Maria Francisca Melendez Reyes (known as Frances or Tia Frances) joined God our Father peacefully in her home with her family by her side on March 27, 2022, in Irving, Texas, at the age of ninety-four.
She was born on August 21, 1927, in Acajete, Puebla, Mexico. Frances is preceded in death by her father and mother, Gregorio Melendez Gutierrez, Juana Reyes Flores, and siblings. Frances is survived by her four children and their children, Yolanda Castillo Crosley (Wendell), Janie Ruiz (Gregorio), Yldefonso Ruiz, and Maria Luisa Shanks (Glenn), one sister Cleotilde Melendez de Vasquez, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and extended family members.
Frances was a pioneer seeking a better life for her family. She arrived in the United States in 1958, setting the path for her children and family members to positively impact their future. Her dream was to become a U.S. citizen. She studied with an adult education program and achieved her goal before anyone in her family.
Frances was hardworking, productive, and thrifty. Her compassion and generosity set her apart. Her service to the disabled and elderly during her journey was evident. After she retired, she served as a foster grandparent at the Denton State School sponsored by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, DADS. She received recognition and appreciation awards while working at the University of North Texas and while with the Foster Grandparent Program. She loved serving her community.
Frances was widely known in the Denton Catholic community. She was faithful and enthusiastic about her volunteer services to Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. She volunteered for years to raise funds when the church needed a new education center, during their fundraising campaigns to expand and to build the new church buildings. Our mom was recognized by the leadership of the church for her volunteer services and commitment in 2001 when she was presented with a plaque and by the Denton State School, Foster Grandparent Program in 2009.
While living in Gainesville, she was a regular attendee at St. Mary’s Catholic Church and continued volunteering to raise funds for the parish and the Catholic school.
Our mom taught us the value of daily arduous work and perseverance. Her unwavering confidence and faith in God are memories which we will cherish forever.
We treasure our mom’s memory. We rest assured that she is with our Heavenly Father rejoicing with her family and friends in the mansion prepared by Jesus according to the scriptures. Mom, we do not say good-bye, but until we meet again! Mom, you are in our hearts forever.