Frances T. “Frannie” (Palumbo) Coffey, passed away Sept 17th at the age of 65 surrounded by her children after a courageous battle with cancer. Born in Cambridge and raised in Somerville, she was the daughter of the late Raymond “Louie” and Elizabeth “Lizzie” (Cota) Palumbo.
Frannie was the loving mother of Shonna Scalfani and her husband John of Wilmington, Shailagh Coffey and her fiancée Ryan Epps of Methuen, Michael Coffey of Lawrence and Jennifer Matthews and her husband David of Methuen. Adoring and loving Nonnie to Juliana, Jackson, Ryan, Benjamin, Leo and Ciara.
Frannie came from a tight Italian family that meant everything to her. She was fondly referred to as “Baby Frances” by her many cousins that were like brothers and sisters to her. If she wasn’t helping out in the flower shop owned by her mom and aunts she could be found “down the house” on Mansfield St. helping one of the Cota girls whip up some sort of family feast. Although cooking wasn’t one of her best gifts, her one baking victory would be her Charmalla Christmas cookies that were the best in the family.
Frannie raised her three daughters and son in Taunton. She loved them beyond words, and everything she did was for them. They always knew, mom was there for them. She enjoyed every minute with them, watching them grow, start their own families and enjoyed many wonderful trips to St. John with them. Her proudest moments in life were being there to welcome her grandkids into the world. She would light up with her huge smile when speaking to anyone about them. Her proudest accomplishment was her family- which meant everything to her.
In 2016 Frannie and her family received a miracle and celebrated her second chance at life to the fullest. She saw each day as a gift and was sure to spend it surrounded with family and friends. She showed us all what it meant to be a fighter and a true survivor; she never complained. Her fighting spirit was true to who Frannie was. No matter what obstacle was put in her way, she faced it with grace and spunk and would say “Its ok, everything happens for a reason”.
Fondly referred to for years as “Nurse Frannie”, she finally made it official becoming a registered nurse at the age 52. Always a hard worker, she graduated Quincy College at the top of her class all while working full time at Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Frannie made lifelong friends everywhere she went. She treated everyone with respect, made them laugh, and all who met her fell in love with her authenticity and abundant sense of humor. She was especially fond of all of her MGH caretakers who remained close friends. Frannie will be missed by all her family as well as countless friends. She asked them not to be upset with her passing but to continue to celebrate her with laughter, love and generosity every day.
Relatives and friends are most respectfully invited to attend a Funeral Mass in St. Athanasius Church, 300 Haverhill St., Reading on Monday, Sept. 23rd at 11am. Visiting hours at the Funeral Home on Sunday from 4-7 pm. Interment private. Please omit flowers and make donations in Frannie’s name to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105-1905.
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