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Francesmarie ‘Fran’ Ober, former clothes designer and an accomplished gardener, dies

Francesmarie “Fran” Ober worked for Jos. A. Bank & Sons as an accessory buyer.
Francesmarie “Fran” Ober worked for Jos. A. Bank & Sons as an accessory buyer. (handout)

Francesmarie “Fran” Ober, a former clothes designer who was an accomplished gardener, died of breast cancer April 28 at her home in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The former Hampton resident was 70.

The former Francesmarie Kleinfelter, daughter of William Kleinfelter, a banker, and his wife, Frances Kleinfelter, an army nurse, was born in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, and when she was 4 years old moved with her family to Catonsville.

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She attended Our Lady of Victory School and Trinity Preparatory School and was in the first graduating class at Northern High School in 1969. She earned a bachelor’s degree from what is now Towson University and taught at several schools in Baltimore, including Our Lady of Victory.

Ms. Ober later went to work for Jos. A. Bank & Sons as an accessory buyer and subsequently moved to New York City where she designed clothes for Aston Imports.

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In 1986, she moved back to Baltimore and married Douglas G. Ober, CEO of Baltimore-based Adams Express Co. and Petroleum & Resources Corp.

The couple lived in Towson and Ruxton before settling in the Hampton neighborhood of Baltimore County. She and her husband moved to Jackson Hole in 2013 where they lived part time before settling there permanently four years ago.

She had been an active member of the Junior League of Baltimore and The Elkridge Club.

An inveterate gardener, Ms. Ober enjoyed flower arranging and was a member of the Hardy Garden Club. She also liked decorating, cooking, entertaining family and friends, and playing bridge and mahjong. She was a downhill and Nordic skier.

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A memorial service for Ms. Ober will be held at 2 p.m. June 25 at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer at 5603 N. Charles St.

In addition to her husband of 35 years, she is survived by a son, William “Mac” Ober of Austin, Texas; a daughter, Carlin Mele of Draper, Utah; two stepsons, Kenneth Ober of Bisbee, Arizona, and Patrick Ober of Candler, North Carolina; and two grandchildren.

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