Passing of Fran Merchant

Frances Marian “Fran” Merchant, 86, of Union City, passed away on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018 at Best Care East in Marshall under the care of the staff at Best Care, Oaklawn Hospice and her family.

A celebration of Fran’s life will be held at 11 AM on Monday, September 24, 2018 at First Congregational UCC in Union City, with Pastors Don Mason and Jim Mitchell officiating. Visitation will be held from 2-4 PM and 6-8 PM on Sunday, September 23, 2018 at Lighthouse Funeral & Cremation in Union City. Interment will be at Riverside Cemetery in Tekonsha at 2:30 PM, following a meal at the church.
Fran was born on February 4, 1932 in Marshall, MI to Marion and Magdelena (Schmidt) Camp. She graduated from Marshall High School in 1950 and in 1955 married Donald Vincent, who preceded her in death in 1980. The couple resided on Warner Lake. Fran was employed by Starr Commonwealth, Star Mobile Homes, Vincent’s Painting, which was a family business where she managed the office, and the family’s harness horse business, too. On May 25, 1984, Fran married Robert A. “Bob” Merchant in Union City, where she had lived since. Fran loved dancing, the outdoors, nature and fishing. She was a member of Union City’s Green Thumb Garden Club and enjoyed doing artistic painting. She was a member of the First Congregational UCC in Union City, where she helped put on meals. Fran enjoyed cooking and made sure her son knew how to cook. Her pies were fantastic and she made them for family and friends, although she didn’t care for most fruit, herself. She was a sweet-eater whose love for ice cream was her only self-indulgence.

Fran was a former member of the USTA and MHHA. She owned several racehorses including Nottawa Roy, First Deduction, and Peppy Jack. One of the current horses she co-owned with her daughter and son in law, was Olympic Jewelry, a 2012 3 year old trotting filly State Champion.

Fran’s thoughtfulness, patience and putting others’ needs ahead her own made her easy to be around. She was known for her hospitality. Her sweet and gentle disposition made everyone feel welcome and special. She embodied the Golden Rule and saw the good in everyone. Fran’s graciousness made a real impression on people. Although quiet and sensitive, she also had a good sense of humor and could laugh at herself. Those who knew her gained a lot from experiencing her kindness and grace.

Fran is survived by her husband, Bob; a daughter, Tracee (Linn) Hathaway of Concord; a stepdaughter Judy H. (Larry) Somers of Climax; step-children Deborah (Gary) Grooman of Colorado, Arthur F. Merchant of Union City and Scott E. (Lacey) Merchant of Battle Creek; grandchildren Don (Rachel) Seekman, Andrea Grooman, Nathan Merchant, Tina Merchant, Elaina Joy Merchant, Brice (Angela Davala) Hathaway and Amanda (Rob Wright) Hathaway; great-grandchildren Brianna Seekman, Drew Seekman, Jayna Seekman, Aurora Grooman and Peyton Wright; sister-in-law, Sara Brewer of Union City; cousins Carol Wilbur and Geraldine Briegel; and her caregiver and friend, Maureen Gould, of Union City.

In addition to her first husband, Don Vincent, Fran was preceded in death by her parents; a daughter, Debra Kay Vincent (1957); her brother-in-law, Robert Brewer, Sr.; and her cousin and friend, Shirley Camp-Murphy.
Memorial donations are suggested to Oaklawn Hospice. Please visit to share memories, pictures and videos with the family.