Frances Mary Weber, a retired vice president and treasurer of a Parkville moving and storage company that she co-founded with her husband, died Thursday of breast cancer at her Homeland residence. She was 83.
Known as Fran, she retired as vice president and treasurer of Weber Moving and Storage Co. in 1986, the same year the firm closed. She and Carl Frederick Weber founded the company in 1930, when they were both 18, in their home in the 7800 block of Old Harford Road.
Frances Mary Reisz was born and raised on Dubois Avenue and attended local schools. She married Mr. Weber, who sold vegetables from a truck, when they were 16, and they settled in Parkville.
She joined him in the vegetable business and two years later, they founded the moving company.
"They used a closed-in sun porch for an office and their basement and a garage lean-to for storage," said Robert Mockard, a son-in-law, who became president of the company after Mr. Weber retired in the 1970s.
Mrs. Weber was a "warm person who was a cohesive force in the business," Mr. Mockard said.
"In the early days of the company, they would use the blankets and sheets off their beds for moving pads and put them back on at night," said a granddaughter, Jeanne Mockard of Boston. "She did everything but drive the truck and used to pay the drivers from the back porch of her home."
The business grew, and the Webers were able to boast that despite the Depression, their business made $10,000 in 1936.
"I bet there wasn't a bank president in town that made $10,000 in 1936," Mr. Weber said in a 1974 interview. He died in 1989.
In 1946, the Webers built headquarters on Harford Road. In 1965, they bought Republic Van Lines, becoming the ninth-largest moving company in the nation at the time. They employed 250 people and had more than 100 vans.
Ms. Mockard attributed the couple's success to business acumen and teamwork.
"They were such a good team and it worked so well because she was so charming. The business was just a part of who she was," Ms. Mockard said.
Mrs. Weber, who played golf until she was 82, was a member of the Baltimore Country Club. She was also a member of the Happy Ladies Club of Hamilton.
Mrs. Weber would have lunch every Saturday with her sisters and grandchildren in the Valley Room at Hutzler's Towson store.
"She did that for so many years that when the store closed, we bought a chair from the dining room and gave it to her as a souvenir," Ms. Mockard said.
Services will be held at noon today at First English Lutheran Church, 39th and Charles streets, where Mrs. Weber had been a member for 35 years.
Other survivors include a son, Carl F. Weber Jr. of Susquehanna, Pa.; a brother, the Rev. Howard Reisz of Pittsburgh; three sisters, Lillian McKenzie and Myrle Shaver, both of Baltimore, and Florence Brown of Winter Springs, Fla.; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.