Nelda was born in Austin, Texas on January 26, 1937, to Anna Vivian Cummins and O.H. “Buck” Cummins. She graduated from Stephen F. Austin High School and from the University of Texas at Austin. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree and was a member of the Chi Omega sorority.
In 1958, Nelda married her high school sweetheart, Thomas Phil Francis. Tom and Nelda dated throughout high school and college and started their new life together in Houston. Nelda worked at the Tennessee Gas Company to help make ends meet while Tom attended dental school. Upon graduation in 1962, the couple spent two years in Albuquerque, New Mexico where Tom served as one of the base dentists during his service in the United States Air Force. After being discharged in 1964, Tom and Nelda moved to Austin, where they have remained ever since. Here they cultivated life-long friendships, raised their children, and spoiled their grandchildren.
Although she devoted much of her time to caring for her family, Nelda also dedicated herself to many community activities. She served as President of the Chi Omega Alumni Association and of the Austin Dental Society Women’s Auxiliary. Nelda was also a longtime member of the Junior League of Austin, the Sustainers Garden Workshop, and the Settlement Club of Austin.
In addition to her volunteer efforts, Nelda also enjoyed entertaining, decorating, and organizing. A meticulous and intentional planner, she was constantly working on the details of her next family event, evening with friends, or holiday gathering. Her fervent love of country made patriotic events such as National Holidays, especially meaningful.
Few things gave Nelda more joy than watching her children and grandchildren do what they loved. She was always present at countless baseball, football, basketball, and volleyball games. Dancing, acting, and cheerleading were also activities that she loved seeing her family thrive. Nelda was a huge University of Texas fan and followed every sport with passion. Saturdays in the fall were a perfect encapsulation of what Nelda loved most a celebration of family, fellowship, and Longhorn football.
Nelda is joining her parents Anna Vivian and Buck Cummins in Heaven, as well as her brother Charles Eugene Cummins. She is survived by her husband Tom, her son Scott Francis and his wife Renee, her daughter Amy Allen and her husband Trevor, and her son John Francis and his wife Reagan. She also leaves behind her grandchildren Vivian and Jack Francis, Langley and Katie Allen, and Sloan Francis.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial contribution to the Settlement Home for Children, Drive a Senior-Austin, TX, or a charity of your choice.
Memorial services will be held at 1:00 pm, Monday, October 10 at Weed-Corley-Fish at 5416 Parkcrest Drive in Austin, Texas.