Frances Hermanson

Frances Puhl Hermanson, 78, of Marshalltown, Iowa, died Tuesday, June 4, 2024, at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, Iowa. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 11, 2024, at St. Francis of Assisi – St. Mary Catholic Church, in Marshalltown, with the Rev. Father Alan Dietzenbach officiating. Interment will be in Riverside Cemetery, in Marshalltown. Visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., with a 7:00 p.m. Vigil Service, Monday, June 10, 2024, at Anderson Funeral Homes in Marshalltown.

Frances Puhl Hermanson was born Feb. 6, 1946, in Spencer, Iowa, to Viola and F. Neil Puhl. In 1949 she moved with her parents to Mason City, Iowa, and was graduated from Mason City High School in 1964. She received her B.A degree in journalism with a minor in mathematics and her M.A. in counseling from the University of Iowa. She was a member of Chi Omega sorority and the honor society Phi Beta Kappa. She also served as editor of the University of Iowa yearbook. In the spring of 1966, she participated in a 10-week Department of State exchange tour with the University of Iowa Symphony Band to Europe and the Soviet Union. She was united in marriage to Paul C. Hermanson on Sept. 2, 1967. They lived in Jacksonville, Florida, while Paul served as a dentist in the U.S. Navy. They then returned to Iowa City where she worked in the University of Iowa Educational Placement Office for two years while Paul completed his orthodontic residency. They settled in Marshalltown in 1975. Fran was passionate about the Marshalltown community and loved donating her time, talent, and treasure to various organizations for the betterment of the place she called home. She was president of the Assistance League of Marshalltown and of PEO Chapter JU; chairman of the YMCA/YWCA Heritage Club; a member of the YWCA Circle of Friends Supportive Membership Drive; a lifelong member of the Marshalltown Hospital Auxiliary; historian for the Franklin Field Gateway Project; long-time volunteer coordinator for Meals on Wheels; a member of the Marshalltown Community School Board; a member of St. Rita’s Study Club; a member of 100 Women Who Care; and an active member of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church. She was particularly proud to have been a founding member of the Marshalltown Auditorium Foundation and Omicron Lambda Delta. Fran cared deeply for her family and friends. She and Paul spent many wonderful years dividing their time between their family cabin on Lake Vermilion, their home in Iowa, and at their place in Padre Island, Texas. Fran was an avid birdwatcher and enjoyed traveling with friends on various birding trips. She loved to read and couldn’t recycle a newspaper or magazine until she’d read it in its entirety. She loved making connections between people, and she was known to clip and send articles to family when she found something that she thought would be of interest to them. She was a wonderful listener and a compassionate adviser. She had beautiful penmanship and was a lovely writer, well known for having just the right words at just the right time. Her favorite pastime was spending time with her grandchildren. She and Paul burned tracks down I-35 from Iowa to Texas to do so. She loved to play games and rarely missed a dance recital, sporting event, or music program. Franny was gracious, thoughtful, kind, selfless, and had a wonderful sense of humor. She demonstrated her faith every day by the way she lived her life. She was an amazing teacher and showed us that we have the opportunity every day to choose how we see and treat others and how we view the world. Even during her last days, she chose to do it with love, positivity, a thumbs up, and a smile.

Fran is survived by her husband of 56 years, Paul of Marshalltown; son John (Patty) Hermanson of Marshalltown; daughter Mary (Andy) Greff of Austin, Texas; grandchildren Noah and Phoebe Hermanson of Marshalltown, and Ellie, Katherine, and Cole Greff of Austin, Texas. She is also survived by her sister-in-law, Dr. Susan Puhl of Iowa City; brother-in-law Dr. Mark (Tammy) Hermanson of Granby, Colorado; niece Liz (Jeff) Fairchild of Sigourney, Iowa; nephew Jake (Jennifer) Puhl of Fargo, North Dakota; and niece Katie Hardie of Granby, Colorado. She also regarded as family Colleen and Gary Christiansen and their children, Erin and Michael.

Fran was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Dr. James Puhl. The family expresses deep appreciation to Dr. Alicia Gerke and the amazing staff in the Intensive Care and Pulmonary Rehab Units at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Memorial contributions may be directed to Trails Inc.- Fran Hermanson Memorial Fund, P. O. Box 1386, Marshalltown, for the creation of a future birdwatching feature along the Iowa River’s Edge Trail; or the Marshalltown Auditorium Foundation, https://marshalltown.revtrak.net/auditorium-foundation/#/list.

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