Frances Stovall of San Marcos passed away peacefully during the night on Thursday, March 17, 2011, at the age of 89. Born Frances Elizabeth Middagh in Lawrenceville, Illinois, on Dec. 7, 1921, she is the daughter of the late John Judy and Rebecca (Fowler) Middagh of Texas City, and the widow of USAF Col. Jack N. Stovall (deceased 2004).
As a young student, Frances concurrently attended McMurry College 1938ï¿½1941, was a Woman's Page editor at the Odessa News Times 1937-1940, and was an Abilene Reporter News journalist 1938-1941. As a journalist, she was able to cover the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials while stationed with her husband in post-war Germany.
Her many memberships illustrate her passion for history and preservation. They include: The Daughters of the American Revolution, The National Trust for Historical Preservation, The Texas Historical Foundation, The Texas State Historical Association, The Magna Charta Dames, and The Society of The Ark and The Dove.
Frances arrived in San Marcos in 1969 and immediately began community activities.
She has left a legacy of enhancing San Marcos through contributions as: chair of The San Marcos Bicentennial Commission, chair for three years of The Hays County Historical Commission, chair of The National Register Committee, sponsor of The San Marcos River Walk, member of The San Marcos Chamber of Commerce, and an organizer of the annual Tour of Homes. She was a founder of The Preservation Associates Inc. of Hays County and a founder of The Heritage Association of San Marcos, serving on its board of directors from 1975-2006. She helped San Marcos gain recognition with the national Main Sreet program.
As an author, Frances edited five cookbooks, published innumerable tour pamphlets, wrote the column "Window on San Marcos" as well as an invaluable collection of articles for the San Marcos Daily Record, co-authored "Clear Springs and Limestone Ledges, A History of San Marcos and Hays County", and compiled and edited "Historical Markers in Hays County ï¿½ Volume Two."
She is the recipient of the Texas Historical Commission Award for Historical Preservation, the John Ben Shepperd Leadership Award, and the Ruth Lester Lifetime Achievement Award. She was named Woman of the Year Beta Sigma Phi, San Marcos in 1976; Volunteer of the Year, Rotary Club of San Marcos in 1995; San Marcos Grand Dame in 2006; and San Marcos Woman of the Year in 2008. In 2001, the San Marcos Public Library dedicated the Frances Stovall collection in her honor.
She is survived by her four children, six grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren: son Richard Middagh Stovall; daughter Frances Tshudy (Judy) with her husband Thomas Upchurch, granddaughters Elizabeth Jewell and Rebecca Bruno with her husband Michael and their children Victoria and Nicholas; her daughter Susan Greenlees Carter, grandson Robert Christopher Carter (Chris) with his wife Suzanne and their son Joshua, granddaughter Melissa Summer Greenlees with her husband Michael and her children Carter and Kendra, granddaughters Katherine Carter and Kirstie Carter, and great-grandchildren Austin, Virginia, and Charlotte (children of late grandson Thomas Greenlees and his wife Kristina, deceased 2008); and son John Fowler Stovall with his wife Martha Fallwell. She is also survived by her sister Mary Hunter with her husband Randel and many loving nieces and nephews far and wide.
Visitation will be held at Thomason Funeral Home Wednesday, March 23rd, from 5 to 7pm. Service to celebrate the life of Frances will be held 10am, Thursday, March 31st, at the First Presbyterian Church, 410 West Hutchison Street, San Marcos. A reception will follow in the Church Fellowship Hall. A private family graveside ceremony at the San Marcos Cemetery will be held in the afternoon.