July 31, 1926 - July 22, 2017
Sr. Frances Evans, the “Ranger Nun”, died peacefully in her sleep on Saturday, July 22, 2017 at the age of 90.
Frances Elizabeth Evans was born on July 31, 1926 in Temple to Reid and Kathryn Riddle Evans. She earned a B.S. in Medical Technology from Incarnate Word and an M.S.W. from Tulane University. She professed her first vows on August 15, 1953. She dedicated her life to prayer, advocacy and service and believed charity was in providing resources and action.
The Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word were the administrators of St. Joseph Hospital where Sr. Frances began the first hospital based social service program. They made a radical decision to treat children, providing surgeries and inpatient care, to the gratitude of many parents. Sr. Frances and other visionaries at the hospital and community began St. Joseph Hospice, the first hospice in Texas, and later Cancer Care Services.
After St. Joseph’s closed, Sr. Frances continued ministry in social justice as an advocacy representative at M.A.S.H., served on ethics boards, mentored seminarians, and ministered to the homebound. She would always be a rebel for justice and advocate for those in need.
Sr. Frances and her sidekick, Sr. Maggie, attended the first Texas Ranger baseball game in 1972, the beginning of a 45 year relationship with the ball team. They participated in the Fantasy Baseball Camp and were the first patrons through the turnstiles at the new ballpark. They were also at the first post season game that the Rangers played in New York. As season ticket holders for many years, they became close friends with many of the staff.
In her final years, Sr. Frances befriended and was grateful for the caregivers at Sunrise Senior Living, her dedicated doctors, staff of Community Hospice, Sisters from her congregation, and the many close friends who aided in her independence. In the early morning of Saturday, July 22, Sr. Maggie’s feast day, Sr. Frances went to God in comfort and peace, or as she would have said, “crossed home plate.”
Sr. Frances was preceded in death by her lifelong friend, Sr. Maggie Hessions, and is survived by her cousins, Gene Hall and wife, Joan, Brenda Walters and husband, Jim, and Cathie Ritchie; her Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, and many friends, especially Daniel Gillis.