In celebration of a beautiful life, well lived:
Mary Frances (Bartlett) Orson was welcomed to life by her loving parents, Esdal and Ella
May (Robinson) Bartlett, on March 4,1926, in Lamesa, Texas. On Friday, October 13, 2023, she took her last earthly breath at her home in Lubbock at the age of 97, surrounded by her children. Her next breath was in Heaven, with Jesus.
Fran delighted in her early years in Lamesa as an only child (but with over 60 first cousins and a multitude of childhood friends). She was devoted to her parents, who were from two large Dawson County pioneer families—the Robinsons and the Bartletts. At Lamesa High School, Fran met the love of her life, Raymond Orson. They were married on September 1 8, 1943, in her family home. In the years that followed, they welcomed their children, Rick, Candy, and Jenny.
After a stint in the U.S. Navy, they moved to San Angelo where Ray was a custom boot maker. The family returned to Lamesa in 1948 and began farming. They attended the First Methodist Church of Lamesa where they taught Sunday School, worked with youth, and sang in the choir. Fran was busy in her church and community and enjoyed her neighbors. During a Lay Witness Mission in 1971, Ray and Fran encountered Christ personally and began to live their lives in Him. Her first mission after that was to pray for her children and to re-present Him to them.
In their retirement years, Ray and Fran were active and fruitful through Walk to Emmaus and Kairos Prison Ministry.
Fran was a creative homemaker, cook, and seamstress. She was notably gracious and encouraging, welcoming and enjoying friends and strangers alike.
Preceding her in death are her parents, her husband, one grandson, and a host of dear friends.
Those who remember her beautiful life are:
Her son, Rick and wife, Liz Orson, and children, Rikki Dorian with Bella, Win, Cince, and Ansel, Scott Orson (already awaiting her in Heaven) and children Jared, Audrey, and Logan, Alyson Bakken with Ainsley, Everett, and Wyatt, and Eric Orson with Elijah and Nyah;
her daughter, Candy and husband, Rick Smith, and their children, Lara and Cody Sandlin, with Xandi and her son Benson Perez, Kale and Mona Ferguson with Kane, Reese, and Kage, Bethany and her daughters, Hadley and Henley Alexander, Lakyn, and Easton;
Richard and Allison Smith, with Ben and Macy, Joshua, and Emily Kate; Matt and Jennifer Smith, with Jordan, Hannah, and Scottie, and Ryan; and Peter and Ashley Smith with Callen and Graham;
her daughter, Jenny and husband, Phil McClendon, and their children, Paul and Tai McClendon with Adaiah, Kai, and Zoe, Sarah McClendon with Hunter and Ruby Jane, and Mark and Whitney McClendon with Evy, Elli, Emmie, and Ean;
and many of you...her wonderful friends and neighbors! Her family wants to say, "Thank you and God bless you!"—for the beauty you have brought to her life.
You are welcome to enjoy a Celebration of Life on October 28th, at 2 PM at The Methodist Church of Lamesa.
Memorials are encouraged to a ministry of your choice or to:
The Methodist Church of Lamesa
409 North 3rd Street
Lamesa, Texas 79331
Kairos Prison Ministry Smith Unit c/o Jackie Warren 207 Juniper Drive
Lamesa, Texas 79331