Frances Duncan Locke (nee Earle)
July 20, 1918 - September 24, 2012
Mom celebrates her 90th Birthday with Grand Children and Great Grand Children
Obituary – Marie Frances Earle Duncan Locke
The family of Marie Frances Earle Duncan Locke, 94 of Montreal, and more recently of Toronto, are saddened to announce her death on September 24th, 2012 at The Briton House.
Frances was born July 20, 1918 in Montreal, Quebec to Arthur and Bernadette Earle. She was educated at the Trafalgar School for Girls in Montreal (1928-1935) and McGill University graduating with a BA in Economics in 1939 at the age of 20. She was blessed with two wonderful marriages, first to Gaylen Rupert Duncan for 49 years until his death in 1988, and then to Dr. John Locke for 13 years until he passed in 2003.
Frances led a full life right up to the end. She was a proud Canadian who raised five children while leading an active life as a community and fundraising volunteer. She was a competitive bridge player becoming a life master and accumulating over 1,600 master points and many awards. She was presented with numerous service awards including Honorary Life Member of the Lake Memphremagog Conservation Authority and the Montreal Association of the Mentally Retarded. She received the Birks Trophy for her work with Combined Health Appeal. Fran received a service award for her fundraising
for the Diabetic Children’s Foundation. She received the Distinguished Service Award from the McGill Graduate's Society. She was the representative for McGill Alumnae to the Canadian Federation of Women. She served as Treasurer of
Mount Royal United Church. She won the Montreal and District Grandmother’s Golf Championship and was a member of the Canadian Senior Women’s Golf.
Frances is survived by her brother Arthur Earle (Betty), and her children John (Helene), Gordon (Elizabeth), Jennifer (Greg), Jamie, daughter in-law Arlene; 14 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her
husband Gaylen Rupert Duncan, her husband John Locke, and her son Gaylen Arthur Duncan.
The family would like to thank the staff at Briton House and also Analyn for their care and support.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. (www.jdrf.ca)
Frances Earle Duncan Locke was a feisty, vibrant and intelligent woman. She was greatly loved and admired by family and friends who will miss her greatly.
Celebration of Life services will be held at St Andrew's United Church, 117 Bloor St East, Toronto on Saturday, October 20 at 11 AM. and at Mount Royal United Church, 1800 boul. Graham, Town of Mount Royal on Monday, October 22 at
Frances Earle Duncan Locke ’35 It is apt that Frances Earle Duncan Locke, graduate of the Class of 1935, a “Traf Old Girl”, is the first donor of the campaign. Her generous gift at a leadership level has given the campaign a great start.
“I can’t tell you how much Traf has meant to me. It has governed me my whole life. My eight years at Traf really molded me as a person.
“When I heard of Trafalgar’s upcoming campaign for endowment, I was thrilled to learn that a sustainable plan was in place to offer more girls the opportunity to attend the school. All girls should have the chance to go to this amazing institution.
“Back in the ‘30s, those who had the privilege of education were told that they owed a debt to society. I fully appreciate the importance of giving back to the excellent school that helped me to be the person who I am today.”
Frances, celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Class of ’35, at the Old Girls’ Reunion, October 2010.
September 27, 2012
MS. Jamie Duncan
93 Hansen Road, Unir 18
Brarnpîon. Ontario L61/SC8
We were very Sorry to learn of)/our mother ’S recent deaih. Frances
Duncan Locke had been a highly respected member of The Roya!
Montreal Golf Club Since 1968,' and in 1998 the Directors were indeed
pleased to convey to her, by election to Honorary membership, the
Members’ esteem and appreciation after a long and meaningful
association with the Club.
It is Members like Fran that make Royal Montreal Such a special place.
She will be greatly missed by all of her friends at the Club; and I will
personally miss the many Chats we had over the years.
As a tribute to her long association with Royal Montreal, the Club's
flag was lowered to half mast in her honour.
On behalf of Ihe Board Direcvtors, Members and Staff of The Royal
Montreal Golf Club, may I offer an expression of deepest sympathy to
all of your family.
