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Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Homes & Cremation Services - Austin
3125 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78705
512-452-8811

Helen Boswell Frantz

Obituary Condolences

Helen Boswell Frantz Obituary
Helen Boswell Frantz Helen Boswell Frantz, a resident of Austin for over 70 years, died October 21, 2012. She leaves behind a legacy of love, laughter, and a lust for living. Born January 2, 1919 to Grover Cleveland (G.C.) Boswell and Mary Anna Murrell Boswell, Helen's early life reads like a travelogue of North and West Texas small towns. As her father was recruited to establish and gain accreditation for new school districts, Helen lived in Ringgold (her birthplace), Byers, Commerce, and McLean. The family moved to Abilene where she completed her high school years at Abilene High. In the years to come she would often delight her young daughters with a high-pitched rendition of the school's somber alma mater. Another move, this time to Weatherford, saw Helen completing Weatherford Junior College. She completed her undergraduate studies at Texas Wesleyan College in Fort Worth. However, it was in Weatherford that Helen met and married Joe B. Frantz on September 3, 1939. Together, they moved to Austin, where they both pursued graduate study, with Helen researching the Little Theater Movement in Texas. Although they always maintained a home in Austin and continued to be associated with the University of Texas, professional opportunities and World War II led Helen to continue exploring new environs. During their first fifteen years of marriage, the couple lived in Houston, Brooklyn, and Boston. For part of WWII, Helen taught public school in Ranger, Texas. In many ways her greatest success was not as a classroom teacher; rather she was able to arrange social services that met the needs of individual students. Upon their return to Austin, Helen began joining several civic groups. Possessed with strong organizational skills, she believed in being an active participant, serving on the board of many. She served as president of the Dill Elementary School PTA, the University Ladies Club, the American History Club, and Open Forum, where she was a frequent presenter. In 1984, she was asked to write an entry about the American History Club for The Handbook of Texas. She was also a former member of Faculty Wives, Retired Faculty Staff Association, and the English-Speaking Union. In 1966 she joined Pan American Round Table, an organization whose purpose is to promote the knowledge of neighboring countries. She twice served as president of that organization and was chairperson of its state convention when it was held in Austin in 1975. Again, she was asked to supply an entry on this organization for the Handbook. She remained committed to PART until her death. Additionally, Helen was a member of the original group of Docents of the LBJ Library, where she was recognized for twenty-five years and over 3500 hours of service. She also was a docent at the Texas Governor's Mansion beginning in 1983 when the program started. When forming the Austin Arts Commission, Mayor Carole McClellan appointed her as a member in the area of Dance. She served four terms, ending in 1986, and was honored with the Amicus Award for "outstanding support of the Arts in Austin" in 1984. Helen also logged volunteer hours with Reading Is Fundamental, Meals on Wheels, and with the Texas State Historical Association during its annual conventions. The granddaughter of a Methodist minister, Helen joined the University United Methodist Church when she first moved to Austin. She enjoyed belonging to several UMW circles and was a member of the Couples Plus class. Helen loved to travel and was able to visit most of the continents. Her first visit to Mexico sparked a life-long interest in Central and South America. She enjoyed living for extended periods in Chile, Peru, and Ecuador. However, when asked in recent years where she would most like to return, she promptly answered, "The Greek Isles." Helen is survived by her two daughters, Jolie Fleming and her husband, Scott, of Falls Church, VA, and Lisa Dietz and her husband, Henry, of Austin; five grandchildren: Stephen, Genevieve, and Nick Fleming, and Richard and Rachel Dietz; her sister, Genevieve Boswell Moss; and many nieces and nephews. They will miss her quick wit, her family stories, and the joy of being with her. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that a memorial contribution be made to Pan American Round Table, 108 W. 33rd St., Austin, TX 78705, or to a . The family wishes to thank the myriad people who supported Helen during the last few years. She always looked forward to your visits, your stories, and your presence. Memorial services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, October 26, 2012 at University United Methodist Church, 2409 Guadalupe in Austin. Burial will be private. Parking is available at the Platinum Parking Lot at 25th and Guadalupe. Obituary and memorial guestbook available online at www.wcfish.com
Published in Austin American-Statesman on Oct. 24, 2012
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