September 7, 1926 - March 21, 2022
Frances Elizabeth Knell (née Pavletich) Our beloved Mitza passed “to the other side of what we see” on March 21, 2022, at the age of 95, in the sanctity of her warm and beautiful living room surrounded by her art, her books, her music, her loved ones. She is survived by devoted and good-natured husband Bernard, dear sister Elizabeth Pierpoline, sisters-in-love Judy Pavletich and Mary Shamleffer, children Christopher (Marlene), Lisa (Paul), Edwin (Maryann), James, Erik (Denise); grandchildren Karla (Brian), Gregor (Zahabya), Gabriel (Catherine), Jaclyn (Chris), Veronica, Benjamin, Riley; great-grandchildren Evangeline, Martin, Anneliese; cherished nieces and nephews and Croatian cousins, and special friends and loves of all ages. Born at home on Almond Street in Philadelphia in 1926 and named after her two Croatian Grandmothers. Descended from a long line of sailors and sea captains, and called to this world by her adored mother Katherine E. (née Radić) and father Captain Marion Pavletich. Graduated from Kensington Girls’ High and attended Drexel Institute of Technology. While working as a Draftswoman at Philadelphia’s Frankford Arsenal she met a nice young man from Baltimore (her “Bunker”); she and Bern were married November 12, 1955 and honeymooned down the East Coast, sharing beach picnics and a flight to Havana. They lived in Baltimore, Manchester-By-The-Sea MA, and Moorestown NJ before settling in Cinnaminson NJ in 1960 to raise their five children. She was an artist who expressed herself in countless ways; she painted, sketched, sculpted, sewed, embroidered, knitted, traveled, hummed, sang, gardened, cooked, baked, wrote, read, emailed, texted, questioned, decorated, hosted, nurtured, planted a seed everywhere… We watched her take care of her grandmother and great Uncle (our GGMom and Barba), showing us how to love and care for one another through her actions and her words. She gave us all the gift of music and was the hub of our FamJams and Mountain House Hot Sauce Festivals. She had an inquisitive mind and fostered in us a love of reading and learning (in recent times she’d say, “tell me something I don’t know”). Always, she was our spiritual rock and guide. Fran was a good friend to many including treasured old friends, her Discussion Group, Sewing Circle, and the Romeo and Juliet’s, as well as the friends of her children and grandchildren. She made everyone feel welcome and had an intuitive sense of what to say and do in any situation. Always a positive attitude and a kind word. Stylish and elegant, wherever she went she made things beautiful with her creative spirit. That spirit lives on not only in her children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren, but in everyone that was touched by her kindness, her thoughtfulness, her joy, her enthusiasm, her compassion, her bursts of laughter. She will always be our bright and shining star, our blue sky, our zlatan papillon (golden butterfly) — our Francie, our mom, our Mitza, Frankie, Frances, Aunt Fran, our Mama Francesca. The family gives thanks to everyone who kept her in their thoughts and prayers, who sent words of caring and encouragement to us, who shared their love, who helped care for her and for us. For 10 days before Mitza passed, we gathered in the living room with her in the midst of us, her Bunker always by her side, and created what we have termed, a “Croatian Wake”. We played music, sang songs, said blessings, told stories, watched little ones cavort, sat vigil, embraced one another, ate and drank, cried and laughed, mourned our loss, celebrated our love. Živili! There are no immediate services. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Sacred Heart School, Camden NJ (https://sacredheartschoolcamden.org/sponsors-supporters/) or the World Central Kitchen (https://wck.org/).
Frances Elizabeth Knell (née Pavletich) Our beloved Mitza passed “to the other side of what we see” on March 21, 2022, at the age of 95, in the sanctity of her warm and beautiful living room surrounded by her art, her books, her... View Obituary & Service Information
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Frances Elizabeth Knell (née Pavletich)
Our beloved Mitza passed...
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