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People - Lydia Franz, Storyteller

Lydia Franz (1/11/1924-2/11/2008) was a native of Chicago, Illinois. As a child she played piano and cello, eventually graduating from Illinois Wesleyan University with a degree in music in 1944. This date was two years earlier than originally planned, as she accelerated her studies to volunteer for the Army. She joined the Women’s Army Corp in July 1944 and was assigned to Arlington Hall, Virginia as a cryptanalyst. After Japan surrendered she was stationed in Shang Hai, China, where she spent a year before returning home. Following her service, Lydia received a Master’s Degree in Piano Performance from Northwestern University in 1949, got married, and started a career in real estate. She moved to Owl’s Head, Maine in 1999 where she was known as “Bear.” Lydia was a member of American Mensa for 56 years, and had a life-long passion for word games, riddles, number puzzles and memory games. She was also a formidable blackjack player. To read more about Lydia Franz, visit

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