On July 24, 1933, Frankie Nell Bearden was born to Claude Clarence Bearden and his wife, Emma Cunningham Bearden, in Ranger, Texas. She was the youngest of six children. Frankie was raised on a farm outside of Morton Valley, and her senior year, they moved to Ranger. She started her career with Southwestern Bell as a telephone operator. She met the love or her life, LeRoy M. Parr in Ranger. He was from Oklahoma, and was working with his brother.
She and LeRoy married in Ranger in July 24, 1953, She was 20 years old. They briefly moved to Baird, and then bought a house in Abilene, where they had their first son, Michael LeRoy Parr. They moved back to Baird and bought their current house, and had their second son, Mitchell Wade Parr.
Frankie became a grandmother instantly in 1980 when Michael married Janet Cole. She had a son James and daughter Amie. They were Frankie and LeRoy's little angels. In 1982, Frankie became a grandmother again to Jonathan Michael Parr. All three were so precious to her. Frankie was always there to watch over them, as they lived across the street.
On any given day, you could find her either in the yard, garden or one of her flower beds. She loved gardening. When she wasn't outside, she was inside cooking and cleaning. She was meticulous about a clean house. She was known for canning vegetables, making jellies and preserves and pickling, not to mention her cakes, pies, candies and other desserts.
When it came to cooking, Frankie's meals were hard to beat. She always made more than enough for seconds or for when someone popped in at mealtime, in which all were welcomed. Seems like she always had a cake for the family to snack on or for anyone who stopped by. She usually had at least one in the freezer. The favorite of most was her buttermilk pound cake.
She retired from Southwestern Bell with 33 years of service. She began as an operator, and also worked in repair and several other positions so she could stay in Abilene. She retired to care for and spend time traveling with LeRoy when he was diagnosed with cancer.
She helped raise money for the American Cancer Society. She was a member of First Baptist Church, with a strong belief in religion and family.
Frankie is preceded in death by her loving husband, LeRoy; her parents Claude and Emma Bearden; sisters Altha May Bearden, Clairedell Dupree Gremillion and Bonnie Taylor; brothers W.H. (Dub) Bearden and Jack Bearden; and a niece, Debra Bearden Vinson.
She is survived by her sons, Michael Parr of Baird and Mitchell Parr of Grand Prairie; three grandchildren, James Cole and wife Kimberley of Baird, Amie King and husband Shannon of Abilene, and Jonathan Parr and wife Jonna of Quannah; four great-grandchildren, Zak King, Baylee King, Prather Parr and Collier Parr; and by her much loved nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be 1:00 to 3:00 PM Friday, January 28, 2022, at Parker-Jacobs Funeral Home, 141 E. 3rd Street in Baird. A service will follow at 3:00 PM in the funeral home chapel, with James Martin officiating. Burial will be at Ross Cemetery Annex. The family plans to hold a celebration of life at a later date for those who cannot attend Friday's services in Baird.