Frances Browne Early, or Fran to those who knew her, passed away on October 5, 2020 in Boston, MA. Born March 23, 1941, Fran was the daughter of Katherine Harveycutter Early and William Monroe Early and grew up in Orange, VA. She graduated from Stuart Hall High School and Sweet Briar College in Virginia. After college, she moved to Boston and began work with Prudential Financial, the start of a dynamic career during which she endeavored to support and open opportunities for others, particularly those of non-traditional paths. During her career, she spent periods of time in Houston, Washington, DC, and New Jersey, before returning and settling in Boston, where she was deeply involved in the community.
Fran was a longtime member of Trinity Church in Boston, valuing and honoring the Trinity community and upholding her Episcopalian roots and religious values. She was a founder of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO), for which she continued to serve as an organizer throughout her life. In this work, Fran practiced and promoted dialogue between people of different faiths and backgrounds, organized "one to one" opportunities to bring people together to foster understanding and social change, encouraged leadership in others, and worked as a tireless advocate. She sensitively facilitated helping individuals and faith communities find their common ground so that they might work together towards shared goals of social justice.
With a lifelong spirit of adventure, Fran travelled throughout the world enjoying extraordinary outdoor experiences, beautiful beaches, and most of all, appreciating friends from cultures in many parts of the world. Her international awareness and social justice concerns are reflected in the books she co-authored encouraging volunteers to listen well and respect the self-determination of individuals and cultures they seek to serve.
Fran's hearty hospitality was boundless and countless friends treasured time with her in her Back Bay home, where one friend recalled, she would "tell it to you straight and wrap it in love." Summer visits to Martha's Vineyard relocated her hospitality while extending her convivial conversations and abiding interest in others. Fran had an enduring gift for friendship, a great laugh, a southern love of storytelling, an earthy, honest, practical approach to life rooted in reverence, gusto, joy, and love. She nurtured deep friendships and family ties.
As an only child, Fran created a vibrant extended family of close friends and community, bringing people together across generations, geography, race and cultures. She is survived by many cousins and lifelong friends. Her openness of heart and unique spirit will always be treasured and her work in community in Boston leaves a solid legacy.