Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Corporal Frances Marie Collender

Delaware State Police, Delaware

End of Watch Tuesday, February 6, 2001

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Corporal Frances Marie Collender

The men and women of Christiana Care Public Safety would like to extend our condolences to the family of Corporal Collender and to the Delaware State Police.

Christiana Care Public Safety

August 2, 2004

Trooper Collender you will always be in my heart and and my mind. It is police officers like you that make me want to be a police officer.


July 18, 2004

I was blessed with knowing this officer for several years. She was very professional at her job and was courteous towards everyone she met. As with all officers who have given the ultimate sacrifice, she will be missed!

CSO Prange
State of Delaware Justice of the Peace Courts

February 19, 2004

Rest in peace troop, while your tour is over, ours continues.
On behalf of the men and women of the Virginia State Police we extend our condolences.

Senior Trooper
Virginia State Police

February 6, 2004

Gone but not forgotten ......Rest in Peace ...Sister in Blue
Many thoughts and prayers to your family.

Officer Debra S. McFall
East Buffalo Twp Police

February 6, 2004

Though I never met Cpl. Collender, I know why she went out and did the job that she did every day. We at the International Association of Women Police salute Cpl. Collender and send our deepest sympathy to her family, friends and co-workers. You are all in our prayers. Godspeed, Frances.

Officer Donna C. Hillier
Purdue University Calumet Police Department

Franny was a great person. She meant alot to all of us. She made everyone feel good about themselves. (even those she arrested.) Her girls were her pride and joy. First she was a mother and then a Trooper.

She taught me a number of things. All of which I will remember for the rest of my life. She was some one I could talk to. Above everything else she was my friend. She was a great trooper and friend. She will forever be missed. Not only by her family but by her shift mates and her friends.


It's been over 2 years, and we all still miss you, Frances....though our loss will never equal that of Sam
and the rest of your family. We still think of you, every
day - and always will. We miss you, and will always admire
you for being the caring person that you were. There
will never be a smile that lit up a room the way YOU did !
"God only picks the prettiest flowers for his garden in
heaven." (He definitely got the prettiest one in you!).

A Friend of Frances
Delaware State Police

Farewell my fellow Trooper!

Trooper Nick Casto
Washington State Patrol

Cpl. Collender was a nice person with a kind soul. I met her a few times,I was a Delaware State Police explorer. The few times I met her she always had something cheerful and
encouraging to say. When I attended the funeral,I realized something. I realized the risks of being a police officer and that I would like to become a Delaware State Trooper.I did not realize how respected of a person she was not only by fellow officers and departments but even people she may have ticketed for doing something they know was wrong.Even though she's not here, I want her to know how big of an influence she had in my life.

Jerry R. Fort (explorer)
D.S.P. Explorer

I worked with Franny her entire career. She was a very out-going person. You knew when she was in the building, because she always made a point to say hello. She always volunteered for everything and helped anywhere she could. She was a beautiful person inside and out.

I'll never forget that day as long as I live. I still can not believe that she is gone. It's been over a year now and it still seems like I'll see her smiling face come walking through the back door any minute now.

Franny, if you're listening, we're taking care of your girls and family like we promised. You might be gone, but you will never be forgotten. We miss you.....


Nothing is sadder than the death of a fellow Trooper. I never met you but I can tell that you served your state well and gave it your all. You are a hero for that and you will not be forgotten. May god be with your family as the struggle to deal with the loss. I know everytime a Trooper dies a piece of me dies too.

Your Brother's to the North
Pennsylvania State Police

Pennsylvania State Police

Frances Marie Collender
By her daughter Samantha Fuller

Franny Collender. To some people it is just a name, but to me when I hear Franny Collender I see my very best friend in the whole world, the best mother and the person I hope to become. She was an amazing trooper who loved her job, though sometimes she was tired, she would still love getting dressed in her uniform and going to work. More than the work, she loved the people she worked with. She never talked down of anyone and always came home with new funny stories about the people she loved so much. (Clicking each other and impersonating each other).

To everyone in this church, they all see something different when they hear Franny Collender, but we all see the same beautiful person. The person that could just smile and make everyone a little happier, the person who could never tell a joke but still seemed to make it funny, and the same person who just made everything a little brighter. She could walk into a room and just make it so much nicer. “God only picks the prettiest flowers for his garden in heaven”. A special friend told me that, and when you ask yourself, why Franny Collender, tell yourself that. My mother was the most beautiful person I have ever known or met, inside and out. When I grow up, I want to be like my mom. Everything good I have inside of me, I get from her. I hope that when you look at me, you see her, the beautiful woman that has touched all of the hearts in this room. I am privileged to stand here and tell you how fortunate I am to have had the most amazing mother God has ever created and I hope you all know that. Hold her in your hearts forever and remember her beauty and love always.

