Frances Lee Matthews
Frances Lee Matthews
  • March 4, 1949 - June 26, 2017
  • Grand Prairie, Texas

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Frances Lee Matthews, (known to most as Fran; Frannie by her Son in Law, John; Mimi to Sofia; and Mom and Mommy by her fiercely protective and loving daughter, Amber); age 68, went to be with her beloved Lord and Savior, and her Parents, Joe and Judy Matthews on June27, 2017.

Frances Lee Matthews was born on March 4th,1949, in Pampa,Texas to parents Joseph Preston Matthews and Julia Ladelle (Stephenson) Matthews. Two years later, her baby brother Stephen was born, and he completed their family of four. Shortly after, the family of four moved to 2202 18th Avenue in Texas City, TX, and this is where their family was raised.

This is being written by her daughter, Amber, so you will hear me cross between the names Fran, Mom and Mommy often.

My Mom graduated from Texas City High School, in Texas City, TX, in 1967. She loved to save her lunch money, and use it for gas money, and Cokes, to drive her friends to the beach every day after school in her red convertible. She never tried to be popular or run with the in-crowd. Instead she chose to make friends with people who were mostly bullied. My Mom also had a lot of friends of color. My Mom went to High School in the Civil Rights Era. She said that a lot of people didn't like her because of her choice of friends, but inequality was something she never understood.

This is the love story of my Mommy and I, Sofia and my Mom, and lastly the adorable relationship between John and Mom.

Please bare with me. I have never written an Obituary, and I was in no way prepared to be writing this one. I just want to talk about my Mom's story, the way it deserves to be told, and in an in depth way that she never would have told you. Not because she didn't want to, but because she didn't know how to. She suffered from Mental Illness her entire life, and the older she got, she lost many words and many memories. I often feel the Good Lord above took them from her, to save her heart from any further pain. However, her memories live on thru me. She will ALWAYS live on thru me and she will be safe; feel protected; madly loved and I will never let her feel one ounce of pain again.

So with tears lighting up my keyboard as I write, here goes...

I am going to quickly elaborate on two words I just said. (MENTAL ILLNESS) My Mom was very misunderstood. Mental Illness takes away the beautiful person living just under it's surface. It seems like it loves to torture both the person suffering, as well as their family and their friends. It was obviously not my Mom's choice to suffer from Mental Illness. It was like this beast that followed her around her entire life. Once she would get one part under control another was quick to attack. It was difficult for her to stay ahead of the curb. She spiraled often. It hurt me so bad to see her suffer. Especially knowing there was nothing I could do except sit back; watch; cry; and wait for the next strike. I can say the same for the rest of those who loved her and watched this horror as well. My Mom didn't deserve that endless suffering. Her friends and family didn't deserve it either. No one on this earth deserves to suffer that pain.deserved to suffer the hurt it caused for all involved.

So where did the story of Amber and Fran, and later John and Sofia begin?

She desperately wanted a child. In 1976, God answered her prayers, and at age 28, she adopted me, I was her only and very spoiled child. I was adopted at birth, and she carried me home from the hospital in her arms. I can 100% confidently say I became her entire world. We bonded from day one, and that bond will remain forever.

She named me Amber Michele. She said she named me Amber because it was the color of a caution light. She always felt that she needed to take extra "caution" with me because I was adopted. My middle name was Michele. I was named Michele after my recently deceased beloved Uncle Michael.

As a child, my Mom never missed a beat in my life. At age two, she put me in tap, jazz, and ballet; put me in ruffly dresses with bells that she or my Grandma sewed on the bottom; she put me in baton lessons and gymnastics at age five; she was a teacher at my Montessori school from the ages of two to five; my room mother starting in Kindergarten thru fifth grade; my girl scout troop leader; first grade thru fifth grade; she had me very involved in the Seabrook Sharkettes drill team from 3rd-5th grade and she involved me in girl scout day camps over the summers.

I had an extravagant birthday party every year of my young life. One of my fondest memories of my Birthday parties is that she always home made my cakes. I remember cakes shaped like T-Shirts, Rainbows and perhaps my favorite...when I was 8 years old, she made me a cake with 8 beautiful dancing dolls on top.

She was a great Mom to my best friend Jennesa as well. She took great care of her. She loved Jennesa like she was her second Daughter. I can certainly tell you that Jennesa gained a new Guardian Angel on June 27th. It was just a given that she would be at my house seven days a week. That meant so much to me because Jennesa is, and has always been my very best friend. Jennesa's mom always had to work late to make ends meet. After all, she