A memorial bench dedicated to the late Fran Woodard – longtime local community activist and lover of Des Moines (and parades) – has been installed on Marine View Drive near S. 219th Street.

As we previously reported, sadly, Fran passed away Oct. 17, 2021.

Fran served as Director for the Chamber of Commerce in Des Moines, where she spent countless hours planning and organizing the Waterland Festival, which then included a full carnival in the Marina parking lot. Of all the events, her favorite was The Waterland Parade, so this memorial is appropriate. She returned to work for the Boeing Company, but continued volunteering her time to the Parade every year. In 2017, she was honored as the parade’s Grand Marshall.

Fran also worked for the Old Federal Way Shopping Center in the 80s for many years, being honored and given the United States Flag that once majestically flew there. She was instrumental in bringing in shoppers to all of the merchants, including B & E Meats, organizing several events, including an Easter Egg Hunt and the annual Oktoberfest.

In addition to leaving behind many good deeds that made Des Moines a better place, Fran leaves behind two siblings, two sons, Ronald and Douglas, two daughters, Barbara Schafer and Laura Cline, six Grandchildren, two Great Grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

“Thank you Kyle, and thank you to Matt for helping me to make this happen!” her daughter Laura Lee Cline said. “It really means a lot to me, and I hope also to others in Des Moines that had the privilege of knowing her.”

Here’s a closeup of the bench, located on Marine View Drive near S. 219th Street (map below):

I Love a Parade!

Dedicated to Fran Woodard

In God’s Hands 2021