Mary A. Fanckboner

The BSU Fan Club in Heaven just gained its newest member in Mary Fanckboner, who passed away at a local care facility on Saturday, May 11, 2019.  Mary just celebrated her 95th birthday on April 15, 2019 and was surrounded by her family and friends and really enjoyed her special day!

Mary was born in Brisbane, Australia in 1924 to James Patrick Shanahan and Mary Pettiford Shanahan, good Irish stock of which she was always proud.  After high school, she completed secretarial training and worked for the US Army in Brisbane.  She met her love there in 1944, Channing Fanckboner, when he was stationed in Australia, and they were married in 1945.  Chan returned to the USA and Mary sailed on a ship, as a 21-year-old war bride, from Australia to Hawaii to San Diego.  She then took a train to Boise to be reunited with her new husband.  What a brave adventure for her!  They settled in SE Boise and built their forever home in 1957.  Mary remained in this home until 2018, accompanied by many cats, birds, turtles, gerbils, and especially her beloved dogs.

Mary and Chan had three children:  James, Pennie and Michael.  Even though Mary was a busy Administrative Secretary with the Idaho Fish and Game and later on with the Veteran's Administration, she always found time to be very involved with her children's sports, music, school activities, and summer vacation adventures.  She was a fabulous cook (her fried chicken, pot roast and potato salad are legendary), and she was an avid and skilled gardener.  Her roses were spectacular!  She was a wonderful painter, and enjoyed crochet, knitting and sewing.  Many happy hours were spent with family and friends playing cards and board games, and Mary was an expert with her crossword puzzles (done in ink, no less!)  She made every holiday important by decorating the house and having special meals to commemorate each holiday.  She especially loved Christmas and all the parties, food, decorating, and family joy that came along with it.  She continued these traditions throughout her life.

Mary and Chan were members of the Elks, the Lions, and the Alpenlite RV Club, and they made many lifelong friends through these organizations.  Mary also volunteered for many years at the BSU ticket office and at St. Alphonsus Hospital, and truly loved the friends she made during her volunteer years.

Mary and Chan were rabid BSU fans and supported not only the football program but also Basketball and Track & Field, and earned several service awards from BSU.  Mary loved to travel and made several journeys to Hawaii with the BSU football fans for games.  She attended many away games across the country as well, in support of her beloved Broncos.  She also travelled to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and finally returned to her Australian homeland after 45 years away!

Mary's greatest joy was her family, and she was an amazing Mom and Grandmother.  She was blessed with six grandchildren, four of whom lived locally, and she was very involved in their sports, music, and life events.  Nothing gave her greater pleasure than being with her grandchildren and Mary and Chan delighted in taking the kids camping in their RV, and having everyone over for family dinners.

Mary was a beautiful soul:  spunky and irreverent, wise, caring, and loving, determined and willful.  Her family lovingly called her "The Old Bat" for years, and she completely embraced that moniker, even putting it on her VW Bug license plate and her email!  Mary was always keen on learning new technology and had email accounts, a Facebook account, and did online banking well into her 90s!

Mary was quite a character, always smiling and happy and she had so many people who loved her.  What a wonderful life, well lived!  Mary will be deeply missed by us all.

Her parents, her sister Gloria, her husband Channing, and her youngest son Michael preceded Mary in death.  She is survived by her children and grandchildren:  James and Cathi Fanckboner of Washington (Brendan and Meghan), Pennie and Murray Young of Ontario, Canada (David Hertling and Ryan and Amber Hertling ), and daughter-in-law Patti Fanckboner of Boise (Channing and Kayla).


Our family would like to thank Dr. Leah Freeman, Brookdale Assisted Living, Shaw Mtn. of Cascadia, and especially Horizon Home Health and Hospice for all the loving care given to Mary these past months.  A special thank you to her grandson, David Hertling, for all his help and care.

Cremation services will be provided by Summers Funeral Home and as per her wishes no viewing or services will be held.  However, a Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, May 19, 2019 from 2-5 pm at the home of her grandson David Hertling, 3296 S. Betsy Ross Way, in SE Boise.  In lieu of flowers, please feel free to donate to the Boise State Athletic Association or an animal charity of your choice.