The life of Frances Tidwell Ansley of Lubbock will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. at First Christian Church on Monday, March 7, with Rev. Paul Carpenter officiating. Visitation will be at Combest Family Funeral Home on Sunday, March 6, from 12:30 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. Frances died at the Wilshire Place Assisted Living Facility on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022, at the age of 90. The first-born of three children and the only daughter of Samuel M. Tidwell and Lydia O. Tidwell, Frances was born in Clovis, New Mexico, on May 14, 1931. She graduated from Amarillo High School in 1949, where she was selected "Sandie Band Queen." After attending the University of New Mexico, Frances moved to Fort Worth, Texas, where she graduated in 1953 with a B.S. in Nursing from TCU. It was in that same year when Frances met Leslie Ray Ansley, a medical intern at Harris Methodist Hospital, who would become her partner in life and husband of 58 years until his death in 2013. Married in Amarillo, Texas, on June 5, 1954, the couple settled in Lubbock in 1955 where Les began his solo practice in obstetrics and gynecology.
Frances was a longtime member of First Christian Church in Lubbock and cheerfully served in many capacities there. She taught Sunday School to first graders for more than 25 years. Frances started the Book and Art Nook in the church library. She decorated several display cases in the church on a monthly rotating basis. Frances established the acolyte program for third graders and wrote the curriculum to train them. When Frances realized that one of her acolytes struggled with reading, she organized an ad hoc group of church friends to help the young person receive the proper assistance and needed guidance. With the support of the church, Frances and Les helped a family of South Vietnamese refugees relocate to Lubbock after the Viet Nam War. She played in the bell choir, and served on the pastor search committee and church pipe organ committee. Frances was selected as the Christian Women's Fellowship "Woman of the Year" in 1996, and both she and Les were made Deacon Emeritus in 1997.
Frances was Christian not only in word, but in deed. Her family served as the designated host family for numerous foreign students from Texas Tech and Reese Air Force Base. She was a den mother for the Cub Scouts, and the nurse at Camp Monakiwa for the Blue Birds. Frances was active in her Delta Delta Delta Sorority at TCU, and after moving to Lubbock, she served as an advisor to the Texas Tech chapter. She was a proud member of several service organizations, including the Junior League of Lubbock, where she held numerous offices and achieved sustainer emeritus status after 50 years of service, and Chapter AK of P.E.O. International since 1977. She co-chaired the Lubbock Arts Festival in 1989. Frances and Les both co-chaired the 1990 La Dolce Vita Benefit Bash for the Univerisity Medical Center Foundation. The following year, they also co-chaired the YWCA Great Lubbock Duck Race. Frances and Les volunteered for the "Reading Buddies Program" at the Ramirez Charter School in Lubbock. She was an active supporter of the Ronald McDonald House in Lubbock, and volunteered at the South Plains Food Bank. Frances was selected the Altrusa Club of Lubbock "Woman of the Year" in 1990. Frances was also formally recognized by Planned Parenthood of Lubbock (1979), Sherrick Memorial Home (1989), American Red Cross (2005), and Bean Elementary (2017) for her service and support.
Frances and Les were veteran globetrotters who enjoyed many trips to foreign countries and exotic lands on every continent except Antarctica. When her two granddaughters turned 13, she took each one on a trip "anywhere in the world" that they wanted to go. Frances loved to snorkle, watch game shows (especially "The Price is Right" -- she was a 2-day champion on that show in 1958 -- and "Jeopardy!"), play Bridge and Mahjong, read books, and spend time entertaining her three grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Frances won Best in Show and received numerous blue ribbons for her needlepoint work at the South Plains Fair. In service to the very end, Frances wanted her body donated to the Texas Tech HSC School of Medicine to help train the next generation of medical practitioners.
Aside from her husband, Les, Frances was preceded in death by both her parents and her younger brother, Sam Tidwell. Survivors include a son, Bruce Ansley, and daughter, Leslie Ansley, both of Lubbock; three grandchildren, Rebecca Martin and her husband, Dywayne Martin, of Lubbock, Matthew Klingensmith and his wife, Sarah Hoskins, of Boston, MA, and Celeste Ansley and her husband, Hamouda Mouslih, of Oakland, CA; one great-grandchild, Lydia Martin of Lubbock; her brother Dwayne Tidwell and his wife, Elizabeth, of Lubbock; and a wonderful collection of cousins, nieces and nephews. The family thanks all who visited, called, offered support and comfort, especially the staff at Wilshire Place as well as her faithful companion, Ayn Bowron. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be directed to First Christian Church, 2323 Broadway Ave., Lubbock, TX 79401, or to the charity of your choice.
This is the Day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24