Obituaries: Frances H. Placentra


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Mrs. Frances H. Placentra of Philadelphia and Verona died on May 7, 2011 at her home in Verona.

Frances was a strong advocate for education in Philadelphia and fought hard to bring the Pepper Middle School to southwest Philadelphia. Always an active member of the PTA, she was made President of the PTA for the Philadelphia High School for Girls.

Frances was a woman ahead of her time. She was an early advocate of environmental issues, equal rights for women, and Philadelphia politics representing southwest Philadelphia on the Democratic Committee.

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She always stood up for those without a voice. Frances received The Chapel of Four Champlains, an award given to those who “provided outstanding service to all people regardless of race or faith.”

Frances was an accomplished ballet dancer having trained under Madame Florence Cowanova in Philadelphia and performed at the Waldorf – Astoria when she was 14. She was also a gifted artist.

Frances had a deep spiritual and religious faith and maintained lifelong connections to the National Shrine of St. Rita’s of Cascia, The Shrine of St. John Newman, and with the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls, Minnesota to name a few.

She loved fishing, particularly in her beloved Chesapeake Bay.

But to Frances, her greatest accomplishments were supporting her husband Dan, who served 54 years on the Philadelphia Police Department and raising her two children. She is survived by her husband, Daniel W. Placentra, her children, Dr. Eva Placentra-Sesso and her husband Dr. Arthur Sesso and Daniel R. Placentra and his wife Claudia. She is also survived by her loving granddaughters, Cara, Laura and Dana. She was predeceased by her brother Jack C. Hillias.

The one line that would best describe the blue-eyed, fiery-redheaded Frances’ life was “she always put everyone else first.”

Services are private. In lieu of flowers, donations to the St. Barnabas Hospice, 95 Old Short Hills Road, West Orange NJ 07052 would be appreciated.


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