Frances Buratovich Memorial — 24 Comments

  1. Dear Ned,

    Thank you for calling today about your dear mother. It is with deep sympathy that I extend my condolences to you and the rest of your family. Ned, you were so loved by your mom, you could see it every time we met. She was blessed to have you as her caregiver. I am sorry that you are having your own struggles and want you to know that we are keeping you in our prayers. Feel free to reach out to us if we can help you in any way.

    Your mom was one of those unique individuals very few of us have the privilege of meeting and getting to know in our lifetime. She had an attitude and outlook on life that was infectious. She had a wonderful spirit and positive attitude you noticed from the first time you spoke to her. My admiration and respect for her grew with each phone call and finally when Fr. Dominic and I met her. I know she will find peace now.

    Frances was a good woman; good to all in her circle of contacts, family, parishioners, friends and neighbors. The extent of her generosity is evident to all who encountered her, her caring and giving ways had an effect on you.

    Please know that Frances will be remembered in our thoughts and prayers as well as prayer for you and your family during this time of mourning.

    • Thank you, Pam, and Fr. Dominic for honoring mom with your visits through the years. Here you are with her after our lunch in April of 2018:

      Father Dominic with Frances and his assistant, Pam in mom's dining room

  2. My aunt Frances was regal. She told me that she remembered when the abdicating king of England, Edward VIII & his new bride Wallis Simpson honeymooned in Lumbarda. She saw them walking near her home. Said they were tipsy from too much alcohol.

    I remember her great sense of humor & how when she laughed it was a deep belly laugh. She knew the meaning of St Francis of Assisi’s famous quote, “For it is in giving that we receive.” She was very generous with her talents sharing with family & friends delicious home cooked meals & beautiful handcrafted works she was always busy with. She lived a full life & will be missed, however remembered most fondly in the hearts of all who knew & loved her.

  3. Teta Frana was my teacher. At the age of 18, I began driving my Baba to the home of Dundo Luke and Teta Frana in Sebastopol so that she could visit with her sister, Frances’ mother, my Teta Teresa. While the two sisters sat sharing stories in their native language, Teta Frana would involve me in her garden, showing me what she was growing and how to plant and harvest, and in her kitchen, showing me how she cooked, and how she organized her kitchen so that things worked smoothly. For the next forty years, I continued those regular visits once my Baba and Teta Teresa had passed, bringing Uncle Nick, her cousin and my mom, to visit.

    Over the years, and today on Thanksgiving, I think of her and feel her presence and support as I pick kale and basil from my garden and prepare meals in my kitchen. Each time I visited, Teta was interested in hearing how all the Music family members were doing. She was a generous listener with so much wisdom to share.

    The last time I saw her, just ten days before she passed, she said to me three things: “We cannot regret the past. We have to move forward and accept whatever comes our way.” “When we give to others we benefit ourselves.” and “Be strong.”

    I know that hundreds of other people have their own version of Frances in their life. We are all blessed and connected in her love. I am grateful for my cousins, Nick and Ned, who cared for her in generous partnership. They are the best examples of what it means to be a good man.

    • Thank you, dear cousin Louise, for your decades of devotion to your Teta Frana. Here you are with her just a few months ago, for her 99th birthday.

      Louise with Frances on her 99th birthday

  4. Frances was a wonderful woman I didn’t know long enough. In the few years I knew her, she taught me grace, acceptance, and gratefulness. She had a terrific sense of humor and I will miss our coffee and biscotti mornings together. She will always have a place in my memory.

    • Rebecca

      Our entire family and community will always be grateful for your caretaking of our dearest mother, aunt and friend

      You saw something in her, and she in you, that was love and nature across continents and time

      You are now a part of the Lumbardan family because of your caring self


    • Thank you Rebecca for these last two years of your loving caregiving for mom. Here you are with her with the cake you decorated for her 98th birthday:

      Caregiver Rebecca with Frances on her 98th birthday

  5. Tete Francie I remember calling her in childhood. My memories of her are at family gatherings with my Tete Bea and others. Those were rich times plentiful of the Croatian tradition that is the root of my growing up. I wish all of the family peace and healing during this time of reflection and loss. Sending Love

    • Thank you Mary. In this photo, taken at Teta Bea’s 90th birthday party in March of 2008, you are with my mom, your mom and John Kunich:

      John Kunich, Mary Lekich, Frances, Babe Lekich

  6. Thank you Ned for being the loving, caring son your Mom needed in her life.
    Sending prayers as you asked and remembering Teta Frances. May she rest in peace among her family and friends in Heaven.

    With affection,
    Fran Bacina Huston

    • Thank you so much, Fran. We shared so many times telling stories and laughing at Lumbarda Club socials and other events. When mom first came to the USA, she was very close with your brother, Ante, who passed away earlier this year. Here is Ante in 1948:


  7. I have missed seeing her at daily mass and then in the past few years only on special occasions!

    Frances was always so kind and loving to all she knew.

    Peace be with Ned and may she be at your side to comfort you.

    • Thank you, David, for the so very many times I walked mom to 9 AM daily Mass, then entrusted her to your care to walk her back. You held her hand, as I did, knowing that she was no longer steady enough to walk on her own.

  8. Dear Ned
    Your gracious and loving mother blessed others with care and kindness. I’d like to send my deep sympathy and condolences of the lost of your mother to you and your family.

