Betty Jean (Lewis) Franks, a great spirit who loved her family, friends and life in general, died of heart failure at the age of 90 on May 26, 2017 at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio.
She died peacefully with family members at her bedside who made sure she knew that she had been much loved by all who were fortunate enough to know her.
Born to Dock Lindsey and Mary Elizabeth
Mosley Lewis on June 18, 1926 in Graham, Ok., she was the last of five siblings still alive. Sisters Emma Marteil Bramlet, Media Pearl Stueve and Mary Rountree and brother Russell Lewis all preceded her in death.
The central fact of her life was that for 71 years she was married to her beloved Curtis Charles Franks, who survives her at the age of 91.
They met in Lockhart after her family moved to Texas from Oklahoma, then they married in 1946, shortly after Curtis returned from the Pacific at the end of World War II.
They did their part for the post-war Baby Boom by producing three children: Gary in 1947, Kerri in 1951 and Jeff in 1952.
As Curtis pursued a career in the oil business that took them to Alice, Houston, San Antonio and Fair Oaks Ranch, Betty stayed at home to care for the kids and run the household.
It was a traditional marriage in that sense, but they embellished it with a spirit of fun and adventure that led them to travel extensively in the U.S. and abroad and to enjoy great times with their many friends.
Particularly in their Houston years, they had an active social life with a circle of close friends, which perfectly suited Betty who loved a good party and was always an exuberant participant in the festivities. She and Curtis were good dancers, so if there was a dance floor available, they were on it.
As time went on, they bought an RV and greatly enjoyed touring in it, they played golf and were regulars at the Petroleum Club in San Antonio, of which Curtis was one of the founders.
In July 2013, Curtis suffered a stroke from which he is still recovering.
Then Betty was beset with health problems that worsened in recent months and ended her life.
A couple of days before her death, their long love story came full circle when she called Curtis to her side, clasped his hand, told him she had always loved him and would love him forever, but she couldn’t hold on anymore and it was time for her to go.
Betty wasn’t rich or famous or even without flaws, but she was widely loved and always remembered because of her sense of humor, high spirits and good heart.
It is a tribute to her and to her life that she will be greatly missed.
She is survived by husband Curtis C. Franks; their three children and their spouses: Gary C. and Shiela Franks, Kerri and Tom Blanton, Jeff Franks and Elena Vega; by their grand-children and spouses: Mike Blanton, Spencer and Barbara Franks, Jeff Blanton, Heidi Franks and their step granddaughter, Lauren Gregory; by their great-grandchildren: Hallie Blanton, Kaylee Blanton, Olivia Franks and Preston Franks; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
A special thanks to caregivers Charlotte Washington, Christine Ramirez and Amanda Johnson and all those who preceded them for taking good care of Betty and Curtis. And a scratch behind the ears to beloved Kitty Cat, who gave Betty much comfort and continues to do so for Curtis.
A memorial service for Betty will be held on June 9 at 11 a.m. at McCurdy Funeral Home in Lockhart.