Janet Ellen Swain Frank

March 27, 1921 ‒ December 28, 2020

Mansfield, Ohio

MANSFIELD, Ohio – Janet Ellen Swain Frank of Mansfield died peacefully in her sleep on Monday evening, Dec. 28, 2020.  She was 99 and had lived at Crystal Care Center in Mansfield for the past four years.

In the Lucas home of her parents, A. Basil and Hazel (Wheeler) Swain, Mrs. Frank was born March 27, 1921, the second of their three children. She was married in 1948 to Russell Eugene Frank who had recently returned to Lucas from Europe where he had been stationed with the U.S. Army during World War II. A few years after they were married, Mr. and Mrs. Frank built their home on Clever Lane in Lexington, where they lived until Mr. Frank died in 1985. A year later, Mrs. Frank moved to Mansfield.

A 1939 graduate of Lucas High School, Mrs. Frank graduated from the Warner College of Cosmetology of Mansfield in 1941. She spent many years as a beautician and owned and operated beauty salons in Lucas and Lexington.  She advanced her college education in cosmetology in Detroit, Mich., and taught for three years at the Mansfield Beauty College.  Later, Mrs. Frank worked in retail sales at Mansfield’s Golden Russell clothing store and the H.L. Reed Co., where she retired as a department manager in 1986. 

Mrs. Frank was a former member of the Mansfield Liederkranz and a member of the First Congregational Church of Mansfield, where she had been a deaconess, Colony leader, and involved in the church’s annual rummage sale. While her children were in school at Lexington, she was involved in a number of school organizations and committees.  Proud of being a Lucas High School cheerleader and graduate, Mrs. Frank was often involved in planning her high school class reunions as well as organizing lunches and birthday dinners for her Reed’s friends and others.

Mrs. Frank and her husband enjoyed their time living in Lexington, hosted many card parties with tennis friends, and were charter members of the Clear Fork Swim Club, which provided summer activities for the family for many years. The Franks spent a few weeks each summer at “the lakes” and many times traveled to Florida, as well as to historic sites and Civil War battlefields in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C.  Mrs. Frank enjoyed reading, music, and fashion and was known for her intellect, sharp wit, and sense of humor.  

Mrs. Frank’s children learned a lot about life listening to the gossip, banter, and political commentary between and among their mother’s clientele at the beauty shop, which was connected to the house. Lessons were learned, guidance was given, secrets were shared, and the smell of various hair solutions permeated throughout the Frank home.  Mrs. Frank loved to experiment with styles and hair color, and her daughter was often a subject of those experimentations.   

Mrs. Frank is survived by her children, Chriss (John) Harris of Lexington and Dr. Stephen (Shelly) Frank of Ashland; two grandchildren, Jay (Sharon Rappaport) Harris of Long Island, NY, and Nickie (Brad) Gibbs of Olathe, Ks., and four great-grandchildren, Jackson and Mason Harris and Cole and Jensen Gibbs.  She is also survived by nephews Kenneth (Dianne) Swain of Mission Viego, Ca., Douglas (June) Swain of Lucas, John (Martha) Mitchell of St. Louis, Mo., and Roger Davey of Mansfield, as well as nieces Beth (Brad) Graham of Athens, Sharon Frank of Pittsburgh, Pa., Deanna Krieger of Mansfield, Jim Spangler of Gibson City, Il., and MaryAnn (Jim) Stahlheber of Avon.  There are many great and great-great nephews and nieces.   

Mrs. Frank was the last of her Swain and Frank generation. In addition to her parents, her husband, and his parents, Harmon and Bessie Frank, Mrs. Frank was preceded in death by her brothers and their spouses, Basil (Bud) and Reta Swain and Air Force Lt. Col. Charles A. and Edie Swain.  Other relatives who preceded her in death were her husband’s brother and his wife, Clayton and Lena Frank, her husband’s sisters and their husbands, Kathryn and Reed LeBourveau and Leona and Paul Mitchell, and nephews and nieces Ricky Davey, Susan Frank Baron, Deborah Frank Potter, John Frank, Ken Krieger, Jim Mitchell, and Paula Spangler, who had spent many hours with her Aunt Janet before her own passing.  

