Obituary: Frances Nash, 96, of Custer. 

January 6, 2022

Fran Nash

Obituary: Frances Nash, 96, of Custer. 

Frances Geraldine Nash, 96, lifelong resident of Custer, passed away on Monday, January 3, 2022 in Manistee.  Fran was born on July 29, 1925 in Custer, the daughter of Robert Fay and Rosa Irene (Porter) Jenks and was raised by her grandparents who attended Sugar Ridge Church of the Brethren.  While at church Fran shared a Sunday school classroom with a dashing young man named Robert Nash.  Later, while attending Custer High School the pair became acquainted again where friendship grew into courtship.  On September 20, 1941 Robert and Fran were married in Ludington and spent the next 65 years by each other’s side until Robert preceded her in death in 2007.  Fran was also preceded in death by her son William; her parents and grandparents; her grandchildren William Taibl, Mindy Nickelson Adams, and Brandy Behnke; two great-grandchildren; her sisters Rose Hilliard and Mary Willcock; her brothers George and Robert Earl Jenks; and her great friend Lois Riffle.

After raising her children Robert, Roger, Barbara, Donna, and William, Fran went to work for the United States Postal Service in Custer where she started as a clerk and eventually became the postmaster for Custer.  While working at the Post Office, Fran heard that John F. Kennedy had been killed and solemnly lowered the flag to half-staff.  His death so impacted Fran that she felt compelled to write his wife Jackie a heartfelt letter expressing her sympathy.  That letter, one of a million letters and cards written to Jackie, was published along with 249 others in a book titled “Letters to Jackie: Condolences from a Grieving Nation” published in 2011.

Throughout her life Fran was always very patriotic and looked for ways to serve her country, her community, and her family.  She was a life member of the Custer Gold Bar VFW Post 5096 Women’s Auxiliary where she served as a trustee and treasurer for many years and assisted many veterans with obtaining benefits.  Fran was also a member of Bachelor Evangelical Covenant Church in Fountain (Sheridan Township), and served with the Mason County Sheriff Victims Assistance group for several years.  She served her friends and neighbors and their children by driving them to different events, doctor appointments, or wherever they needed to go.  She was an avid fan of NASCAR and recently attended races at Richmond and Daytona, loved to write poetry and letters to help encourage those around her, and rarely missed an opportunity to listen to her favorite band “Cats & Jammers” when they played at the VFW hall.

She was surrounded by many great friends made over a lifetime and her family would like to especially thank Sandy and Paul Shanks, Cynthia Nichols, Ken and Donna Miszewski, Denise Martincek, and Tom Anthony for all their assistance and always being able to put a smile on Fran’s face.

Fran will be greatly missed by her daughters Barbara (Bob) Macksam of Radcliff, Ky., and Donna (Bud) Nickelson of Ludington; her sons Robert (Linda) Nash and Roger (Kathy) Nash, all of Custer; her grandchildren Robin Hubbard of North Carolina, Angela Higbie of Cody, Wy., William (Susie) Nash of Shelby, Shannon Nash of Florida, Roger (Becky) Nash of Scottville, Linda (Matt) Dotson of Ludington, William (Amy) Johnson of Grand Rapids, Kimberly Macksam of Grand Rapids, Christine Simington of Butler, Ind., Rick (Ginger) Taibl of Williamsburg, Ella (Kevin) Damkoehler, and Mack Nickelson all of Ludington; numerous great-grandchildren; her sister Dorothy (Bill) Byrd of Barryton, her brother-in-law Wayne Willcock of Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.; many nieces, nephews, and great friends.

A funeral ceremony to honor Fran’s life will be held at noon on Saturday, January 15 at Wyman Funeral & Cremation Services in Scottville with her friend, Rev. Norman Letsinger officiating.  Burial will take place at Lakeside Cemetery in Eden Township in the spring.  Friends may meet with her family on Saturday from 11 a.m. until time of services at the funeral home.  Those who wish to remember Fran with a memorial donation are asked to please consider the Custer Gold Bar VFW Auxiliary.

Please visit Fran’s memory page at to leave a tribute of Fran for her family to read, or to light a candle in her memory.


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