    Your mother was an amazing woman . It is my most privilege and honor to graciously meet a lovely woman like your mom whom gave me an honor to call her Auntie Frances since 1975 today and every day . Auntie Frances had a golden warm heart with full of kindness , generosity, and love. I Will never forget the delicious biscotti your mom made whenever I visited her in Oakland . I will never forget the tasty sweet raspberry jam she picked and made from her own lovely garden which she watered with love every day in Sebastopol .

    Auntie Frances was very talented not only in her cooking and baking , but also in her crochet and all other beautiful handcrafted pieces of work she so proudly shared with me and my sisters when we visited her. I was only six years old when your mom opened up her caring loving heart to extend her love and friendship in 1975. A very special loving friendship that my parents, brothers and sisters and I have cherished for over 45 years and will cherish today and always .
    We all will miss our dearest Auntie Frances and will never forget her warm embrace and lovely smiles.

    We love love you Auntie Frances.
    God Bless !

    • At so many of your family events: weddings, baptisms, funerals, my mother and father were ALWAYS seated at a place of honor. When Frances was too ill to attend your father’s 90th birthday party, a few days later, several family members made the two hour drive to be with her. Here’s a photo from that last visit in January 2019:

      Vietnamese family visit

  9. Ned – Your Mom lived a long and sounds like mostly happy life of which you were central. You are marvelous providing all the care you did and we hope you invest in caring for yourself to recover from the labor and stress you endured.

    In sympathy,
    Mary A. C. Fallon and John J. Fallon

    • Thank you so much Mary for your empathy as my care duties for mom increased to the point I could no longer be your web guy. Your understanding of the challenges of being a caregiver 24/7 (you directed the award-winning documentary about it: 24/7 The Movie) was very comforting to me.

  10. I want to thank all of you for allowing me to be one of the few that were able to be with all of you when Frances was laid to rest. It means everything to me and I feel so honored to have been asked.

    Frances is my God Mother, I asked her almost 6 years ago if she would be my God Mother and she said YES! We only knew each other for a few months and we sat next to each other at mass almost everyday But really only said a few words to each other before I asked her.

    From the day she said yes to forever She is my Mom and God Mother, Frances gave me love my mother never did, She showed me how to live the way God would like us to. She would always say, you just have to keep moving forward and don’t let the past stop you from understanding it’s in God’s hands.

    Frances I love you and feel so grateful for you saying you will me my God Mother,
    You are the most beautiful, caring woman that I have ever seen in the world.
    My Heart goes out to you and your family

    Love you Frances
    Love your
    God Daughter

    • Juli, you constantly delighted mom with the cute (and sometimes silly) little gifts that you brought for mom. This particular cherub figurine was her favorite, she took it everywhere and had conversations with it.

      Frances holding cherub figurine

  11. I was thinking of Teta Frana as I was harvesting my massive persimmon tree a couple of days before I learned she had passed. We had gotten the tree about forty years ago while on our way to our first visit to Teta Frana and Dundo Luka after they moved from Oakland to Sebastopol. Teta Frana advised me that day that we would not have to prune the tree much as it grew because persimmons cleaned themselves. Knowing that Teta Frana and Dundo Luka knew a lot about how things should be done, I followed that advice. Brittle branches falling off the tree with the fruit a few days ago reminded me of the simple truth of it. I wondered how Teta Frana knew that as I didn’t remember that she ever had a persimmon tree.

    Then I remembered that once on the way back from a high school trip, while Teta Frana still lived in Oakland, she invited me and my late brother Bob (her godson), as well as the schoolmates with us, over to her house. She served us not the Croatian food we expected but the most delicious spring rolls. She said that she had learned to make them from Vietnamese friends. It must have been her openness to ever learning new things as well as sharp observation that lead her to know about persimmon trees. Furthermore, she must have left quite an impression on our schoolmates that day in Oakland. A couple of years ago one of them surprised me by mentioning Teta Frana and how memorable meeting her that one time decades ago was.

    Teta Frana’s family, the Kriletich’s, and my mom’s family, the Nobilo’s, were next door neighbors in Lumbarda for centuries and were related in various ways too. Both my mom and Teta Frana eventually came to California. I was privileged to have her in my life as I was growing up and our families visited with each other. An abundance of her delicious biscotti often came with her visits. We could count on her hospitality in her beautiful, meticulously kept home when we’d visit the Buratovich’s. She would send us things she had made for us at Christmas. When I went off to college on the East Coast, Teta Frana thoughtfully knitted and presented me with a lovely, thick turtleneck. Teta Frana seemed as much of an aunt to me and my siblings as our own aunt. Like close family, we came to know her strengths — and little quirks too — and loved her for all of who she was.
    She was a good woman with strong faith and love of family. One thing that stood out was that she seemed to try to put her best into everything she did no matter how small. It showed in the perfection and beauty of some of the things she made and more. She must have worked so hard to maintain and do all that she did. I never remember her mentioning that part of it or complaining about it. She must have done it with joy and love.

    Draga Teta Frana, we will miss you. May you have peace and joy in the presence of the perfection of God.

    • Thank you for these vignettes, Kathy. Our moms were always close, they understood each other. Here’s a photo of you with mom taken at Teta Zuva’s memorial in 2014.

      Frances chatting with Kathy

  12. Dear Ned, please accept our deepest condolences on the recent passing of your dear mother, our friend Frances, of which we just became aware. I will be forever grateful for the precious few hours I was privileged to have spent together with her, clumsily attempting to learn crochet but more importantly just listening to her stories. I will never forget that sparkle in her eye especially when she spoke of those she loved. I am keeping you in my meta prayers. Peace.

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