Mary Frances Sidebottom
March 12, 1927
November 10, 2017
Mary Frances Weaver Sidebottom, 90, went to be with her Lord November 10,, 2017. She was born on March 12, 1927 to Josie Jane Stone Weaver and Willie Weaver. Her parents divorced when she was seven. Frances spent much of her childhood watching out for herself and her little sister Shirley. Having a single mom during the Depression meant the girls had to depend upon each other. They grew very close. Aunts and uncles stood together, opening a neighborhood grocery store. All of this taught her to especially treasure her extended family.
A native Houstonian, Frances grew up in a much smaller city. Children could ride the bus into town, go to a movie for 5 cents, and safely get themselves home, all on their own. She loved to tell stories about their adventures. She joined South Main Baptist Church and was active in its youth group and young adults during the war years. Frances graduated from San Jacinto High School.
She met the man she would marry when she was 15, though he was not interested in her at that point. They wrote to each other during WWII, and by the time he returned, she had grown up enough to gather his attention. She eloped with Edwin Eugene Sidebottom when she was 19. She had attended Massey Business College and so was able to help him finish his schooling. They lived in a variety of places as they worked his way through college. They lived on campus at the University of Houston in the apartments for married students. They spent some time in Pasadena and the Heights. By the time he graduated in ‘51, they had three children, with the last coming the next year.
They moved to Spring Branch in 1954. Frances stayed home to raise a family, something that was a bit of a luxury after her own childhood. She worked with the Girl Scouts and PTA’s. They lived there for twelve years, then moved to Memorial as it was developing. Though Memorial Park had been out in the country in her childhood, by 1966 the city limits had expanded to Diary Ashford. She loved Houston and Texas and took great pride in its growth.
Having four daughters within five years of each other, the couple decided it was good for her to return to work, to help pay for their college expenses. Frances worked in accounting for several private companies. They finished their time in Houston, and then retired to Brenham. The couple spent their time enjoying a weekend farm, growing crops and canning vegetables. They also invested much time in their community. They volunteered at the schools and were involved in the Methodist church. Frances spent many years working to recycle gift cards and contribute to the newsletter. She was part of the Methodist women’s reading group. She was an early volunteer for Faith Mission, getting her husband involved with it as well. She loved genealogy and was certified as a Daughter of the Republic of Texas.
Though she spent many years fighting severe osteoporosis, she tried to maintain an active life. Eventually she became housebound, but would continue to read her emails and keep in touch through that. Even when she could no longer move herself around, and her eyesight failed, she had others check for news of who needed prayer from her church and family.
She deeply grieved when her partner of nearly seventy years passed, and hoped to soon follow. Still, she sat in her recliner for another couple of years and tried to patiently await the Lord’s timing. With help, she was able to stay in her own home. She died Friday at one in the afternoon, finally released from a body that would not cooperate. Her example of patient endurance with minimal complaining was humbling to observe. Her deep faith in her lord, Jesus Christ, kept her through all of her years.
Frances was pre-deceased by her parents, Josie Scroggins and Willie Weaver, her sister, Shirley Prentice, and her husband, Ed Sidebottom. She is survived by her four children: Kathy Markward, Ruth Markart, Jean Sidebottom, and Carol Johnson. Her eight grandchildren are Shana Siegel, Samantha Alford, Susan Schiffman Dummer, Jennifer Gates, Nathan Johnson, Stephen Schiffman, Elizabeth Johnson, and James Johnson. She had seventeen great grandchildren. Also surviving her is a cousin of Edwin’s, Larry Hammer who was between their daughter’s ages. He was the closest to a son they ever had. Numerous other cousins and friends were also cherished, particularly from the Stone side. (This was not of the Brenham family, though.)
We deeply appreciate the efforts of all the workers at the Texas Home Health group and of the Brazos Valley Hospice who ministered to her lovingly. Numerous folks came to visit and bring flowers as well as news and communion, especially Juanita Hickey. A special thanks to Joann Brieden and Marilyn Ulrich for rescuing her caregivers so that they could get out a bit each week. You helped to provide sanity during this prolonged ordeal. Appreciation is also given to her sons in law, Art Markart and Ray Johnson, who sacrificially allowed their wives to care for her, while neglecting them. Donations in her memory can be made to Brazos Valley Hospice, the First United Methodist Church of Brenham, or any charity of your choice.
Visitation with family will be Monday, November 13 from 6:30- 8:30 p.m. at Brenham Memorial Chapel. A service will be held Tuesday, November 14 at 10 a.m. in First United Methodist Church at 408 N. Baylor Street, Brenham with reception following. Interment will be at 2 p.m. in Memorial Oaks Cemetery, 13001 Katy Freeway, Houston, TX 77079. (off Eldridge and IH 10)
Services are in the care of Brenham Memorial Chapel, 2300 Stringer St., Brenham, TX. 979.836.3611 Share tributes at www.BrenhamMemorialChapel.com