Cover photo for Helen Frances "Fran" Niland's Obituary
Helen Frances "Fran" Niland Profile Photo

Helen Frances "Fran" Niland

October 10, 1941 — September 23, 2023


Helen Frances "Fran" Niland

Helen Frances "Fran" (Donoghue) Niland, age 81, passed away on Saturday, September 23, 2023, at Beaumont Rehabilitation in Natick, Massachusetts. Born in Boston, Massachusetts on October 10, 1941, she was the daughter of the late John and Ellen (Cunnane) Donoghue.  Fran was raised in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston, where she graduated from Presentation Academy with the Class of 1959.  She went on to attend Boston City Hospital's School of Nursing, graduating as a registered nurse with the Class of 1962.  Following her graduation, Fran began her nursing career at Boston City Hospital, learning as much as she could in the field.  


Fran married her beloved husband, Peter John Niland, Jr., on September 21, 1963.  The young couple initially made their home in Westwood, Massachusetts before settling into their Walpole home in 1969.  In addition to raising her three children, Stephen, Diane, and Peter, Fran found time to return to her education, earning a master’s degree from Cambridge College in 1984.  Fran left Boston City Hospital, to take her nursing and administrative skills to area nursing homes and was frequently sought out for her expertise in bringing the facilities back into compliance.  Throughout the course of her nursing home career, Fran mentored many young CNAs, providing them with on-the-job training and ensuring they met her high level of expectations. Fran returned to Boston City Hospital where she remained until she officially retired.  After her retirement, Fran's love for helping others led her to the VNA of Cape Cod, where she served as a visiting nurse to many clients in their own homes.


In 1990, Fran made her home in South Dennis, Massachusetts, enjoying all the Cape had to offer.  Fran truly enjoyed the Cape life, joining the Red Hat Society and making countless friends.  She looked forward to spending her days on area golf courses with her friends or enjoying a quiet moment on the beach with a favorite book.  Back at home, she loved spending time in her yard, "playing in the dirt" to cultivate and care for her beautiful flower gardens.  More recently, Fran moved off the Cape to be closer to her family, making her home at Whitney Place in Sharon.


Most of all, Fran was devoted to her family and friends.  She regularly hosted parties and entertained in her home, cherishing the moments she spent with those she loved so dearly.  Fran was delighted at the birth of her grandchildren, spending all the time she could with them.  She even planned out special trips with her grandchildren, visiting destinations in Ireland, California, and Hawaii.  


Beloved wife of the late Peter John Niland, Jr.

Loving mother of Diane "Buffy" Desprez and her husband, James, of Norfolk, Peter Sean Niland, Sr. and his wife, Melissa, of Shirley, and the late Stephen Niland.

Cherished grandmother of Brittany Anselone and her husband, Charlie, Tyler Desprez and his wife, Taylor, Kiersten Niland, Brady Niland, and Sean Niland; and great grandmother of Jaxon, Mila, and Bradyn.

Sister of Mary O'Donnell of Hull, John Donoghue of Naples, Florida, James Donoghue of Pocasset, and the late Joan Schraven.

Also survived by many loving nieces and nephews.


Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend Fran's Life Celebration on Wednesday, September 27, 2023, from 4 to 7 PM in the James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home, 48 Common Street, Walpole.


A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, September 28, 2023, at 10:30 AM in Blessed Sacrament Church, 10 Diamond Street, Walpole.  Interment will take place privately at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne.


In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Fran's name may be made to Alzheimer's Association, 309 Waverley Oaks Road, Waltham, MA 02452.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Helen Frances "Fran" Niland, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Life Celebration

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home

48 Common St, Walpole, MA 02081

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Mass of Christian Burial

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Starts at 10:30 am (Eastern time)

Blessed Sacrament Church

10 Diamond St, Walpole, MA 02081

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 1395

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree