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Bohannon matriarch dies at 91
December 04, 2013, 05:00 AM Daily Journal staff report

Frances Bohannon Nelson

Frances Bohannon Nelson, family matriarch and Peninsula real estate icon, died peacefully in her sleep Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, after a brief illness.

Born in Oakland in 1922, Frances was the eldest daughter of the late Ophelia Bohannon and legendary real estate developer David D. Bohannon. Frances graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and began working with the Bohannon companies in 1943, where her leadership guided the successful growth of Bohannon Development Company since being named president in 1975. Bohannon Development Company owns and operates the Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo.

A major triumph in her business life included the expansion and enclosure of Hillsdale Shopping Center in 1981, amid a daunting economic recession.

As a devoted wife to husband Howard Nelson, Frances parented three children, Patricia Atassi, Linda Davis and Steven Nelson.

Balancing work and family, Frances also established an extraordinary record of philanthropic service. She served as regent and trustee of Santa Clara University, she was on the Board of Governors of the Urban Land Institute and the Advisory Board of Peninsula Volunteers, she was honorary chairman of the Capital Campaign for the Second Harvest Food Bank in San Mateo County, and generously supported Planned Parenthood and woman’s reproductive rights, notwithstanding her staunch support of the Republican Party.

Frances was voted into the San Mateo County Women’s Hall of Fame in 1990. In her leisure time, one might have found Frances trying new recipes in the kitchen or fishing and hunting with her family on expeditions to Alaska, Canada, Cabo San Lucas, India and Africa.

Frances is survived by daughters Patricia Atassi and Linda Davis, and grandchildren Tarek Atassi, Jennifer Davis, Blair Nelson and Eric Nelson. A resident of Woodside for 55 years, Frances is predeceased by her husband Howard Nelson, sister Barbara Carleton, brother David E. Bohannon, son Steven Nelson and grandson Ramzi Atassi.

A celebration of her life will be held Jan. 27, 2014, at the Peninsula Golf and Country Club. For those who wish, in lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations should be made in her name to Planned Parenthood, 1691 The Alameda San Jose, CA 95126; Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, 750 Curtner Ave. San Jose, CA 95125; or a charity of your choice.



Tags: frances, bohannon, nelson, mateo, family, atassi,

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