January 19, 1954 – March 12, 2023
Around 6:30am on the morning of Sunday, March 12, with a dear friend holding his hand, Brother Thomas Anthony LaFrance took his last breath and transitioned from this earthly journey to his Heavenly Home. He died peacefully while in comfort care at Kaiser Oakland, after a week full of visits including songs, prayers, and stories from friends, parishioners, and family.
Father Justin, Thomas’s close friend, priest, and housemate says, “I believe he hung on so long and chose today, the Lord’s Day, knowing loved ones would be gathered together to love and support one another, and to lift him in prayer and song.” Masses were offered in his memory on Sunday, March 12, at All Saints, San Leandro, and at future date a Celebration of Life service will be held. Details will be shared on his CaringBridge site. May we hold his mother, his three siblings, and other family and loved ones in prayer.
O God of grace and glory, we remember before you this day our brother Thomas Anthony LaFrance. We thank you for giving him to us, his family and friends, to know and to love as a companion on our earthly pilgrimage. In your boundless compassion, console us who mourn. Give us faith to see in death the gate of eternal life, so that in quiet confidence we may continue our course on earth, until, by your call, we are reunited with those who have gone before; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Some people have expressed a longing to make a financial contribution in Thomas’ honor and wanted to know where they should send that, since donating through the CaringBridge site directs the funds to CaringBridge, not to Thomas’ fund. All Saints Episcopal Church has set up a fund in his honor to help with end-of-life expenses (e.g. memorial service expenses like reception and music, etc.) and the remainder will be used for a memorial gift to the parish dedicated in his memory. Contributions can be sent to All Saints Episcopal Church, 911 Dowling Blvd, San Leandro, CA 94577; put “Thomas LaFrance” in the memo line of any checks. You can also give online and be sure the fund “LaFrance Memorial Fund” is selected.
“Growing up on the peripheries of Roman Catholicism, I came to the Episcopal Church in my mid-twenties and was confirmed at Grace Cathedral in 1981. The music and rites of ‘Episcopalia’ enfolded me in a way that was mysterious, yet somehow familiar, and deeply comforting. Over the years, I’ve found that Worship is greatly enhanced when the connection between music, scripture and liturgy is intentional, thoughtful and spirit-filled. It is my prayer that the services here at All Saints make the Divine presence more palpable.”