Frances B. “Fannie” Hesser peacefully transitioned to the next life with the love of her life and husband of 65 years, Joseph M. Hesser, holding her hand in the early morning hours of Aug. 11, 2021.
Fannie spent the majority of her 90 fabulous years on earth in her adored hometown of Altoona and in Baltimore, Md., while assisting her husband as he built a family foods empire stretching from central Pennsylvania to the Baltimore/Washington corridor that included the popular Country Garden Markets chain, Country Garden 6-Pack Shops, Hesser Brothers Produce and Lancaster Foods.
Fannie found beauty everywhere she looked, especially at the coast where she indulged her passion for ocean swimming, and found new friends everywhere she went. She and her husband, Joe, enjoyed world travel and regularly visited their three daughters, sons-in-law, 10 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren across the United States. The couple also relished spending their retirement winters in southern Florida.
As an accomplished vocalist, Fannie loved entertaining at many venues in Altoona and North Carolina, and delighted in being a member of the Saint Rose of Lima Choir and Bereavement Choir for some 50 years.
Fannie excelled at creating a beautiful home filled with music, flowers, her wonderful homemade and home-baked foods and orchestrating memorable holidays and parties with her many beloved friends and extended family. Fannie was also a prolific poet and her original works are cherished by many.
Fannie was a 1948 graduate of Altoona High School. She was also a lector at Saint Rose of Lima Church, and regularly read for the blind on the radio. She was a longtime member of The Blairmont Club, Catholic Daughters of America, Navy League, Christian Mothers and Swiss Club.
Her favorite charitable cause was unbound.org which helps children in need in Guatemala.
Fannie was born in November 1930 to Paul and Catherine Coveney.
In addition to her husband, she is survived by three daughters: Katie (Dr. John) Lesica of Fayetteville, N.C., Mary Brooksbank of Los Angeles, Calif., and Amy (Rob) Carrara of Altoona; her brother, James Coveney; and sister, Grace Coveney, both of Hollidaysburg. Fannie is also survived by 10 grandchildren: Maile (Tom) Holman, Jonathan (Erin) Lesica, Cassie, Bonnie, Mandi, Tommy, Josette and Andrew Brooksbank, Connor and Campbell Carrara; and four great-grandchildren: Birdie and George Lesica, and August and Lawrence Holman.
There will be no public visitation. Family and friends are invited to attend Committal Rites at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 20, 2021, at Calvary Cemetery, Altoona.
Local arrangements are by Jones Funeral Home, Altoona.
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