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Frances Soule Hansel, 90, of Walpole passed away peacefully at her home on Nov. 13, 2016, with her family by her side.
Frannie was born Nov. 20, 1925, the youngest of five children of Arthur and Juliet (Kalley) Soule. She was a direct descendant of George Soule, a passenger on the Mayflower and signer of the Mayflower Compact.
Frannie grew up in Waban, Mass., and Brooklyn, N.Y. She attended The Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., and Lasell College in Newton, Mass. In 1945 she married a Marine, her childhood sweetheart, John Hansel. In Riverside, Conn., they raised five children. In 1971, they moved to Harrisville, where they renovated an old blacksmith shop of the Cheshire Mill into a temporary home while they reinvented themselves as locals, rescued the mill and moved the family business to Harrisville. In 1978 they built their home on Cobb Hill in Harrisville with a mile-long driveway and a windmill for power. In 1998 they moved to Walpole.
Frannie saw only the good in everyone. Her blue eyes and bright smile lit up the room. She was an avid and fearless ocean sailor, cruising with her Johnny for almost 70 years off the coast of Maine, Ireland, Greece or Antigua. She was a musician, an artist, an athlete and an optimist. She lived life gracefully and happily while making each person she met feel special.
Frannie was most proud of her family. She leaves her shipmate, navigator and husband of 71 years, John Hansel. She also leaves five children who adored her, Carla Hansel and her husband, Scott Young, Parker Hansel and his wife, Sally, Peter Hansel and his wife, Bridget, Turner Hansel and his wife, Margi, and David Hansel and his wife, Terri; as well as 15 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
There will be a family celebration of Frannie’s life in the spring.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the charity of your choice.
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