Fronie Louise Certain Fanning, age 99, died Sunday, August 23, 2020 at The Oaks, Westminster Woods Retirement Community, Huntingdon, PA.
Born in Lincoln County, Tennessee to Horace and Ada (Young) Certain, Fronie spent most of her life in Tennessee, first in Nashville, then in Goodlettsville and finally in Lewisburg. She moved to Huntingdon in December of 2015 upon the sudden death of her son.
In addition to her parents, Fronie was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Leon Fanning; her son, John Arthur Fanning; three newborn children; two brothers, Bill Frame and John Henry Certain; and a sister, Hazel Soto. She is survived by a daughter, Pat Kepple and son-in-law, Tom, who resides in Huntingdon; a sister, Anna Lee Nelson, who resides in Texas; and many nieces and nephews.
At the young age of 16, Fronie quit school and got a job in a meat packing plant in Nashville. She worked there for a number of years, even after she married. A devoted animal lover, the job was difficult emotionally, as well as physically. But, it allowed her to contribute significantly to her family’s financial resources, which was very important to her.
Fronie and her husband Leon raised cattle and goats for years. Leon’s reason for raising animals was to provide milk for the family but Fronie considered every animal a pet. At one time, they had over 50 goats and each one had a name. Fronie refused to sell a goat or cow unless the buyer promised not to slaughter it, which is why they had such large herds. In fact, they ended up with so many animals on their 24 acre farm that they purchased 66 additional acres of land.
Fronie always said her biggest regret was not completing her education. When her son-in-law accepted the presidency of Juniata College, she became a generous supporter of that institution, including a generous gift to create the Fronie and Leon Fanning Writing Center in the new Statton Learning Commons. Even before she moved to Huntingdon, she was a regular donor to Huntingdon County Humane Society where her daughter has been a volunteer since 1999.
When Fronie moved to The Oaks, her family hung a canvas on the wall of her room that said, “Coolest Mom Ever”. That says it all.
Fronie will be interred next to her husband at Woodlawn Memorial Park in Nashville. There will be no services due to COVID-19.
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