Frances was the baby of seven children born to J.L. and Bertha Level in Montague County, Texas on November 12, 1929. She had many aunts and uncles who loved and mentored her. In the '40's she was a cheerleader at Nocona High School where she wore saddle shoes that Miss Enid Justin of Justin Boots had made especially for her. After graduation, she attended Texas Women's College and University of North Texas where she made life-long friendships with Helen Hundley Chesley and Martha Morguloff.
She moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma to help her sister and get a job as a telephone operator. In a Sunday School class at Saint Paul's Methodist Church, she met the love of her life, Arthur Earl McKinley. They married June 12, 1949. Arthur served in the United States Air Force. They loved to travel and together they traveled to several continents.
Frances was always busy cooking, reading, quilting, knitting, crocheting and doing needle point, and she loved to tell people "how the cow ate the cabbage." She could never tell her right hand from her left, and when she took square dancing lessons, the caller would frequently say, "Your other left, Frances."
Frances held a deep and abiding faith in the grace of Jesus Christ, and she loved to admonish and encourage people in their faith. She was a life-long member of the Methodist church transferring her membership every time she moved, but her longest membership was at the Uvalde Methodist Church. She faithfully served the church behind the scenes on committees and in classes, and she even chaperoned 35 teens to summer camp in Estes Park in the late '70s. She had many "children" she emotionally "adopted" mentoring and mothering them. She helped found a battered women's shelter in Uvalde, Texas.
Frances will be missed by her husband of 64 years Arthur Earl McKinley and children: Earl McKinley of Dayton, Ohio, Theresa and Jerry Zumwalt of Ponder, Texas, and Malcom and Vergie McKinley of Lufkin, Texas. She was most proud of and enjoyed her grandchildren, Trey McKinley of Austin, Elizabeth Aaron and Dustin Hotard of Celina, Stefan McKinley of Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, Noah Zumwalt of Ponder and great granddaughter Addison Bliss Hotard. Frances was looking forward to the birth of her great-grandson in March. She is also survived by one sister, Bettye Tullos of Denton, brother-in-law, Don McKinley of Pearsall and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
Frances was preceded in death by her beloved grandson, Hudson McKinley. She died at The Denton Presbyterian Hospital on Monday, October 21, 2013 following a short hospital stay.
Services will be held Saturday October 26th at Buckhorn Cemetery in Frio County on the Tilden Hwy FM 1582 at 2:00 pm followed by a reception at The Pearsall United Methodist Church at 3:00 pm. Casual dress is appropriate for the rustic cemetery.