Frances Woodward Sturgeon, retired treasurer of a bakery firm, died April 22 of cancer at the Calusa Harbor retirement community in Fort Myers, Fla. The former Hillen Road resident was 81.
Known as Fran, she began her career in 1937 as a secretary of Rice's Bakery on North Gay Street. She retired as treasurer in 1966.
Founded in 1868 near the Fallsway and operated by the City Baking Co., the bakery introduced Vienna bread, Louisiana Ring cake and sliced bread to Baltimoreans. It went bankrupt in 1974 after a gas explosion destroyed most of its turn-of-the-century plant.
"She always had a Louisiana Ring cake and cookies that were made in the shape of card symbols," said Wayne Griffin of Annapolis, who had known Miss Sturgeon since childhood.
"It was the only place that she worked, and she loved telling stories about the trials and tribulations of the bakery, and how they used to deliver bread door to door by horse and wagon and later by trucks. She really enjoyed working there," Mr. Griffin said.
Born in Raleigh, N.C., she moved to Baltimore as a child with her family. She was a 1931 graduate of the old Eastern High School and earned a bachelor's degree from Towson State College in 1935. She also was a graduate of Strayer Business School, and earned an associate's degree in business administration from Baltimore College of Commerce.
She was one of the earliest woman to become a certified public accountant, according to Mr. Griffin.
During the mid-1960s, Miss Sturgeon bought a trailer and a Ford pickup truck, and spent two years traveling from Alaska to South America. She moved to Fort Myers about 15 years ago.
She was a Methodist, and a member of the Sierra Club and the Soroptimist Club.
Graveside services will be held May 9 at Lorraine Park Cemetery, 5608 Dogwood Road, Woodlawn.
She is survived by a sister, Gene Smee of Fort Myers; and a longtime friend, Marie Grall of Fort Myers.