General Mañager and Secretary
Tribute to Marie Frances Earle Duncan Locke
October 22, 2012 – Mount Royal United Church, Town of Mount Royal
How can you capture the essence of an amazing life of 94 years? In the case of Marie Frances Earle Duncan Locke, this is a daunting task. My goal is to give you some information about her life that you can take
away with you. The challenge here is what to talk about – there is so much to say.
If your life is defined by the roles you play, then my Mother was a star. She did not just play her roles; she attacked each one of them to the fullest extent of her considerable ability, with energy, focus, and with love. She starred in many roles: Daughter, sister, student, wife, mother, bridge player, golfer, fundraiser, community volunteer,
friend, aunt, grandmother, and great grandmother. It was because of the vigour and spirit that she put into these roles that she touched and profoundly affected so many people during her life. I am going to talk about a few of these roles as a way of celebrating her remarkable life.
Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother
Perhaps Mom’s greatest passion was her love for her family. Raising five children with an age range of 16 years is no easy task. Not only did she instil in us the importance of family, but also her competitive spirit
and her strong values. She worked with all of us on our homework spending days on Latin conjugations and geometry theorems. She escorted us to hockey practices and games, skating lessons, and music lessons. During the summer months she set up and maintained food
supplies, cooked all the meals, settled disputes, supervised swimming, and organized work detail at the cottage.
She was fond of saying that she was responsible for 5 children, 14 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. She took credit for spouses as well and would say something like, “There are 58 people here
because of me.” She was justifiably proud of that.
As a grandmother and great grandmother, she retained detailed knowledge and facts about all her grandchildren and their children. She knew and remembered birthdays, graduations, and milestones and never failed to mark the occasion with a card or phone call.
After she moved to Toronto, my daughter Andrea would pick Mom up every Sunday and bring her to St Andrew’s United church along with her 6 year old daughter Sian. When Mike and Andrea sat down with Sian to tell her that her great grandmother had passed away, she
solemnly looked at them and asked, “Does this mean I don’t have to go to church?”
My mother never once stopped being a mother, right up until the day she died. She used to say, “Once a Mother, always a Mother.” She would phone Jamie daily to check up on her. If you did not talk to her for a week, you would hear about it when you finally did call her.
I found some parting words of advice in her papers that read as follows: “My legacy to you is that you do not live in each other’s pockets but at ALL TIMES SUPPORT EACH OTHER. If this does not take place, then
I have failed as a parent. ACCEPTANCE AND RESPECT AND LOVE PLEASE”
Ok MOM. We got it.
Actually you showed us how to treat each other in your special relationship with your brother Arthur. Fran and Arthur were very close all their lives and both of them are role models for how to maintain a loving relationship with a sibling.
Mom was married to Gaylen Rupert Duncan in 1939. Her marriage to my father Gaylen lasted 49 years until his death in 1988. It was a rock solid marriage full of love and respect. As children, we knew better than to try and play one off against the other – no chance.
After Gaylen died, Mom married Jack Locke. They were married for 13 years until his passing in 2003.
We found many loving poems and notes in Mom’s papers from both my Dad and Jack. Fran would say that she was blessed with two wonderful marriages. We know that is true, but I can’t help but think she played a large role in making both of them wonderful.
Bridge Player, Golfer and Athlete (Competitor)
Fran was a fierce competitor when it came to bridge or golf. She became a silver life master accumulating over 1,600 master points. She invariably would win or be in the top 3 at bridge club. She won her first gold medal for bridge at McGill when she was 17, another one
in Venezuela at the age of 21, and at the age of 90 won the state of Florida with her 85 year old playing partner and student in a tri-state duplicate bridge tournament. She played bridge at a very high level and if her partner was not up to snuff, we would hear about it. She
did not want to waste the taxi money to go to the bridge club unless her partner was an “A” player. Recently her daughter Jenny took up duplicate bridge and was fortunate to play several times with her.
Although she was tough on her, I knew deep down that she was very happy to play with Jenny.
In golf, she won many trophies including the Grandmothers’ Montreal and District Golf Championship in 1979 and had two holes in one during her golfing career. She was a member of the Canadian Ladies Senior Golf association for many years and was made an honorary member of The Royal Montreal Golf Club.
At McGill University, she earned her Athletic Letter.