Thank you for your support and love.


Corporal Frances Marie Collender #3111
Corporal Douglas Rentz #3151

This is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life, but at the same time it is a great honor to stand before you today to remember our friend and colleague, Corporal Frances Marie Collender. I had the privilege of being both a classmate of Fran’s at the State Police Academy and as a shiftmate at Troop 9.

The first time I met Fran was at the State Police Academy. I remember reading on the front wall of one the classrooms we spent so many hours in were the words Loyalty, Attitude, Discipline, and Service. When I chose to speak about Fran I immediately thought of these four words. These are words that Fran lived her life by everyday, whether she was on or off duty.

During the first few days of our Academy the Drill Instructors made sure that the only socialization we had was with either the floor or the ceiling. Not knowing Fran very well at that time, and being a typical man I thought she would be one of the first ones to quit. The odds were stacked against her. She was a female, had children and was one of the smaller people in our class. I quickly learned how tough a person she was when she would consistently beat the majority of the class on our daily run, and was barely out of breath after all the push-ups and sit-ups we did. She never backed down in boxing class, sometimes facing men twice her size and strength. She quickly gained the respect of her classmates through her everyday actions. When Fran was injured for a short time at the Academy she could have taken the easy road and done nothing, instead she helped out by offering to write all the daily reports, something everyone dreaded when it was their turn to be CQ. Fran was always helping out with chores at the Academy even though they were not assigned to her. She did this because she was a team player.

While at the Academy we all missed our love ones very much and sacrificed a lot to be there. Fran in particular had to leave behind a husband and her two children, Samantha and Taylor, for twenty-six weeks to focus on her training to become a Delaware State Trooper. While I was at the academy I would often think about my family and how much I missed seeing and talking to them. At that time I did not have a child. Now, I can’t imagine missing out on weeks of my son’s life. I don’t think I could have made it through the Academy if I were under the same circumstances as Fran. She gave up something she could never get back in order to fulfill her dream of becoming a Delaware Trooper.

Troop 9 was fortunate to get Fran in October of 1997, where she continued her hard work and dedication to being a Trooper. She was consistently one of the top troopers in traffic and criminal arrests each month. In January of last year, Fran became a member of B-shift. Those on the shift who did not know Fran quickly learned that she was a team player, always thinking of the other people around her. She would regularly call into the Troop to see if anyone needed anything on her way back in. She took on the role of social director for our shift, extending her home and hospitality to the shift and our families on a regular basis. She was always the first person to suggest that our shift get together. She even organized the Christmas Party this past December for Troop 9. She loved social events with her fellow Troopers, friends and family.

Fran was always willing to take a complaint, no matter how complex the investigation or how many reports she had pending. She rarely made it home on time because of her service to the citizens of Delaware.

Fran also took on many special duty jobs. I asked her one time why she worked so many extra jobs. She didn’t do it to buy a new car, new furniture for her house, or a Bose stereo system, she did it to send her daughter to a better school, again putting others before herself.

Fran never took a short cut with anything she did. Anytime there was a child involved in an accident she always called for an ambulance to have them checked to ensure that the child would be okay. Kids always seemed to bond with Fran at a complaint. She always knew the right thing to say to comfort them whether it was an accident or a domestic when we were often taking a parent out of the house.

Fran’s professionalism extended beyond children. On July 4th weekend of this past year, Fran responded to a fatal boat accident on the Canal banks. She was able to provide comfort to a father who had just lost his son. She stayed by his side until family arrived on scene. This was not something she had to do, but chose to do, because she genuinely cared about people.

Fran touched a lot of people, some of whom did not want to be touched, like the 38 people she arrested for DUI last year. She helped make the streets a safer place for all of us. On several occasions Fran would work during the day with the Vice unit and then report to work for her regular shift. When I asked her why she just didn’t take the night off she replied that she didn’t want to leave the shift short handed, again thinking of others before herself.

The last complaint she handled was just another illustration of her loyalty, attitude, discipline and service. She was an early midnight car and could have already been off-duty. She was minutes away from her house, but knew that someone needed help. Without hesitation she responded to the accident on Route 1. Fran left us doing what she did best, helping others. She will forever remain in our thoughts and prayers. I am amazed at how much she was able to do for so many people. She had two full-time jobs, one with the Delaware State Police and another being a mother and role model to Samantha and Taylor. I know I speak for everyone when I say it was a privilege and an honor to have known and worked with Fran.

Lt. Dennis J. Doubet
Delaware State Police

Blessed are the peacemakers,For they shall be called sons of God." Matthew 5:9


I to this day, cannot believe that Franny is not here. I met her when I started my tenure with the Delaware State Police in communications, and she was instantly a friend, and friend I will miss dearly. My prayers go out to her family, and her shiftmates. I am proud to be able to say that I knew her. God will keep her safe now.


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