Frances L. Vaclavik

August 10, 1922 ~ April 9, 2022 (age 99) 99 Years Old


Frances L. Vaclavik

Frances L. Vaclavik, 99, of Canterbury, was lifted in love when she died in her home on April 9, 2022, surrounded by the entire next three generations of her family.  She was the first child born to Ralph E. and Florence W. Lovell on August 10, 1922.

Frances grew up and lived her entire life on the 100 acres that was the farm her grandfather, Edward Lovell, purchased when he had a yearning to leave city life and move to the country. Ralph followed after being wounded during WWI and married Florence at the big white house near the church. Frances, the oldest of four children, grew up on the family farm where in time, 11 acres of asparagus was cut daily from late April until precisely July 4th and sent to market along with the eggs from 5000 laying hens the Lovells raised.   She grew up during hard years and recounts that they were luckier than most and never went hungry because they were farmers.

At age 16, Frances attended the Connecticut State College (now The University of Connecticut) to study Home Economics for one year before continuing her education at Fannie Farmer’s School of Cookery in Boston.  She loved cooking and baking.  Sharing her homemade creations was one of the many ways that she took care of people. She was famous for her baked beans, crumble cake and pickles. She will always be remembered for her incomparable baked goods and special dishes.

Frances loved her role as a Rural Mail Carrier where she served the people of Canterbury for 30 years in that capacity.  She is known to be the first female carrier in Connecticut. She picked up and delivered everything from letters to and from soldiers and their families during World War II to baby chicks, honey bees, animal pelts and even requested grocery items.

She was married to the love of her life, Edward A. Vaclavik, on July 31,1948, and the two began a life together in Canterbury. While Frances continued to carry the mail, they built their home and their family grew to include three children.  She managed the books for Eddie’s construction company and together they built and operated Ross Hill Campground in Lisbon, CT.

Frances had many interests and talents that she always generously shared with others.  She was an avid gardener who knew the name of every lily and plant in her many gardens.  Her day lilies today are in gardens around the country.  Quilts lovingly made by Frances grace the beds and cribs of relatives and friends alike.  Recipe cards in her hand are in use in countless kitchens. She collected stamps and coins.  Her love of reading also provided others with an endless source of books from her extensive library.

She was a lifelong member of the First Congregational Church of Canterbury - a true pillar of the church.  She was baptized there, became a member at 13 years old and attended nearly every Sunday.

Frances, known as Ooma to her grandchildren, lived 99 full years loving her family and enriching the lives of an untold number of others.  Her friends were many and no stranger remained so for more than 10 minutes.

Frances is survived by her sister, Lydia L. Polomski, of Austin, TX, her daughter Linda V. Congdon and husband Bob of Preston, her son Michael E. Vaclavik and wife Tina of Canterbury.  She is also survived by Eric Congdon and wife Shannon, Michelle Killingsworth and husband Clay, Rebecca Paquette and husband David, Gregory Congdon and wife Kelly, Sean Vaclavik and wife Kari, 14 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

She is predeceased by her beloved Eddie and their daughter Mary F. Vaclavik and her 2 brothers, John and Edward Lovell.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made in her memory to First Congregational Church of Canterbury, 6 South Canterbury Rd., Canterbury, CT 06331.

Calling hours are Thursday, April 14, 2022, from 4pm to 7pm at Gagne-Piechowski Funeral Home.  There will be a Memorial Service Friday, April 15, 2022, at 10am at First Congregational Church of Canterbury. Burial will follow at Carey Cemetery.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Frances L. Vaclavik, please visit our floral store.


April 14, 2022

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Gagne-Piechowski Funeral Home
490 Voluntown Road
Jewett City, CT 06351

Memorial Service
April 15, 2022

10:00 AM
First Congregational Church of Canterbury


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