Frances Feldman

Obituary of Frances N. Feldman

Born in Mission, Kansas to Charlie and Bessie Ashner, immigrants from Eastern Europe, Frances was one of eight children raised on a Jewish dairy farm during the Depression and World War II. As a young girl, she often made business calls on behalf of her mother Bessie, who was self-conscious about her heavy Polish/Yiddish accent, and she was known to chase her three younger brothers—Herbie, Barney, and Louie—through the cow pastures with a wire coat hanger when discipline was needed.

Frances was the first in her family to attend college, demonstrating early on her fierce independence and tenacity. She balanced multiple jobs, from being the secretary to the Hillel Rabbi and his wife, to modeling in a 1940s department store runway, to finance her education at Johnson County Community College and the University of Missouri.

Her career in education was marked by her time as a High School Guidance Counselor and Guidance Director for the Borough of Middlesex, where Frances earned two Master's Degrees from Rutgers University between 1965 and 1972. She passionately dedicated herself to Middlesex High School, advocating for every student regardless of their background, and worked tirelessly—even without pay during summers—to support her colleagues and the educational system.

Before her long tenure at Middlesex High School, Frances served as a substitute teacher in South Plainfield. Despite personal challenges, such as managing on crutches after a knee injury, she never wavered in her commitment to education and her family. At home, she was a prolific baker, known for her pies, cookies, and cakes which she generously shared with colleagues, neighbors, and her son's peers at Rutgers.

Frances also managed her household single-handedly, maintaining a pristine home while ensuring that her family was well-fed and cared for. She lived a life devoid of luxuries like manicures or hairdressers, choosing instead to embody simplicity and resilience—traits that she wore as proudly as her favorite designer knits and a hint of 'Shalimar' perfume.

In addition to her educational contributions, Frances was an active volunteer at the ARC of Union County and previously served as a committeeperson for the Somerset County Republican organization. Her personal motto, "Getting old is NOT for sissies," reflected her straightforward, spirited approach to life's challenges.

Frances cherished her role not only as an educator and a matriarch but also as a community member, enjoying simple pleasures like walks through Times Square, window shopping in the Diamond Exchange, and the vibrant scenes of the Lower East Side, Chinatown, and Little Italy.

Survived by a loving family, including her two sons, Gregory and Bruce, her cherished granddaughter, Kylie Bess, and husband, Tom, and her great-grandchild, Rory the "Little Pisher." Frances's legacy is one of love, perseverance, and selfless dedication. As we mourn her passing, we also celebrate nearly 93 years of a life well-lived, filled with love, laughter, and the countless lives she touched. We pray that Frances will continue to watch over us, leaving a trail of joy and resilience in her wake.


In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation: 

in support of Israel to the FIDF: 

            ----  OR  ----

for those with 'special needs' to the 
'Special Needs Fund' at the JCC in Bridgewater:


Due to the Passover Holiday, 'shiva' is delayed & cannot take place until after the holiday has ended.

PLEASE NOTE:  'SHIVA' will be held at the home of Frances' Granddaughter, Kylie Feldman Breisch, as follows (after Passover) on:

    ■Wednesday, May 1st■
             ---- AND ----

      ■Thursday, May 2nd■ 

■from 12:00 PM - 8:00 PM■ 

PLEASE Call, Text or PM Kylie or her Dad, Greg Feldman for address. 



Funeral Service

11:00 am
Thursday, April 25, 2024
Higgins Home for Funerals
752 Mountain Blvd.
Watchung, New Jersey, United States

Final Resting Place

12:30 pm
Thursday, April 25, 2024
Mount Lebanon Cemetery
189 Gill Lane
Iselin, New Jersey, United States
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