Frances Aiken Wolfe (1924-2017)
Adrienne Frances "Fran" Wolfe was born in Pocatello, Idaho on February 12, 1924 to Frank and Miriam (Boskowitz) Aiken. Her father worked for the Union Pacific Railroad. When Fran was nearly two, the family (including her two older brothers, Henry and Edward) moved to Ogden, Utah where her father worked with the railroad building a railway entrance in West Yellowstone. Fran remembers only 12 other Jewish families in Ogden. They did have a very small synagogue, but no rabbi and only occasional religious school (the Jewish fathers would lead services and classes when they were not exhausted from working). Fran’s brothers, nine and eleven years older than she, left home when she was still a child. When Fran turned 16, she and her mother moved to Portland, Oregon. They lived with her mother’s four aunts - Viola, Bertha, Bessie, and Flora. Fran attended and graduated from Lincoln High School, went to Beth Israel religious school while Rabbi Berkowitz was the rabbi, and eventually enrolled at the University of Washington in Seattle.
The summer before she went to college, she met Howard Wolfe. After two years at the University of Washington, in 1941, Fran and Howard were married. Howard was drafted and just a year after they were married he was sent overseas. He would serve in the army for close to five years. Fran left the University and moved back in with her mother in Portland. She worked at the US Bank, participated in community activities at the Jewish Community Center, and volunteered with the USO and the Red Cross.
When Howard returned, they bought a house in Portland and had two sons: Stephen and Ken. Fran joined the National Council of Jewish Women, the Beth Israel Sisterhood, taught in the Beth Israel Religious School, and she became very politically involved with the Democratic party working on election boards and taking petitions door to door.