Frances Rose Ingraham, age 85, of Franklin, Tennessee, passed away peacefully on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, after a long struggle with dementia.
A Celebration of Life service is at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11, in the chapel at Church of The City, 828 Murfreesboro Road, Franklin, TN., with private family burial prior to service.
Frances was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, to Francis and Minnie Riddlehover Thomason. She attended Corpus Christi High School and Baylor University, graduating in 1953 with a degree in education. She married Frank Calvin Ingraham on June 5, 1953.
During the Korean conflict the couple was stationed at the Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, Cheyenne, Wyoming, where Frank was a U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate Officer- JAG (attorney) and Frances taught grade school. They moved to Nashville in 1955 and to Franklin in 1962.
Frances quickly became a value to the community, originating the Candy Striper Program at Williamson County Hospital and serving as its first director. She reached out to young people with the good news that God loved them, serving as director of the intermediate-age Sunday School department at Belmont Heights Baptist Church and, later, as an adult department director at First Baptist Church Franklin. In the late ‘80s through early ‘90s she was active in continuing the Women’s Ministry at First Baptist Church, Franklin, now Church of The City.
In 1974 after losing her 17-year- old son, Hal, Frances experienced deep grief, finding comfort in God’s word and presence. This experience became her ministry; she, authored articles and spoke privately and publicly, loving others through encouraging words and sharing of her faith.
Frances was a scintillating communicator of the written word. She converted an upstairs bedroom into the place where she retreated to study and write — sometimes by hand and other times with her Smith Corona. She leaves her family a rich collection of her organized and well-written talks, devotions and articles.
Frances loved to play the piano and enjoyed listening to her vast music library.
She opened her home to dear friends and acquaintances, treating them like family and sharing heartfelt joy with true Southern hospitality — something she laughingly called “feller-ship.” Her cellar was always full of fresh, canned vegetables and she kept a place set at the table and a spare bedroom ready for guests and friends passing through. Her home was a favorite retreat to many people through the years. She loved others well and the Lord flowed from her heart.
She is responsible for discovering the 10-room 1929 Victorian house and land which became Tap Root Farm. On a drive one afternoon, with her three children in tow, Frances came upon an antebellum house surrounded by farmland. She drove down the long driveway, knocked on the door and met the owner. “Is this house for sale?” said Frances. “Oh honey,” said the owner, “You don’t want this old house, it’s country.” The next day she took Frank and they decided it was perfect. Since then, Frances has made her home an extension of her personality and warm hospitality. She hosted an annual Christmas open house for her church and the Clovercroft Community and her home was included in the annual Franklin Heritage Tour of Homes.
In any circumstance the devoted wife, mother, church leader and civic volunteer behaved with dependable equanimity. She was named Williamson County’s “Mother of The Year” in 1969 and was active in the PTAs of Franklin Elementary and Junior High School. She taught her three children core-values through family farm life. She organized her family around wholesome activities such as 4-H, cattle-shows, and the family garden. She even taught farm-to-table economics by helping her children sell produce from their farm stand on Clovercroft Road. Most of all, she prayed with her children at the very moment of need, whether a disappointment, a lost item, or a victory to celebrate. She did not “table” her prayer life — many prayer journals express her commitment to family and precious dear friends. She was one-in- a-million and even more, an incredible example to all who knew her.
Frances was preceded in death by her parents; her son, Harold (Hal) Eric Ingraham; and her brother, John Henry (Johnny) Thomason. Frances, or as her grandchildren call her “Rosey,” is survived by her husband, Frank; daughters Susan Rose Ingraham and Marianna Wilson and husband Jim; grandchildren Erica Anne Hopkins and husband, Ronnie; Kurt Calvin Ingraham; Carmen Rose Evans and husband, Sean; Meredith Ley Wilson; Lucia Genevieve Wilson; and one great granddaughter, Ashlyn Rose.
Memorials may be made to the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Home.
WILLIAMSON MEMORIAL FUNERAL HOME, 615 794-2289.