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A Sad Goodbye To A Dear Friend

Longtime volunteer Francie Lanius earlier this year in Holland with BPR.

Blue Ridge Public Radio has a wonderful team of volunteers who support the work of the station in many ways. This week we were saddened to learn of the sudden passing of one of our best. Francie Lanius volunteered twice a week for the last eight years and was always willing to lend a hand at station events. She was a dear friend who brightened the day for all of us.

Francie began volunteering at the station shortly after being widowed. She called to make a pledge during a membership drive and thought it sounded like the volunteer on the phone was having an awful lot of fun. She asked if we needed anymore help during the drive. We did. She showed up later that same day. She loved being part of the BPR family and thoroughly enjoyed talking to fellow listeners and greeting guests at the station. 

Francie lived life in the moment, savoring every minute of every day.  She was one of the most positive and kind people you could ever hope to meet. Her joie de vivre had served her well in her career as a recreational therapist, and that transfered to her service as a BPR volunteer too. 

In recent years Francie traveled as often as she could, including three trips with BPR to Cuba, the Danube, and most recently to Holland. She thought traveling with BPR was the best way to see the world because she was sharing the journey with fellow public radio listeners. She treasured the memories of those trips and the friendships made along the way.  

Francie's greatest legacy is her radiant spirit. We are grateful the time she spent with us. She will be missed greatly by her BPR family.

Rest in peace, dear friend. 

Michelle Keenan was the Associate Director of Development at Blue Ridge Public Radio. She began volunteering for the station in 1996 and has been a full-time staff member since 1998.