Franklin Williams Bellows, age 91, died on Tuesday, the 3rd of September, 2013. Frank-builder, patriot, and gentleman- lived most of his long life in Houston with Sanny, his cherished wife of 65 years, and his children and grandchildren. Their happy home on Meadow Lake Lane-in particular the kitchen table-was the gathering place for family and friends for 50 years. |
Frank was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on the 15th of July 1922. He attended Kemper Military Academy and then the University of Texas, where he pledged SAE. Frank was a member of two Engineering Honor Societies, Tau Beta Pi and Chi Epsilon.
His college years were interrupted by WWII. Frank joined the Marines and was sent to the Pacific theater. It was on Guam that he met his future brother-in-law and life-long friend, Dr. John Overstreet. Although he left the service as 1st Lieutenant in 1946, Frank remained a Marine till the end of his days.
Upon his return to Houston, Frank joined his father and two brothers in the construction business, starting as a carpenter. WS Bellows Construction Company, now almost 100 years old, is known for having built the San Jacinto Monument, the UT Tower, the Alley Theatre, the Wortham Theater, and much of the Houston skyline. In addition, Frank was founder and President of Trinity Construction Company, which built many of Houston's roads and bridges.
Frank was an athlete. After jogging for decades, he began playing daily rounds of golf. He was a reader. He collected tens of thousands of books and read almost all of them. Frank's main avocation was enameling. With his massive kiln, he created enamel sculptures, portraits, and jewelry. Frank was involved in the Sons of the American Revolution, UT's Littlefield Society, River Oaks Country Club and St. John the Divine Church.
Frank's greatest joy was his family, and his greatest concern was that each of his children and grandchildren had the best education possible. Above all, Franklin Williams Bellows was an honorable man. He fought the good fight; he kept the faith; he finished the race.
Frank was preceded in death by his beloved son Franklin Williams Bellows, Jr., as well as his siblings Elizabeth, Warren, and George and his parents Anna and Warren.
Frank is survived by his wife Alice Ann "Sanny", his children Sarah, Vince, and Alice Ann, and his grandchildren Zachary and Sam Bellows; Mary Frances, Sarah, and Andrew Dunlap; Grant Martinez and Kate Cody with their spouses Gabby and Trace. He is survived by his son-in-law Frank Dunlap, daughter-in-law Elisabeth Bellows, sister-in-law Carolyn Cleveland, and many nieces and nephews.
Sincere thanks to caregivers Josephine Garrett and her daughter Felicia Pilot for their tireless concern and support.
Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from five o'clock this afternoon until seven o'clock this evening, Thursday, the 5th of September, in the library and grand foyer of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston.
A memorial service is to be conducted at three o'clock in the afternoon on Friday, the 6th of September at the Church of St. John the Divine, 2450 River Oaks Boulevard in Houston, where the Rev. Laurens A. Hall, D.D., is to officiate.
Immediately following, all are invited to greet the family during a reception in the nearby Sumner's Hall.
Prior to the service, the family is to have gathered for a private interment at Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery in Houston.
In lieu of customary remembrances, the family kindly requests that contributions in Frank's name be made to The Outreach Fund at St. John the Divine Church, 2450 River Oaks Blvd, Houston TX 77019, which supports many worthy organizations in the community.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Sept. 5, 2013