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Francis Xavier Meaney

January 15, 1933 — April 2, 2024

Charleston

Francis Xavier Meaney

Francis “Fran” X Meaney died peacefully on April 2, 2024, in Charleston, South Carolina, with his beloved wife Jackie at his side. He was 91 years old.

Born in 1933 in South Braintree, Massachusetts, Fran was the seventh and last child of Edward J Meaney, an immigrant from County Cork, Ireland, and Mary Murphy Meaney, an immigrant from County Kerry, Ireland. His parents met in South Braintree, were married in 1909 at St Francis of Assisi Church, and brought into the world Daniel, Edward, Mary, Robert, Eileen, John (Jack), and Fran.

Fran attended Braintree High School and then the University of Notre Dame on a Navy ROTC scholarship. His experiences as Editor in Chief of the yearbook and as a press box media spotter for Notre Dame football games turned him into a lifelong supporter of the Fighting Irish.

After college, he served four years in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War, then attended Harvard Law School, graduating in 1960. That summer, Fran joined the Boston law firm, Mintz Levin, as its twelfth attorney.

Throughout his career at Mintz, he was most proud of his client work serving as bond counsel to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the City of Boston, and various public agencies, representing the securities industry in Washington D.C., and leading the firm's initiative to help Irish software startups launch in the U.S.

Fran, with his outstanding intellect, creativity, and vision, was part of a small group of partners who transformed Mintz into the successful firm it is today. As Managing Partner, Fran strategically positioned Mintz around industry practices, such as healthcare and environmental law, and modernized operations while doubling the size of the firm. A persistent innovator with a unique ability to imagine the building blocks needed to grow the business, Fran also opened the Washington D.C. office, founded the firm’s consulting affiliate ML Strategies, and developed Mintz’s Project Analyst Program so top college graduates could learn about law first-hand before making graduate school decisions.

Fran was a fearless, bold leader and indispensable mentor to young lawyers. He retired in 2012.

Throughout his career, Fran was also active in political affairs in Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., and New York.

For decades, Fran walked to work from his and Jackie’s home on Mt. Vernon Street on historic Beacon Hill. As time permitted, they enjoyed their second home in Chatham on Cape Cod. In 2017, Jackie and Fran, with their two Cairn Terriers, Dylan and Emmet, relocated to a home in the historic neighborhood of Ansonborough in Charleston, South Carolina.

As often as possible, Fran spent time with his family. He and Jackie traveled extensively over the years, especially to their favorite spots in France and Italy. Devoted husband, loving father, and proud grandfather, he was a thoughtful listener and generously shared his curiosity, patriotism, fierce Notre Dame pride, and enthusiasm for puns.

He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Jackie, his son James Meaney of Miami, Florida, and his wife Bruna and their children Brandon and Maria Sophia; his daughter Caitlin Meaney Burrows of Lafayette, California, and her husband Lee Burrows and their children Chloe and Finley; and his former wife Patricia Leahy Meaney.

A service to celebrate Fran’s life will be held in Brewster, Massachusetts in August.

Instead of flowers, please consider a donation in Fran’s memory for undergraduate scholarships and financial aid at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Francis Xavier Meaney, please visit our flower store.

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