Mary Frances (Larsen) King Meer

Mary Meer

Mary Frances (Larsen) King Meer, age 96, passed away Saturday, July 6, 2019, in Bellevue, WA, after a long illness. Mary Fran was born on July 7, 1922, in Miami, AZ.  She was preceded in death by her parents Dr. Reuben L. Larsen and Frances Sue (Bannister) Larsen, her two brothers Kimball Bannister Larsen and David Peter Bryant Larsen and her husband Frank C. Meer.

Mary Fran is survived by her daughter, Susann King Harris of Bellevue, WA, son Jack (Barbara) King of Redmond, WA; grandchildren Elise (Michael) Liptack of Monroe, WA, Kimberlee (Stephen) Koplan of Duvall, WA, Joseph King of Seattle, WA, Michael Harris of Liberal, KS, Mark (Renata) Harris of Austin, TX and 10 great- grandchildren.

Although Mary Fran was an Illinois native, growing up in Evanston and Princeton, she also spent her teenage years in Houston, TX. Her heart never left her beloved Princeton, where she loved riding her circus trained Welsh pony, Trixi. She often would reminisce of living in Princeton and would say life there was some of her happiest childhood memories. After graduating high school in Houston, TX, she went on to attend Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois where she was a member of Alpha Phi Sorority.

During World War ll, while her father was serving in the US Navy in California, Mary Fran met and married Joseph E. King Jr. who at the time was serving as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army/ Air Corp. After the war ended, the couple moved back to their native roots of Chicago with their baby girl, Susann Bryant. During those years the family grew by the arrival of a son, John Kimball, where she was a not only a busy mom but a wife who supported her husband’s graduate studies as well as helping him to form his company, Industrial Psychology Inc. in Chicago.

Mary Fran worked in a variety of careers throughout her lifetime. She worked as a copywriter with Leo Burnett Advertising Company in Chicago during the ’50s. While working there on many well-known advertising campaigns, she was credited for the naming of Toni’s Permanent Wave for little girls called The Tonette.

In 1963, she moved with her two teenagers to the Pacific Northwest to be closer to family. She worked for SPEEA, the union for Boeing engineers. It was there, where she met her husband Frank Meer. She was also a realtor, working for George Lister & Company at their Bellevue office. Her dream job though, was when she created and became the owner/operator of a gift shop called Heirloom Haus on old Bellevue’s, Main Street.

Many also knew her simply as Fran and a lady who was very creative, who loved working in her garden, had interests in art, writing and playing bridge just to name a few. She was also a published Haiku poet. She was active in many groups throughout her 56 years of living in Bellevue including The Bellevue Women’s Club, Bellevue Botanical Gardens Gift Shop volunteer, Daughter’s of Norway, Daughters of the American Revolution, The Haiku Society, Washington Poets Association and National League of American Pen Women. She was an active member of Pilgrim Lutheran Church and an enthusiastic member of the church choir.

Fran loved spending time in her home and garden where she also loved all of God’s little creatures, especially her dogs, cats and the birds that visited her feeders.

Most of all she was proud of each member of her family and loved them with her whole heart. She was a wonderful loving mother, Grandma and Gran-Gran who will be deeply missed. At her request, she was laid to rest in Princeton, Illinois.

A Memorial service will be held at 2 pm on Sunday, August 25th at Pilgrim Lutheran Church, 10420 SE 11th Street(at Bellevue Way SE) Bellevue 98004. Please join us for a casual, light-hearted celebration of Mary Fran’s life, following the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a donation be made to Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Mary Fran Meer’s name.

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