Mary Frances “Mary Fran” Ruggiero Grissom, 60, of Blackshear, received complete and perfect healing with her Lord, Monday evening, December 30, 2019, after a very courageous battle with cancer.
She was born July 28, 1959, in Norfolk County, VA, but lived her early life in Pennsylvania. She graduated from Penn Hills High School in 1977. Her Cosmetology license was issued December 15, 1977. She worked at local barber salons in the Turtle Creek area of Pennsylvania. She would later move to Las Vegas where she would make her home and work a couple of years before returning to the Pittsburgh area. While on vacation in Hilton Head, SC, she was approached by a stranger who asked her, “Who does your hair?”, when she replied, “I do”, he offered her a position at his Hilton Head Barber Salon. She moved there with her two children, and would later open a very successful business, “Mary Fran’s”, for many years. Kevin and Mary Fran met there in 2011 and were married May 5, 2012. Kevin then moved her to “green acres”, as she always jokingly said. She opened Mary Fran’s in Blackshear which was very successful before her illness. She adapted into a lifestyle of ministry that would allow her to work close by her husband’s side and even respectfully take charge of many events and ministries. She had a passion to begin a children’s ministry at Blackshear Church of God on Wednesday nights, and was leader of the women’s ministry for a period of time. She sang in the choir and praise team until her illness would not permit her to do that any longer. She had a “bucket list” that she fulfilled including going to a Hillsong Concert in Jacksonville with her best friend Colleen; skydiving out of an airplane at 13,000 feet with Mike Sanes; purchasing the car of her dreams, a 2019 Buick Enclave and going on her trip of a lifetime to Spain, France and Italy. She was a diehard Pittsburg Steelers fan whose blood ran gold and black. She loved many things in life including her toy Maltese, Sadie, Italian food and being First Lady of Blackshear but most of all she loved her family, her grandson Dean, and especially her Jesus. Her former pastor in Savannah, Dale Dyar described her by saying, “She would walk in a room and it would light up immediately because of her presence”. Her light will continue to shine through the lives that she touched.
She was preceded in death by her brother, Tony Ruggiero and by her step-father, Hank Ruggiero.
Survivors include her husband, Kevin Grissom , Blackshear; her daughter, Cara Bisegna and Haley Ripinski, Pittsburg, PA; her son, Anthony Vecchio, Jacksonville, FL; a step-son, Greg (Hannah) Grissom, Bremerton, WA; her mother and step-father, Frances Gratz (John) Walters, Bloomingdale, OH; her father and step-mother, David (Kathy) Meyers, Chambersburg, PA; a grandson, Dean Grissom and numerous other relatives and friends.
Visitation will be held from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday, January 1, 2020 at First Baptist Church of Blackshear.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020, from the First Baptist Church of Blackshear.
Memorialization is by cremation.
The family kindly requests that the staff of Hospice Satilla and all City of Blackshear Employees and Staff serve as honorary pallbearers. They are asked to arrive at the church by 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 1, 2020.
Memorials may be made to Satilla Hospice House, 811 Beacon Street, Waycross, GA 31501; Southeast Cancer Unit, P.O. Box 2764, Waycross, GA 31502 or to the Blackshear Church of God, 411 W Carter Avenue, Blackshear, GA 31516.
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online register at www.pearsondial.com.
Pearson-Dial Funeral Home of Blackshear is in charge of arrangements.