In Memory of





Obituary for Frances Adria Grace (Welch)


Frances Adria (Welch) Grace, 91 years, a life-long resident of Kennebunk died November 13, 2020 with her family by her side.

Frances was born July 1, 1929 in Kennebunk, ME, the ninth of eleven children born to Raymond and Mary (Cheney)Welch. She graduated from Kennebunk High School in the class of 1948.

Fran was married to her high school sweetheart, John Alden Grace, for 59 years, raising their four daughters and enjoying life until his death in 2008. She was a devoted mother, wife and friend who enjoyed spending time with her family, days at the beach and traveling with John.

As a young woman, Fran worked for Murdoch’s Drug Store in downtown Kennebunk where she developed her love for coffee frappes, for the Town of Kennebunk, and for Kennebunk Savings Bank (when it shared a building with Ocean National Bank). As her four daughters started school, she wanted a job that would give her summers off to stay home and pass on to them her love of the beach, so she worked during the school year at BF Emery Oil Co. When the girls were older, she worked full-time at Kennebunk Light and Power until she retired.

She loved being with friends and family. Nothing made her happier than spending time with those she loved, enjoying family times with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Whether for Thanksgiving, Christmas, the summer reunion or the monthly birthday parties, she always enthusiastically opened her home to her large extended family.

She loved spending time outdoors around her home, taking care of the yard and feeding and watching the birds.

Fran was the loving mother of Joanie & Steven Adams of Kennebunk, Jane & Walt Rankin of Errol, NH, Kim & Jack Palano of Wakefield, MA and Kennebunk and Kathy & Robert Guptill of Kennebunk.

She adored her grandchildren, Amanda (Adams) & Werner Gilliam of Kennebunk, Alec Adams of Waterboro, Christopher & Katie Wellman of Waterboro, John & Christine Wellman of Sanford, Katie (Palano) & Dan Nelson of Chicago, IL, James Palano of Boston, Chandler Guptill and Adria Guptill of Kennebunk, and especially her great-grandchildren, James & Matthew Gilliam, Abigail, Evelyn and Marnie Adams and Parker Wellman.

Fran was predeceased by her parents, her sisters, Beatrice Cole, Isabel Skinner, Ruth Cole, Rosamund Welch and brothers Ernest (Bud) Welch, Leslie Welch, William Welch, sister-in-law Helen Abbott and brother-in-law Rev. Walter Moulton and is survived by brothers Clifford Welch and James Welch of Kennebunk, sisters-in-law Paula Moulton of San Francisco & Vonnie Welch of Arundel, brother-in-law James Moulton of Rochester and many well-loved nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life will be held in the summer of 2021.

In lieu of flowers, Fran would be pleased by contributions to Maine Cancer Foundation, 170 US Route One, Falmouth, ME 04105 or Christ Church, 6 Dane Street, Kennebunk, ME 04043.

To share a memory or leave a message of condolence, please visit Fran’s Book of Memories Page at

Arrangements are in care of Bibber Memorial Chapel, 67 Summer Street, Kennebunk, ME 04043.