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Frances Williams Brown


1913 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Frances Williams Brown Obituary
Frances Williams Brown

Memphis, TN

On January 27th, 2017 Frances W. Brown, aged 103, mother, grandmother and great grandmother passed peacefully from this world and entered her heavenly home no doubt welcomed by many who had loved her during her life. A native Memphian, Frances was born on April 28, 1913 to John P. and Willie F. Williams. Frances entered this world early weighing less than 3 pounds. Kept alive in a shoebox with a light bulb, she grew strong and healthy. Until the last year of her life, Frances was never in the hospital for any reason other than the birth of her 4 children.

Frances lived most of her life in Midtown Memphis, attending Snowden School and Central High School. After graduating from Central, she attended business school. When asked what invention changed her life the most, Frances quickly answered, "the typewriter". She was secretary to Mr. Raymond C. Firestone, President of The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company of Tennessee at its plant in north Memphis. Once her children were born she stayed at home raising them until her youngest entered school. She then worked as a school secretary at both Vollentine and East Elementary Schools. Following her retirement, she volunteered another 30 years working in her church office.

Frances loved storytelling and became a member of the Memphis Storyteller's League in 1949. She held the offices of secretary, vice president and president. She shared her stories with church groups, women's clubs, nursing homes, family and friends. Anyone who had the privilege of hearing Frances tell a story was completely mesmerized by her delivery. She never used a note, having memorized the story from beginning to end. Frances volunteered at The Church Health Center for many years and knitted caps for MIFA.

She was a devoted member of Trinity United Methodist Church for over 80 years. She served her church in many areas including the United Methodist Women, the Prayer Group, Bible Study Leader and taught various Sunday School classes until the age of 93.

Frances was preceded in death by her parents, her siblings, Margaret W. Hightower (husband, Rev. Ted), Carolyn W. Parish (husband, John) and John P. Williams, Jr. (wife, Olenka), her husband of 55 years, William P. (Bill) Brown and her daughter, Roberta B. Pierce.

She is survived by her children, Beverly B. Fisher of Sarasota, FL, Glenn T. Brown (wife Heather) of Knoxville, TN and Marilyn L. Brown of Houston, TX. She also leaves six grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren and three nephews. All of those remaining have wonderful memories of our sweet mother, aunt, grandmother and great grandmother. Frances was known for her deep dimples telling everyone that she was kissed by an angel. We take comfort in knowing that she is now among the angels ready to pass on those kisses.

In true fashion of her giving spirit, Frances donated her body to The University of Tennessee Medical School for research. When asked why she wanted to do that, she said she thought the students might learn something by looking inside a 103-year-old body that had never had any major illnesses.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at Trinity United Methodist Church on Saturday, April 1st at 2:00 pm to be followed by a time of visitation at a reception.

Those wishing to remember Frances are encouraged to make a donation to either Trinity United Methodist Church, 1738 Galloway Ave., Memphis, TN 38112 or The Church Health Center, 1210 Peabody, Memphis, TN 38104.
Published in The Commercial Appeal on Feb. 12, 2017
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