Frances "Fran" Williams Van Kleeck, accomplished educator

March 2, 2018

Frances "Fran" Williams Van Kleeck, 93, of Rehoboth Beach and Singer Island, Fla., passed away New Year's Day, Jan. 1, 2018.

She was born in Dagsboro where she was valedictorian of her class of 13 students at John M. Clayton High School. She graduated from Goldey Beacom College and Vanderbilt University. As an educator, Fran taught writing at Delaware Technical Community College, where she co-authored a writing text book, and taught physical education and coached at Rehoboth High School. She also worked for the DuPont Company, the University of California, and the Rehoboth Beach Chamber of Commerce.
Fran was a devoted and supportive wife and mother. As a young widow, she went back for another college degree, and was a single working mother for almost a decade. Fran will always be remembered for her cheerful and positive approach to life. She was adventuresome, a good athlete, and could, for example, water ski on one ski. Fran loved to travel; she and her husband Bill visited 30 countries. Their children gave them tickets every Christmas to the shows and operas they enjoyed at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Fran was predeceased by husbands Harold "Mac" McDowell and Maurice Daisey. She was also predeceased by her siblings Harry Williams, Paul Williams, Ruth Haupt and Kathryn Hickman. Fran is survived by her beloved husband of 23 years, William "Bill" Van Kleeck. When they were married, their families were joined together in a beautiful flower ceremony. She is also survived by her brother, John Cannon; her children, Liane McDowell Sorenson (Boyd) and Michael McDowell (Elizabeth); and her stepchildren Bruce Van Kleeck (Amy), Sharon Neimanis (Arnold), Lisa Davis (Bill) and Linda McCormick (Tim). Together, Fran and Bill had 18 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Fran was a member of Epworth United Methodist Church, 19285 Holland Glade Road; Rehoboth Beach, for over 50 years. A Memorial Service will be held here Saturday, March 10, at 11 a.m., where friends may visit beginning at 10 a.m. Arranements are being handled by Parsell Funeral Homes and Crematorium, Lewes.

Please visit Fran's Life Memorial Webpage and sign her online guestbook at