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Fran MacEachron, Hastings' First Female Mayor, Dies At Home In Sleepy Hollow

Fran MacEachron
Fran MacEachron Photo Credit: Contributed photo

The woman who served as Hastings-on-Hudson's first female mayor has died.

Frances DePuydt MacEachron, mayor of Hastings-on-Hudson from 1980 to 1992, died on Thursday, Aug. 8 at her home in Sleepy Hollow. She was 94.

From 1968 to 1976, she was a member of the Hastings Board of Education, and for two years its president. She had also been active in the Hastings PTA, the Lyndhurst Board, and the Westchester Community College Foundation Board. 

A gifted soprano, she sang in the Grace Episcopal Church choir in White Plains, for nearly 30 years, says the obituary.

MacEachron was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on March 13, 1925. 

She graduated from the University of Iowa and received a M.A. in history from Radcliffe College. 

She and David W. MacEachron, her husband of 42 years, were married in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1947. They lived in Paris from 1949 to 1951, where (David) MacEachron was with the Marshall Plan. 

They moved to Hastings in 1954. David MacEachron led The Japan Society for 16 years, until 1989, and had previously been vice president of the Council on Foreign Relations for over 10 years. He died in 1990. 

Fran MacEachron was predeceased by Dr. John M. Kinney, her domestic partner of 13 years and a former professor at Columbia University's medical school, in January 2011. 

She is survived by her daughters, Susan MacEachron and Laura O'Callaghan; her son, Daniel; five grandchildren; and her sister, Janet Metcalf. 

"Even though I didn’t know her, she was an inspiration to me and to many other women in local politics as a pioneering female politician in an era when it was relatively uncommon for women to have leadership roles in municipal government," said Hastings-on-Hudson Mayor Nicola Armacost.

Armacost noted "the sad news came as we were frantically pulling together our submission and letters of support for a grant to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Hudson River Estuary Program, for study and development of permitting plans for improvements to the shoreline of MacEachron Waterfront Park, which was named in Fran’s honor."

MacEachron was "instrumental in acquiring the land to preserve open space and to provide public access to the waterfront for the community," she said.

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