A memorial service will be held Thursday, Feb. 18, at 11 a.m. in the sanctuary of the First Congregational Church, 640 Millsboro Road, Mansfield.  Masks must be worn and social distancing observed.  Memorial contributions may be made in Mrs. Frank’s memory to her church’s Music/Choral Fund or to the Richland County Foundation for its Lucas Schools Sustaining Fund, 181 S. Main St., Mansfield 44902.

Snyder Funeral Homes is handling arrangements for the family. On-line condolences may be made by visiting SnyderFuneralHomes.com, where a video tribute may be seen.

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  • We are saddened to hear of Janets passing. I have fond memories of her from childhood. Thinking of you all.

    Marianne & Trent Hollingshead (Graham)

  • I have many fond memories of Aunt Janet throughout my childhood and as an adult who appreciated spending time with Aunt Janet and my mother, Reta Swain, going to the Linway Restaurant in Ashland or sharing a dinner at mom’s. Lots of conversation, reminiscing and laughter had by all. Love and miss her.

    • Very sorry for the loss of your aunt.
      Although we don’t know each other, when I saw your mother’s name listed in the obituary I wanted to let you know how much she meant to me when I was a student at John Simpson. She was so kind and caring that I have never forgotten her, and that was a long time ago in the early fifties. She invited me to her apartment and then to her house after she moved. I believe I went there after her baby was born, maybe that was you.

  • Am I allowed to say I enjoyed reading this obituary? I suspect I know the writer. It was a loving tribute to a woman who led a long meaningful life. Lots of memories to cherish by all who knew her.

  • Am I allowed to say I enjoyed reading this obit? I suspect I know the writer. It was a loving tribute to a life well-lived. Many memories to cherish by all who knew her.

    • Thanks, Anne. She had many friends, and that kept her busy after dad passed away when she was just 64. You do know the writer.

    • Thanks. She had many friends, and that kept her busy after dad passed away when she was just 64. You do know the writer.

  • Don and I are so very sorry to hear this. Our condolences go out to Chriss and her family. She certainly lived a wonderful and full life and can now reap her rewards in Heaven. Cherish the memories! Thinking of you all and sending love and prayers. 🙏❤️🙏

  • My sincere condolences to Chriss, John and family. I know what it’s like to lose family around the holidays. Thanks for such a well-written and detailed obituary. Although I did not know your mother, I saw the name of one of my dearest teachers, Reta Swain, and it brought great memories of her. Thanks, Chriss

  • Dear Chriss,

    Your mother was the sweetest. Of course I remember her from growing up, overnights, and swim club. What a great time. You are fortunate to have had her so long. I hope there was no suffering. Growing old is not easy. God bless you and comfort you in your mourning.

  • I was so blessed to have Aunt Janet as my dear sweet Aunt. She was the most caring and loving person for all these years. She truly loved her family and was so proud of Chriss and Stephen for all of their accomplishments in life. Her Children & Grandchildren are amazing and she was always available to be able to attend their sporting events whenever she could or be there for them. She was always so happy to see any of us when we would come to visit her. This past year was very hard to be able to visit with her because of the epidemic. She loved our Family picnics and get togethers over the years. I would have to say she truly was proud of all of us, nephews, nieces and great nieces & nephews. Please know my dear sweet family that all of our Frank Family togethers were the highlight of
    her life as well as ours. Love and Prayers for all.

  • I worked with Janet at Reed’s for several years. What a smart and energetic person she was. We kidded a lot and enjoyed our working relationship. A very sweet person. Our sympathy to all.

    Chuck and Jana Cook

    • Thank you, Chuck and Jana. Nice of you to comment. Mom was a hard worker and really loved her Reed’s “family”.

  • To Chriss, Steve, and family,

    We extend to you our deepest sympathy at this time. I have many fond memories of her when I was young and she was cutting my hair or giving me a perm. May God be with you and comfort you.

    Randy and Joan (Keppler) Hubler

  • To Chris
    I enjoyed working with your Mother at Reed’s, she was a wonderful person. Strange that in my lifetime I not only worked you but your Mother also. A life well lived!

  • To the Frank Family,

    I was saddened to learn of your Mother’s passing. I remember going to her home off Clever Lane to get my hair cut. She was always so nice. It’s never easy loosing a parent but know you have another guardian angel.

    Barb Whitney Earles

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