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04/27/2023 12:46 PM

Frances Mayhew (Wood) Hard

Frances Mayhew (Wood) Hard, 96, a longtime resident of Guilford and most recently of Madison, passed away at CT Hospice in Branford on April 24. Beloved wife of the late Robert W. Hard, Frances was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, to the late John Mayhew Wood and Louise Spare Wood. She was the loving mother of Robert W. Hard, Jr. (Rev. Jeanne Lloyd) of Madison, Cindy Haynes (Rev. Richard Haynes) of St. Louis, Missouri, Nancy Hard of Guilford, and Andy Hard (Robin Perlah) of Burlington, Vermont. She is also survived by six grandchildren, Ben Haynes (Betsey), Brenton Hard (Amelia), David Haynes (Jessi), Zach Haynes, V Perlah-Hard, and Sam Perlah-Hard; and three great-grandchildren, Jack, Will, and David Haynes; along with several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her brother John Mayhew Wood Jr. of South Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

Fran was a 1948 graduate of Jackson College at Tufts University. She spent several summers as a camp counselor and a year as a social worker before marrying her college sweetheart in 1949. Together they raised four children to whom she was completely devoted. A lifelong sailor and a skilled first mate to her Captain Bob, the family spent many decades sailing Long Island Sound and beyond. Fran was a busy volunteer for many years, including Brownie and Girl Scout leader, religious education program director and Sunday school teacher, and school library volunteer. A longtime member of the Leete’s Island Garden Club, she helped maintain many local, club-sponsored gardens and also provided monthly garden therapy for residents at Fowler’s Nursing Home. (now Apple Rehab) She volunteered at the Guilford Handcrafts (now Arts) Center and was a member of the Handweaver’s Guild. She spent the last 10 years knitting caps and afghans for various charity groups, including the Madison Women’s Club Knitters. Fran was a gifted and meticulous seamstress, knitter, weaver, and gardener.

An amazing person with a kind heart, her gentle spirit and easy smile always made others feel welcome. Fran was thoughtful and unassuming and always put the needs of others before her own. She was the sweetest person one could ever meet. Fran spent her entire life being a loving daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, and friend, and we were all blessed to have her in our lives.

A celebration of life will be held at noon Saturday, June 3, at the Shoreline Unitarian Universalist Society, 297 Boston Post Rd. Madison. Memorial Contributions may be made to: Leete’s Island Garden Club, 11 Michelle Lane, Guilford, CT. 06437 or Connecticut Hospice, 100 Double Beach Road, Branford, Ct. 06405, ( or Shoreline Unitarian Universalist Society, 297 Boston Post Road, Madison, CT 06443, ( Arrangements in care of the Guilford Funeral Home, 115 Church St, Guilford. To share a memory or leave condolences, visit