Obituary for Frances Jeanette Poplin

Frances Jeanette Poplin

Frances Jeanette Poplin

On 9th January, 1938 Frederick and Florence Stanley (nee Woodcock) welcomed their third daughter Frances Jeanette as a younger sister to Mary and Pat.

Frances Jeanette also known as Jeanette, Net, Nan, Aunty Net, Nanny Net and just Jan was born in Boorowa and apart from a short time after she was married, lived all of her life at 48 Scott Street, Boorowa.

Here she enjoyed a happy childhood being spoilt by her older sisters.

Jan attended St Joseph’s School, Boorowa where she developed many life-long friendships along with a love of sport.

Her skill with sport was honed along with many of the neighbourhood children who on summer afternoons would congregate at Kelly’s corner and play until it was time for bed.

When Jan left school, she helped her sister, Pat who had been stricken with polio look after her children for a while.

Soon after she scored a job as cook/ cleaner and babysitter at the Courthouse Hotel.

She then went on to be the cleaner at Boorowa Pastoral Supplies and Boorowa Council Chambers where she completed 40 years of service on her retirement in 1998.

In later years she also picked up a job working part-time for Lyn Thomas in her material shop.

In her late teens and twenties Jan along with most of the young people in town spent Friday nights attending balls and Saturday nights at dances.

It was on a trip to a ball at Rugby one night that they got to Phil’s creek to find it flooded.

The driver was reluctant to drive through but one of the girls egged on by Jan and others decided to hitch up her skirt and wade through.

On safely reaching the other side she told the driver If I can make it so can you.

With Jan and the others insisting: the driver reluctantly drove on and they made the ball.

It is at these balls and dances and during the Catholic Youth Group outings that romance blossomed between Jan and George.

As a young couple, they loved travelling around the country to attend card nights and dances.

We have been informed over the years by many locals that when George and Jan were on the dance floor they simply glided across it and were wonderful to watch.

Jan married George Raymond Poplin in St Patrick’s Church, Boorowa on November 18, 1961 and so began a long term partnership both as parents and professionally as the owners of GR and FJ Poplin Shearing Contractors.

They were a formidable couple who weathered many highs and lows throughout their 51 years together.

The main highlights for them were the births of their four children Raymond, Timothy, Darren and Corynne.

Whilst rearing the children and managing the books for the shearing business Jan also actively contributed to the St Joseph’s School Auxiliary, St Patrick’s Church flower and cleaning rosters and was a longtime catechist at Boorowa Central School.

Throughout her life Jan displayed great faith and devotion and was always willing to assist others and contribute in whatever way she could to her parish community.

Jan was also involved with volunteering at St Joseph’s school and one of her favourite activities was assisting the late Dr Woods with his Dental Education program which included teaching the children to clean their teeth.

One passion of Jan’s was cake decorating which on one occasion proved more challenging than expected when she had to wade through a flooded creek carrying a wedding cake she had decorated in order to get it to the reception.

Other passions of Jan’s were playing the piano, basketball, tennis and golf.

These activities were indulged in whenever possible, often with the children in tow.

The children have many memories of falling asleep in the back of the station wagon while the night tennis was being played.

Jan and George were very family oriented and spent many hours travelling to watch the children play sport particularly football, netball and swimming.

They also had many outings to Woolgarlo and Wyangla with the extended family.

Over the years, Jan was involved with many types of craft which she greatly enjoyed and capably mastered.

Amongst them were Hobbytex, folk Art and patchwork.

She was a prolific patchworker for many years and along with the quilting ladies constructed a number of quilts which were donated to local charities for them to raffle plus they created and gifted quilts to local people having a tough time.

In fact after she went to hospital for the last time she arranged for a quilt she had started to be completed so she could present it to the intended recipient: which she did about two weeks prior to her death.

Jan was also a great cook and was well known for her apple cakes, cinnamon sponges, chicken fricassee, rolled pavlovas, chocolate slice and more.

In 1987 Jan’s life was markedly changed when her beloved husband George suffered a stroke which meant he required greater care and had to retire from active work.

Jan took this challenge in her stride and supported him until he passed away in 2012.

Meantime they enjoyed the arrival of their children’s partners, their 14 grandchildren Kirstie, Matthew, Kate, Lucy, Stacey, Mark, Dylan, Karen, Rebecca, Madison, Brooke, Joshua, Daniel and Mia and more recently their four great grandchildren, Finley, Xander, Vincent and Harvey.

Each new member was welcomed and the presence of the grandchildren and great grandchildren were a source of great joy to Jan who loved spending time with them, sewing for them and cooking choc chip cookies to spoil them.

In 2008 Jan was once again presented with a major challenge- this time it was her health which saw her spend many weeks in the ICU in Canberra and the family braced for the loss of their beloved mum and Nan.

Amazingly Jan came through this and despite the permanent impact on her overall health and challenge to her mobility she soon bounced back in many ways and resumed many activities such as the club draw Friday nights, Mass on Saturday and Probus meetings.

Along with Esma Berry, Jan helped start up “The Merry Widows group” who meet three monthly for a meal and a chat. Jan loved being involved in the community.

Many people have been great support for Jan over many years but particularly in the last few and the family thanks all of them for their help.

Jan was a generous person, loved by many and her passing will create a gap not only for her family but also in the lives of her extended family and those fortunate enough to call her a friend.

Rest in peace Jan, God bless.