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Francis “Fran” Harvey Raven, 91, of South Bend, Indiana, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family, on Thursday, September 12, 2019. He was born on July 29, 1928 in Erie, PA to the late Frederick James and Eleanor Elizabeth (Sopp) Raven.
Fran earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Gannon University, followed by bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from Penn State and completed his doctoral degree at Cornell University.
Fran devoted his career to teaching mechanical engineering at the University of Notre Dame and retired as a professor emeritus. It was always important to him to start class with a prayer. His ability to make complex concepts understandable enabled him to engage and educate young engineering students. For many of his students, Professor Raven was their favorite ND instructor.
Additionally, Fran was a well-published author in the field of mechanical engineering. He enjoyed consulting for companies including McCauley Accessory, South Bend Lathe, and Skylab, which was the first United States space station launched by NASA.
In 1952, Fran married Therese Mary Strobel, his wife of 64 years. Their love story was an inspiration, centered on family and their deep faith in God. They were devoted to raising their seven children and were proud that all seven earned college degrees from either the University of Notre Dame or St. Mary’s College.
Fran and Therese enjoyed traveling—memorable trips included Alaska, China, Europe and Africa. Each year, Fran and Therese hosted their children and grandchildren for an extended weekend at Pokagon State Park, so the Ravens could have fun together and enjoy their time as a family. Fran loved his family unconditionally and was grateful to God for all life’s blessings. At family dinners, he was known to lead the prayer. The message was always about love and how blessed the family was to be together.
For Fran, life was about giving generously with love and happiness. He was an optimist, who was always smiling and saw the bright side of everything. He loved attending Notre Dame football and women’s basketball games, playing golf, riding rollercoasters, eating chocolate, and spending time with people.
In addition to his parents, Fran was preceded in death by his wife, Therese; brother, John Frederick Raven; and daughter-in-law, Anne Huneryager Raven.
Fran is survived by his devoted children: daughters, Elizabeth “Betty” Raven of South Bend; Ann (Bill) McCarthy of Alpharetta, GA; Mary “Bart” (Doug) Mansmann of Louisville, KY; Catherine “Cathy” Raven of South Bend; Linda (Cláudio Adolfo) Raven of Angola, Africa; sons, Paul (Cydni) Raven and John Raven, both of South Bend; ten grandchildren: Kylie, John, William, Kevin, Laurel, Michael, Denny, Heather, Abby, and Molly.
The family would like to thank the wonderful people who cared for Fran and supported the family during the last few months.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 AM on Monday, September 16, 2019 at St. Thérèse, Little Flower Catholic Church, 54191 N. Ironwood Road, South Bend, IN 46635. Graveside service and burial will follow at Cedar Grove Cemetery, on the campus of the University of Notre Dame. Friends may visit with the family from 2:00-5:00 PM on Sunday, September 15th and from 10:00-11:00 AM on Monday, September 16th at the church.
Expressions of sympathy may be made to St. Thérèse, Little Flower Catholic Church, 54191 N. Ironwood Road, South Bend, IN 46635.
Online condolences may be left at www.palmerfuneralhomes.com.
St. Thérèse Little Flower Catholic Church
54191 N. Ironwood Road, South Bend IN 46635