SHERMAN - Frankie Geneva Smith was born December 8, 1912, to John Daniel and Sarah Moletha (Gray) Smith in the Ida community of north Texas. She passed away Monday, April 28th, at the age of 101, at The Homestead of Sherman.|
Her family will receive friends at Dannel Funeral Home Wednesday April 30th from 6:30-7:30 in the evening. Graveside services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday, May 1st, at Cedarlawn Memorial Park (Chapel on the Hill). Rev. Danny Wood of West Sherman Baptist Church will officiate. Interment will follow immediately after the service.
Frankie spent her early years on the family farm. She was the youngest of eleven children, seven of whom lived to adulthood, all raising their own children in, or near, the Ida community. Her siblings were: Maudie Smith Prichard (Austin), Velma Smith Martin (Frank), Zelma Smith Cole (Creed), Homer Smith (May), Webster Smith (Ada), and J.D. Smith (Jewell).
Frankie eventually raised her own four children, with husband Weldon, on a farm near Luella. They were: Weldon Earl Nelson, Jr., Mary Jane Nelson, Joan Nelson and Barbara Nelson.
Sometime in 1929, at a cakewalk at Providence School near Luella, a mutual friend and teacher, Mrs. Vera Vaden, introduced Frankie to Weldon Earl Nelson, Sr. Weldon bought Frankie's cake and immediately decided she was the best cook he had ever met. They courted only a short time before he proposed marriage. Frankie told him she would have to think about it. After pondering the question for approximately fifteen minutes, she said 'yes'.
After a few days spent planning a wedding, and to avoid the three-day waiting period Texas licenses demanded, the couple drove across the border into Oklahoma. There, they could purchase the wedding license, obtain the necessary blood tests, and say 'I do', all in the same day.
On November 23, 1929, as they sat in the front seat of the car, with Weldon's parents in the back seat as witnesses, Baptist minister R.C. Miller stood at the driver's side window and performed the ceremony. Quite likely, it was the only such ceremony Rev. Miller ever performed, and it was certainly enough to last the new Mr. & Mrs. Weldon Nelson. She cooked for him for 54 years before his death in 1983.
Frankie heard the gospel of Jesus Christ and chose to serve him as her Lord when she was only 14 years of age. Because Ida church did not have a baptistery, she was baptized at Forest Avenue Baptist Church in Sherman, along with twenty others. In later years, she and Weldon became members of Luella First Baptist Church and East Sherman Baptist Church. Frankie taught Sunday School classes for over 50 years. She was most recently a member of West Sherman Baptist Church.
Frankie was small in stature and strong in her beliefs. She loved and supported her children, in school, church and community activities. She was forever faithful to her church, a loving grandmother, wonderful cook, an artist and an author of short stories. Out of necessity, she learned to drive at the age of seventy, and because of her great determination, she passed the test on her first attempt.
Frankie was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Weldon; son Weldon Earl Nelson, Jr. and his wife Dorothy (Shelton) Nelson; parents John Daniel and Sarah Moletha (Gray) Smith; parents-in-law Thomas Lee and Oppie Jane (Jobe) Nelson; all of her siblings; great-grandson Derek Gibson and greatgranddaughter Leslee Monk.
She is survived by three daughters: Mary Jane Morphew (Glen) of Luella, Texas, Joan Griffin (Roy) of Sherman, Texas, Barbara Monk (Bob) of Sherman, Texas; grandchildren: Debbie Nicholas, Randy Morphew, Peggy Guthridge, Don Nelson, Curtis Nelson Tamira Shallenberger, Gina Griffin, Bob Monk, Kevin Monk and Steven Monk.
There are also many great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and countless dear friends left to cherish Frankie's memory.
The Nelson family wishes to express heartfelt thanks to West Sherman Baptist Church, the Homestead of Sherman, and Home Hospice of Grayson County for all the tender love and care provided Mrs. Frankie.
In lieu of flowers and other remembrances, the family would be honored by memorial donations to any of the organizations mentioned above.
Arrangements are under the direction of Dannel Funeral Home.
Online condolences may be registered at www.dannelfuneralhome.com.
Published in The Herald Democrat from Apr. 30 to May 2, 2014