Today I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Fran Fowler, who served as our librarian in Bath for 23 years. Fran was 95 years old.
I was a Hyde sophomore when Fran and her husband Walt began at Hyde in 1969. Walt was the business manager and Fran set about the task of turning the Teak Room into a serviceable library for 120 students and 20+- faculty. She led us through the terrible 1975 fire in the Mansion which gutted the entire library area and a good part of the Mansion’s first floor. Somehow she helped us maintain a working library despite the fact that we essentially did not have the use of the building for two academic years.
Fran also helped us transition from the Teak Room to larger quarters on the 3rd floor of the Mansion in what had been Mr. Hyde’s ballroom. (That space is home to our college counseling offices today.) When she retired in 1992 she was deservedly honored in our school yearbook, The Mansion.
A frequent visitor to campus since her retirement, I’m sure she got a kick out of seeing our current modern facilities in The Chase Library. Although too modest to draw attention to her contributions, Fran Fowler surely lives on at Hyde whenever people and books get together.
Services for Fran will occur this Wednesday (8/20) at 12 Noon at Stetson Funeral Home in nearby Brunswick. Here is a link to more information:
Thank-you, Fran, for all of your efforts on our behalf. Rest in Peace and best wishes to your family.
Onward, Malcolm Gauld