Remembering Fran Randall

I checked my email late yesterday, after a long day of driving, and found the sad news that Fran Randall had passed away at age 93.

Fran was one of the first Girl Scouts in Frederick County, Maryland, joining in 1938. She would be a mainstay of the movement in Frederick for the next eight decades.

, Girl Scout History Project
The future Mrs. Randall worked at Braddock Heights day camp in 1944.

Fran wore many hats in her lifetime — chemist, journalist, historian, feminist, businesswoman, and more. But my connection to her was through Girl Scouting, and I greatly enjoyed the time spent together swapping stories about the movement, travel, and life in general.

, Girl Scout History Project
Fran and her brother published their own newspaper in 1942. The Randall family later became the publisher of the Frederick News-Post.

The last time I saw Fran was at the grand opening of our Archives and History Program Center in Frederick. She had made a generous contribution to the center and not even recent surgery was going to keep her away.  Frannie was especially delighted when I showed her the display case holding her former leader’s hat.

, Girl Scout History Project

This photo from the Girl Scout Centennial has hung in the Frederick Center since it opened in 2015 and perfectly captures Fran’s enthusiasm for Girl Scouting.

She leaves a tremendous legacy for Frederick County and the thousands of Girl Scouts active there.

Her obituary is available from the Frederick News-Post.

©2018 Ann Robertson


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Ann Robertson

Ann Robertson is a writer, editor and Girl Scout historian.

One thought on “Remembering Fran Randall”

  1. I will miss her greatly. As my Girl Scout Leader, who help our Senior troop plan and carry out a Wyoming Trek in 1974, she inspired my own leadership and mentoring of Cadettes and Seniors who also took great global adventures. No doubt my professional work, which has always been in the arena of art, history and historic preservation with a big dose of travel and tourism thrown in, was influenced heavily by Mrs. Randall. In fact, my move to Savannah to work for the Telfair Museum of Art must have been prompted in part by Mrs. Randall or Daisy Low whispering in my ear. After a decade in Georgia I returned home where I enjoyed so many professional collaborations with Mrs. Randall. She truly loved this place. One of our big, shared achievements was bringing a traveling bell forge to Frederick, to produce the Frederick County History Bell in 2006. It was a weekend of great excitement – every step of the process involved the public. After the bell had been released from its cast, polished, and rung by all who assembled, a few of us lingered and soaked in the moment. That included a few of my Wyoming Trek Girl Scout friends – some of whom I had not seen for many years. With Mrs. Randall, we spontaneously broke into a chorus of Girl Scouts Together. I cherish that memory!

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