Frances Herron, age 101, longtime resident of Altus, Oklahoma, passed away Thursday, September 24, 2020 at the Tamarack Assisted Living in Altus, Oklahoma.
Frances was born in 1918 the youngest of seven children in Hester, Oklahoma, to her Pioneer parents, Fred and Bessie Smith. She began school five miles away at Martha, Oklahoma and traveled by Buggy to get there. After graduating from Martha High School in 1935 at the age of sixteen, she attended Oklahoma College for Women, then went on to the University of Oklahoma, where she graduated with a Bachelor's of Arts in Speech. At the age twenty, Frances began teaching. She continued teaching for the next forty-two years. Over this time, she has taught speech, agriculture, English, drama, and personality development throughout Southwestern Oklahoma.
In 1948 Francis married Earl Herron and the couple moved to Altus. It was an exciting time for the community due to the arrival of the new Altus Air Force Base and thee economic prosperity that accompanied it. Community involvement has always been important to Frances, and she has long served as a mentor to countless students in Southwestern Oklahoma. In 1978 she was recognized as Oklahoma Teacher of the Year. After her retirement in 1982, Frances did not slow down. She delivered thirty-seven speeches in support of the Altus Vo-Tech. Frances would stay in touch with many students she had taught over the years. She runs into them around town, they call just to catch up, and she enjoyed watching them grow. The Outstanding Student Award at Altus High School is given in her name each year, so students are still being encouraged by Mrs. Herron. Frances had three children, June, Cecilia, and James, who have all followed in her footsteps and been teachers themselves.
Interested in history, Mrs. Herron was a daily volunteer for the Museum of the Western Prairie for eight years and served on the board of the Western Trail Historical Society for 10 years, active in Jackson 4-H Clubs for over 20 years, she helped several of her students win state and national honors. The Seminar Center of Southwest Technology Center is dedicated in her honor, and she was elected to the VO-Tech Board of Directors for four years. The Jackson County Retired Teachers Association choose Frances Herron as their “Very Important Person" for 2008-2009.
Never far from her religious beliefs, she found time to teach Sunday school for 13 years and served on the board of elders at the Presbyterian Church. She is a" Kiwanis Mother of the Year" was a Paul Harris Fellow for the Rotary Club and was Grand Marshall in the Altus Christmas Parade in 1993.
Professionally, she worked diligently in O.E.A.; President of the 14 county Southwest District O.E.A. President of the Jackson County O.E. A. District chairman of classroom teachers, Guest speaker for the State O.E.A. Convention 1957 and 1978, Vice President and program chairman for Jackson County O.R.T.A. caller for O.R.T.A. Speaker three times to O.R.T.A. a loyal attendant to monthly meeting of O.R.T.A. for 26 years.
Preceded in death by her parents; her husband Earl Herron in 1993 and her son, James Herron; Frances is survived by two daughters, June Bolton and Cecilia and Ron Nichols, of Wagoner; daughter-in-law, Shannon Herron; four grandchildren, Keith, Kathy, Steve and Holly and several great grandchildren and numerous very special nieces and nephews.
Graveside Funeral services will be at 10:00 am on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at the Altus City Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers please make donations to the Frances Herron Scholarships at the Altus Public Schools, the Southwest Technology Center, or to the Western Oklahoma State College (WOSC) in honor of Frances Herron’s legacy.
Arrangements are under the direction of Lowell-Tims Funeral Home and Crematory, Altus, Oklahoma.
To sign the online guest book and share memories with the family please visit www.Lowell-Tims.com