Funeral services for Frances Warren, 96, of Brownwood, will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, in the Austin Avenue Church of Christ. Burial will follow in Eastlawn Memorial Park under the direction Heartland Funeral Home. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Tuesday evening from 6 until 7:30.
Frances Marie Avinger Warren joined her Savior on Jan. 1, 2017, after a brief hospice stay, surrounded by her family. She was born in Brownwood on Feb. 1, 1920 to W.B. (Bill) and Dora Hutcherson Avinger, both from pioneering families in Brown County. Frances grew up and spent most of her life in Brownwood, graduating from Brownwood High School in 1937, and Howard Payne University in 1941, where she eventually obtained her Master’s Degree. Always popular on campus, Frances married star athlete Roland (R. E. / Slim) Warren in 1942.
After the outbreak of World War II, and during Slim’s deployment overseas, Frances worked at the Brownwood Bulletin assisting the editor and helping to locate housing for Camp Bowie GI’s and their families. After the war, Frances and Slim embarked on lengthy careers in education, mostly in Brownwood where they taught and influenced many generations of students until retiring in 1981. Many was the time that a former student would recognize and greet her, speaking warmly of their appreciation. Always lovers of the outdoors, Frances and Slim moved to a small farm outside Brownwood to enjoy life in the country, where they always relished their morning cup of coffee together on the back porch before heading to work or whatever other adventure awaited them for that day.
Always active in church, Frances was known for her beautiful singing voice, and was often asked to sing for funerals and other occasions. She loved to cook, sew, travel, fish, and generally be outside where she loved to garden. Most of all, she loved and supported all of her family, and enjoyed time with her grandchildren, who also loved to visit their Memaw out at the farm. After Slim’s too-early death in 1987, Frances continued to live in the countryside that she loved until dimming eyesight and good judgment persuaded her to move into town in 1996. There, she became a neighborhood presence, always ready for a power-walk, a visit, or a game of bridge. She continued and expanded her travels with relatives and friends, roaming as far as Hawaii, Europe and Australia, as well as many shorter sightseeing trips. She was the oldest member of the Life Liners line dancing group where she got her “exercise” four days a week up until the age of 95. Any new members who doubted their ability to learn the steps were just advised to “get behind Frances and do what she does.”
Frances was preceded in death by her parents, husband Slim, and her only brother, Herschel Avinger of Abilene. She is survived by daughter Marilyn Clark and husband Bob of Brownwood, son Mark Warren of Carrollton; grandsons Wes Clark and wife Lana, Bryan Clark and wife Sloan, and Jay Clark and wife Francie, all of Brownwood; granddaughters Krysten Ohlig and husband Chris of Frisco, Brianna Gonzalez and husband Michael of San Antonio, and Aleisha Wilks and husband Steven of Melissa; and six great grandchildren.
Frances’ family requests that memorials be made on her behalf to the Cherokee Home for Children, PO Box 295, Cherokee, TX, 76832. Condolences, memories, and tributes can be offered to the family at heartlandfuneralhome.net.