a wonderful Poppy to eight grandchildren, Meagan Michel, Nikki Calabrese, Christopher Hill, Bobby Hill, Amanda Lyons, Samantha Dennett, Sarah Balicki and Richard Pignataro and to eight great grandchildren Lily and Parker Dennett, Oliver, Rosalind and Isabelle Michel, Rylee and Zoe Balicki and Noah Lyons. A private family service was held on Friday at Saint Patrick’s Church in East Longmeadow. There will be a gathering to celebrate the extraordinary life of Fran in the Spring. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Shriners Hospital and to Compassus Hospice of Northampton.
December 18, 1923 - November 15, 202012/18/192311/15/2020
3 Trees have been planted in memory of Francis Olier.