Frances Nichols Henslee



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Frances Nichols Henslee

October 6, 1927 ~ March 15, 2024 (age 96)

Obituary

Our loving mother, Frances Nichols Henslee passed away on March 15, 2024, after 96 full and blessed years.  She was a resident of Asheboro, North Carolina since 2015, after having spent most of her life in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Texas.   

Frances was born to parents Taylor and Fannie Nichols on October 6, 1927, in Austin, Texas. She is survived by her three sons, William Douglas Henslee, James Dowd Henslee, and Thomas Taylor Henslee, and her daughters-in-law Janice and Elizabeth. She also had two Brazilian sons who joined the family as exchange students in Albuquerque: Claudio Acioly and Ricardo Acioly. Frances had five grandchildren: Heather Ann, William Douglas, James Thomas, John Douglas, and Jacob Scott. 

Frances was raised in Robstown, Texas, surrounded by family and extended family on her mother’s side, who was one of eleven brothers and sisters.  Her love of being with family and friends started early and continued throughout her entire life.  Frances loved school.  She excelled academically and was active in extracurricular activities, among which was tennis, which she continued to play well into her 60’s. She attended the University of Texas, graduating with a degree in English and receiving her teaching certificate soon after. She met her husband, Samuel Douglas Henslee and were married on June 19, 1948. Frances was predeceased by her husband in 1992.She was the last surviving sibling and the oldest of three, Taylor Nichols and Virginia McCord Myers. 

Her husband’s work took the family from South Texas to Albuquerque, in 1964, where they raised her children. Frances became a passionate volunteer and board member for All Faiths Home, now All Faiths Children’s Advocacy Center.  

Frances’ calling was evident, she loved to teach. Frances enjoyed raising her boys and being involved in their activities.  When they had grown, she returned to the classroom by teaching at the Albuquerque Technical Vocational Institute and was a substitute teacher with the Albuquerque Public Schools. She traveled to Kiev to teach English as a second language.  But it was by God’s grace that Hope Christian School needed an English teacher, and not just any teacher, they needed Frances. It was here, where her new “family” of students and fellow educators grew after her husband died and her boys had moved away. Frances’ passion for literature was only dwarfed by her commitment to her students.  Frances only expected the best from her students and found great joy in being involved in their lives and praying for them daily. These students are a testament that Frances made the world a better place through her passion for education. She retired from Hope after twenty-five years of teaching. In 2015, Frances was awarded the Christian Schools National Teacher of the Year award. Yes, she won the award at eighty-seven years old! 

After retiring in Asheboro, as one probably could guess, she kept on going. Whether it was teaching Sunday School at the First United Methodist Church, playing bridge (really well) with her new friends, writing articles as a guest columnist for the Asheboro Courier-Tribune newspaper, or just helping her fellow residents at Mountain Top Senior Living, she remained a force.

Frances always had a positive attitude and saw the good side of everyone. Her laughter, love, and Christian faith kept her strong throughout her life. She brought her faith, love of people, and wonder to everyone she met.   

The family has elected to have a private family ceremony at some time in the future.  Anyone who wishes to show their support is encouraged to do so through an act of kindness or a donation to a worthy cause of their choosing.  Frances would want everyone who knew her to be thankful for each day God has given them. 

 




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  • April 12, 2024
    Renee Green says:
    Frances was a sweet woman and a wonderful bridge player. I had the privilege of playing bridge with her often in her Mountain Top home along with Bert Maness and Pauline Jarrell. All three of these ladies have now joined Jesus in Heaven. What great fun and laughter we shared- treasured moments!

  • March 29, 2024
    Juraj and Andy lit a candle:
    Lit since March 29, 2024 at 3:10:40 PM

  • March 27, 2024
    Barbara Otero/Steve's wife says:
    Hello to the family. We were so saddened when we heard the passing's of Frances, yet Happy that she is with God, and her Husband again. We will miss her conversations she had with Steve on a weekly basis, her cute laughter, and her joyous voice. She was like a 2nd mother to Steve. I remember when Steve & I would visit Ricardo, she always invited us to eat. WOW, was she a great cook! I also remember she would give us Mayonnaise and cheese sandwiches. I think she did that when she hadn't been to the grocery store yet. 1st time I had that sandwich - it wasn't grilled either, it was on White Bread. I remember once she had me work at a convention center putting flowers in a vase. I think she was volunteering for something. Often Steve, Ricard and I would swim at the house too. Steve & I were lucky enough to celebrate her 90th birthday with her, when we visited her in North Carolina. We enjoyed a glass of wine together, along with some Green Chile Stew Steve made one evening. When he heard she was sick, in the beginning, Steve had tears in his eyes, and cried for her. He always prayed with her and sang Christian songs to her. Often times they would sing together! and near the end, she would cry to Steve. I think she new she was nearing the end. Steve will post his own comments sometime soon. God Bless you Frances, you will always be in our hearts & we will still pray for you and your family.

  • March 23, 2024
    Pam Johnson says:
    What an inspiration to everyone. I loved her smile and positive attitude! Love

  • March 23, 2024
    Pam Johnson lit a candle:
    Lit since March 23, 2024 at 3:57:48 PM

  • March 23, 2024
    James johnson says:
    A teacher I will never forget, more importantly a person who loved and guided myself and so many others. Rest well ❤️❤️

  • March 23, 2024
    James johnson lit a candle:
    Lit since March 23, 2024 at 3:39:14 AM

  • March 22, 2024
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  • March 22, 2024
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  • March 21, 2024
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    Lit since March 21, 2024 at 3:59:03 PM

  • March 21, 2024
    Kimberly Rosenberger lit a candle:
    Lit since March 21, 2024 at 3:58:21 PM

  • March 20, 2024
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    Lit since March 20, 2024 at 3:35:14 PM

  • March 20, 2024
    Donna C Gallimore lit a candle:
    Lit since March 20, 2024 at 3:34:33 PM

  • March 20, 2024
    Carol says:
    Mrs. Henslee was a great influence on my children. She taught both of them at Hope Christian. I too, was influenced by her unwavering faith. She cared deeply about all the students she taught. There will never be another.

  • March 19, 2024
    Leslie Swain says:
    My condolences to the family in this time of loss. Mrs Henslee was one of my most memorable teachers, and I’m thankful for her guidance and always encouraging me.

  • March 19, 2024
    Wilma Mollman lit a candle:
    Lit since March 19, 2024 at 3:33:32 PM

  • March 19, 2024
    LJ & Ted says:
    All our love to you and your family… Isn’t it nice that we have those we love in our hearts? That way we will never lose them…

  • March 18, 2024
    Tim Bost lit a candle:
    Lit since March 18, 2024 at 3:26:22 PM

  • March 18, 2024
    Marilyn Gibson says:
    My deepest condolences to your family. Frances was a precious friend, a master teacher, and a positive person who had a huge impact on so many. She will always be in my heart.

  • March 18, 2024
    Ron Horn says:
    Francis was a great woman! I loved her visits to Uvalde to play in tennis tournaments. She will be missed!