Mrs. Frances Simmons Uselton, 96, of Bradyville, Tennessee passed away on Wednesday, January 31, 2024. She was born in Woodbury, Tennessee on Wednesday, August 10, 1927 to the late Finnie and Mattie Ila Parker Simmons. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, William C. Uselton, Jr.; daughter, Wilma (Mack) Scott; son, Artis Mitchell; brothers, Wayne Simmons, Virgil (Naomi) Simmons, Howard (Joan) Simmons, Leonard Simmons, and Elmer (Myrta) Simmons; and sisters, Susie (Donald) Lorance and Annie Parker.
She is survived by her son, Wendell (Tina) Mitchell of Bradyville; brother, Roy Simmons of Paris,, Illinois; grandchildren, Misty (Joe) Duggin of Woodbury, Dan (Kim) Scott of Morrison, Shelia Pitts of Brentwood, John Artis (Bonnie) Mitchell of Lascassas, Sandra (Paul) Thomas of Walter Hill, Mendy Mitchell of Kittrell, and Brittany (Chris Alexander) Lawson of Woodbury; 13 great-grandchildren; and 2 great-great-grandchildren.
Frances was a woman cut from a different cloth. Throughout her life, she had an old soul and remained attracted to the old ways of doing things. Education was a luxury not an entitlement for her generation, so when duty called, like her schoolmates before her, Frances left Mooretown School in the 9th grade and began to work.
For 10 years, Frances remained at the Colonial Shirt Factory, a place where many people in Cannon County got their start or made their living. Working on the floor, she took on the role of being a seamstress and wasn't afraid to work her fingers to the bone. Being a young lady raised on a farm, tough didn't even begin to describe Frances. She remained content and healthy, and being a woman that wasn't sickly and proving she was sturdy attracted attention her way.
Attracting just the right suitor showered Frances with blessings when her children came into the world. However, tragedy struck their family when he died, leaving Frances a single mother of 3. Finnie and Mattie stepped in to take on raising the children, while Frances transformed her pain into a living. She worked at Walgreen's Drug Store for 21 years in the cosmetics department, and you could pick her out from the crowd with her bright red lipstick.
For many ladies, red lipstick can be difficult to pull off, but it fit Frances like a glove. She began her standout employment in Nashville, but her heart was calling her home. She moved to Murfreesboro, and somehow, in all of her ventures, Frances managed to avoid driving. Not once did she end up behind the wheel of the car, but she made a lovely passenger, and Mr. Uselton must have thought just that when they met, fell in love, and married because they hit the road hot.
Both fans of UT Vols football, they didn't miss very many games. If the team was traveling, they were making sure there was gas in the tank. Their travels to out-of-state games led to many memories and fun stories to share, but believe it or not, Frances didn't care to get out and about very often. She was a homebody in the purest sense of the word. If she had a choice, she would hang out in her pajamas rather than get dressed up. If you wanted to talk, you needed to come look at her face to face because she didn't have a cell phone and wasn't one to stay on the line with you. The only way you were hooking Frances' attention was by coming to visit her in the flesh in the comfort of her home.
Speaking of lines and hooks, it probably isn't a surprise that Frances wasn't a fisherman. If you got her a drink and a chair, she might make it 10 minutes before she was ready to leave, so you better bait your hook and cast a line fast. You shouldn't take any offense though because Frances stayed that way in almost every outdoor setting. She wanted to be inside, and the only outside thing she would let on her was Wendell and Tina's little Maltese, Lovie.
Now, this doesn't mean that Frances became a hermit. It worked out quite the contrary. She still enjoyed going for rides, so when William died, Wendell took up the torch. Friday was Frances' day. She would go get her hair done and get groceries. Wendell kept her delighted by taking her a different route each time to get her some new scenery. He must have done a good job because anytime you asked her where she was along the drive, she said she didn't know.
Though Frances didn't get to be as involved in her children's lives as her heart had hoped, she made up for it on the back end. She loved Wilma, Artis, and Wendell dearly, but Wendell earned a special place in her heart when he took it upon himself to ensure she got the care she needed. He was cut from the same cloth as Finnie and Mattie, took up farming like they taught him, and grew up to be a strong man of direction and conviction. Wendell became Frances' rock and shepherd through the trials of this life. He stood by her when she lost William, when she lost Wilma, and when she lost Artis.
With each storm, Wendell and Frances stood firm because their feet were planted on the Rock that doesn't move. In each chapter, they remained faithful and clung to God's unchanging hand. Her heart would sing with the music at church, and her final church home was at Living Water Pentecostal Church in Manchester. Now, she thirsts no more and can rejoice that she is finally home.
Visitation will be held at First Baptist Church in Madden Hall on Friday, February 3, 2024 from 4-8 pm. Funeral services will be Saturday, February 3, 2024 at 2 pm in First Baptist Church's Madden Hall. Tim Gentry will officiate. Interment will be in Center Hill Cemetery.
Share memories and condolences at www.gentrysmithfuneralhome.com Gentry-Smith Funeral Home, 303 Murfreesboro Rd. Woodbury, TN 37190, 615-563-5337 Because every life has a story