Frances Merle Bagwell, 92, of Benson passed away peacefully in Benson, Arizona, on February 1, 2013 after a short illness. Born on July 9, 1920, in Orosi, California, she was the daughter of Oliver Earl and Myrtle Belle (Hill) Ferguson, Her family moved to the Brownwood, Texas area in 1928 where she was reared. She graduated from Howard Payne University. She taught elementary school in Hatch and Lordsburg, New Mexico, and was a long time teacher at Sarah Marley and Clawson Schools in Douglas, Arizona, retiring in 1983. She moved to Benson in 1984.
Frances was a talented photographer (with many of her prints displayed in public offices), artist, musician and composer with several copyrighted Christian praise songs. She directed the Rodeo-Portal Youth Choir in the 1960's. She was also a gifted writer and poet, as well as an accomplished seamstress. She was known for her enthusiasm for life, her active and inquiring mind, her love for her churches (Rodeo Baptist Church and Benson Heights Baptist Church) and her devotion to family and friends. Most important was her witness to her faith; one of her last legacies was to present each grandchild with a beautifully inscribed Bible. She was a compassionate woman who was always ready to reach out to support those in need. We will remember her as a member of "The Greatest Generation".
The family wishes to thank the staff of the Benson Hospital and TMC Hospice for their care and compassion.
Donations may be made in Frances Bagwell’s memory to either the Benson Heights Baptist Church Building Fund designating the Youth Building at P.O. Box 751, Benson, AZ 85602, or to Portal Fire and Rescue, P.O. Box 16331, Portal, AZ 85632, which serves the Portal community nestled at the base of "her" beloved Chiricahua Mountains.,
Services are scheduled at 4 p.m. on May 3 at the Benson Heights Baptist Church, with her ashes to be scattered at the Valley View Ranch in Portal on Saturday afternoon, May 4, 2013.
"The Lord has done great things for our family." Psalm 126:3