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Janice Rawson Francis, 88, passed away gallantly and peacefully at her West Main Street Littleton, NH home, surrounded by family, on August 28, 2019.
Janice was born into the Rawson family of Deal, New Jersey and spent her childhood summers at her grandfather, Perry B. Rawson’s, estate in Bethlehem, New Hampshire. During those summers, Janice would keep busy with her cousins roller skating, horseback riding and climbing trees. During the school year, Janice attended Westtown School, a private Quaker school in Pennsylvania, followed by Connecticut College. Soon after college, she married her childhood sweetheart, Alan Raymond Francis.
At that time, Alan was serving in the Army during the Korean War. Soon after their wedding, Alan had to leave his new wife, pregnant with their first baby, to serve in a special project in Africa. Never one to be left behind, later that year Janice bundled up her baby son and traveled across the globe to be with her husband during the end of his service in Ethiopia, Africa. They lived together near the base for over six months. She always had fond memories of that trip and her time in Africa.
After the war, Alan and Janice traveled back to New Jersey by freighter where they settled in to raise their family. Throughout the 1960’s, they owned and operated the amusement rides on the Long Branch, NJ Pier. They enjoyed the amusement business, but always longed for the mountain lifestyle of New Hampshire. In 1972, they packed up their four kids and moved to Twin Mountain, NH where they purchased a motel business and soon after built a new amusement business, Circus Towne, which years later became Fun Towne. Jan and Al owned and managed Fun Towne for over 30 years. Janice was often seen at Fun Towne scooping ice cream, handing out skee-ball prizes, picking up golf balls and chatting with visitors. She enjoyed working in the public and was known to many locals as “Mrs. Fun Towne”. Children of all ages have memories of playing games at Fun Towne and winning one of Mrs. Fun Towne’s funny prizes. Janice worked at Fun Towne right until she lost her best friend/husband in 2006. After that loss, she sold the property and moved to Littleton to be close to her daughters. Janice embraced living in Littleton and being an avid reader, her favorite place in town was the Littleton library. Always the optimist, Janice enjoyed living in the Glad Town, near her family, watching sports, reading as many books as she could and walking her dog.
Janice is pre-deceased by her parents, William and Justine Rawson, her sister, Patricia Rawson and her husband, Alan Francis. She is survived by two step brothers, Greg and Stephen Rawson; her son, Michael Francis and his wife, Gina; Her three daughters, Vanessa, Valerie and Veronica; Her grandchildren, Jesse, Michael, Perry, Monica and Justine; and two great grandchildren, Enzo and Emma Rose.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held on Thursday, September 5, 11:00 AM, at the St. Rose of Lima church with Father Mark Dollard officiating.
Please consider making a donation in Janice’s memory to the Littleton Public Library, Main Street. Littleton.
The Ross Funeral Home has been entrusted with these arrangements. To offer your condolences to the family please visit www.rossfuneral.com