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Published on March 16th, 2017 | by WMJledger



Frances (Soble) Shames, 87, of Enfield, Conn., died Feb. 26 at home. She was the widow of Cantor Morton Shames. She was the daughter of the late Jennie and Harold Soble, Jewish immigrants to the U.S. from Russia and France. After graduating from Brookline High School, she pursued piano studies at Boston University under Jules Wolffers. She and her late husband moved to Springfield in 1953 when Cantor Shames was hired by Temple Beth El. Over the next 50 years, the Shames’ home became a center of musical life. She was an authority on early childhood education and a well-known piano teacher in the Springfield area for more than 50 years. She taught both private lessons and music appreciation classes, which were innovative at the time she developed them. She was invited frequently to speak about her work for other educators. She also taught nursery school at both the Jewish Community Center and Trinity Church throughout the 1970s. With her husband she was a founder and original faculty member of the Springfield Community Music School. As a pianist, she collaborated often with her husband in recital (as well as with other cantors). She is survived by three children, Jonathan Shames, Jennie Soble Shames, and Miriam Shames; two sisters, Dorothy Burnim and Irene Golan; a daughter-in-law, Stephanie Shames; a son-in-law, Michael Cole; two grandchildren, Jake and Chloë Shames; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews. Memorial contributions may be made to the Mortie and Frannie Shames Merit Scholarship of the Springfield Community Music School, as well as to the Sanctuary Fund of Temple Beth El.


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