Mom was very proud of her accomplishments at the Trafalgar School for Girls in Montreal. She attended this school for 8 years. She was captain of the Athletic Association, as well as playing the hymns every
morning for 4 years. Fran received the City and District Savings Medal as the girl who made the best use of her time. She used to say that when she was called up to receive the award, 300 girls stamped their feet in approval.
Fran earned her Bachelor of Arts from McGill in 1939 majoring in Economics and Political Science at the age of 20.
Dedicated Fundraiser, Community Volunteer
Mom’s philosophy was to work in the community as a way of recompensing others for the advantages she had of a university education. She felt that she owed a debt to society and that motivated her throughout her life as a volunteer.
During the 1940’s in Toronto, Mom read to blind university students at Baker Hall. One of those students won the Gold Medal for his year. Returning to Montreal, she continued her volunteer work with a United
When I was a child, our house on Fulton Road in Montreal would spring into action every morning. The phone would start ringing at 8:00 a.m. and go all day. It felt like a busy office. People were calling her about her community activities.
Fran was a member of the McGill Alumnae Society Board of Directors for 16 years and was honoured with the McGill Alumnae Distinguished Service Award in 1989. She represented the Society to the Canadian Federation of University Women for 8 years and convened their annual
banquet in 1986.
She served on the Board of Directors of the Trafalgar Old Girls Association in the 1950’s and again in the 1970’s and 1980’s. She ran their scholarship investment fund.
She was treasurer of the Junior League of Montreal.
She ran the Special Names Ladies for the Combined Health Appeal in Montreal and received the Birks Trophy for her work.
At one point, she was placing 150 volunteers a week at the Peter Hall School for the Mentally Retarded in Montreal when the government took that job over.
She served as treasurer of Mount Royal United Church for 7 years.
She personally raised almost $100,000 for the Diabetic Children’s Foundation.
Is anyone exhausted?
Fran grew up in the years that Canada grew up as a nation. She was born a year after the battle of Vimy Ridge. Her love of Canada and all things Canadian could be seen in her love of hockey, the CFL, her pride in serving Canada through her community service, and her involvement in politics.
Let me tell you the story of Fran and Stephen Harper.
Earlier this year, Mom had gone down to sit outside the doors of the Manulife Center where she was living, when out walked Stephen Harper. When he approached her, she introduced herself, saying,
“My name is Fran Locke and I am 94 years old. I want you to know that I was on the executive of the Mount Royal Liberal Riding association when Pierre Elliot Trudeau received the nomination, and he was in our
living room for a tea party. I have been a Liberal all my life, but I want to tell you that you are doing a very good job!”
Prime Minister Harper called for a picture and you can see this picture at the back of the church.
With all her accomplishments, Mom did not lecture others on their civic duty. She truly embodied her philosophy and expected others to follow her lead. When asked to speak at her 90th birthday and share some lessons on life, she stood up and announced, “If I haven’t taught
you anything by now then it’s too late!!” and sat down amidst much applause.
She was always a great conversationalist. That, combined with her interest in people, meant she could get the life story from any taxi driver, restaurant server, bank teller or helper – in a very short time!
She learned about investments as a child at the dinner table from her father. She managed her investments very well and knew at all times what state they were in.
You cannot live 94 years without experiencing loss. In Mom’s case the most profound losses were the loss of her father, her husband Gaylen Duncan, her husband Jack Locke, and the loss of her son Gaylen.
Throughout these life experiences she exhibited resilience and grace and became a role model for us.
We will miss Mom very much. We were so lucky to have her in our lives as long as we did. We are glad that she did not suffer a long decline. At the end, she left us without pain, with her mental acuity intact and we know that she would have wanted it to be that way. She always said she did not want to be a burden.
When someone who has definite opinions and a strong sense of moral values dies, they are always with you because you know where they would stand on any question or issue. Mom had a very strong relationship with her father, A.P. Earle. She used to tell us he had such
an influence on her life that he was always with her. She would point to her right shoulder and say that he was “right here”. Mom, I know where you are. You are right here. [touch shoulder] You are also sitting on John’s, Jennie’s, Jamie’s, and Arlene’s shoulders and dare I
say, many other shoulders and we all love you for it.
Thank you for your life, your caring, your dedication, your energy and your love. Thank you for showing us how to truly celebrate life and to
live it well.