Frances Garrett

Obituary of Frances Garrett

Frances Wilcoxson Garrett never met a stranger. She held each person she met along her life’s journey as a dear friend. Many of her friends were recipients of her personalized cards for their birthdays and holidays. Her friends stretched across the miles and years and she continued to remember each one of them as time passed. Teaching was not only her profession, but also her life’s mission. Someone once said Frances could teach a rock to read! Many people sought her out to help their child learn to read when it seemed they could not in their own school setting. Frances loved her family. She made sure that her siblings came together as adults. She was in the lives of their children as well. She prayed with them and had a scripture to help in the situations in which they found themselves. Most of all, Frances loved the Lord. She read the Bible through each year. She taught the Word. She lived the Word. Mary Frances Wilcoxson was born in Louisville, KY on May 29, 1934 to the late Mary Elizabeth Hayes. The late Whitman and Fannie Wilcoxson, her grandparents, raised her until they passed when she was a pre-teen. Frances confessed Christ at an early age. Her grandparents raised her in the admonition of the Lord. She was baptized at the Eastern Star Baptist church and participated there as a child. As an adult, Frances joined West Chestnut Street Baptist Church, where she raised her daughter and son. She was active in the Sunday School and Women’s Missionary Society. She also was a Cub Scout leader. In 1984, she moved her membership to West End Baptist Church in Louisville. There she served as Sunday School Director, Minister of Education, and Vacation Bible School Director. She was also active with Church Women United where she enjoyed working with women of faith across many denominations. Frances was educated in Louisville public schools. She graduated with honors from Central High School in 1952. She went on to earn a BA in Elementary Education from Kentucky State College in 1956. While working and raising a family, Frances earned her master’s from the University of Louisville in 1975. In the Jefferson County Public Schools, she was the consummate educator. Frances' last assignment was as a reading specialist. She retired in 1989 after 34 years of teaching. Frances moved to Rochester, NY in 1996 to be with her daughter and her family. She became a member of Pinnacle Road Baptist Church in Henrietta, NY, where she taught Sunday school and vacation Bible School. She served on the committee that worked to merge Pinnacle Road Baptist Church with a Korean church. The result was the All Nations Baptist Church. She continued her work with Rochester Church Women United and often led worship reflections at their monthly meetings. Church Women United published these reflections in a book for its members. Frances was an avid reader. She loved to read mysteries – especially those in a series. She taught reading to new immigrants whose languages she did not speak! She was often seen tutoring adults at local libraries. Frances had fun, too! Moving to a cold, snowy environment gave Frances the opportunity to go snowshoeing. She rode horses at local fairs, tapped danced at OAISIS, and learned to play the piano. She won prizes at the Monroe County Fair for her hostas. Frances participated in aerobics classes at the Jewish Community Center several times a week and could often be seen walking around her Brighton neighborhood. She often made jello for her grandchildren when they were younger. The family looked forward to her corn pudding at holiday gatherings. Frances lived independently and lived life to the fullest. In 2015, she became ill and that changed everything. While she was limited physically, she continued to watch Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. When her daughter and son-in-love, who cared for her at this time, were stumped on a puzzle or question, Frances, in a quiet voice could be heard answering the question – often before the contestant. However, Frances’ journey in this life ended as she transitioned from this world to glory. While yes the family is sad by the absence of her physical presence, there is joy in knowing that she had a life that was full of love, laughter, and purpose. Frances Wilcoxson Garrett, 85, passed away Friday, May 22, 2020 in Rochester, NY. Along with her mother and grandparents, her son, Stephen P. Garrett, Jr, her sister and brother-in-love, Peggy and Servelman Kenney, and great-grandson, Stephen Sampson, predeceased Frances. Frances’ dedicated daughter Cheryl (Rev. Ronald) Sampson of Rochester, NY; her grandchildren: Ronald, Sonya, Tempest, and Whitman Adriel Sampson; her great-grandchildren: Maya, André, Kierra, and Rahm Sampson will all hold fond memories of her in their hearts. She also leaves, with their dear memories, her brothers Tilford Wilcoxson, Sr. of Louisville and David (Princess) Hayes of Mississippi. Her nieces Deborah Hodge and Virginia Wilcoxson of Louisville, Angela Hayes of Mississippi, and Carmen Hayes of Georgia; her nephews Maurice Kenney of California, Robert Kenney of Ohio, Tilford Wilcoxson of Louisville, and Phillip Hayes of Mississippi; and a host of great nephews and nieces will treasure memories of their Aunt Frances. The family will hold private services. Interment will be at Riverside Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Frances Garrett’s name to Samaritan's Purse, the American Diabetes Association, or any charity in her name.
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