Mary Frances Rankin

November 24, 1929September 16, 2017

Mary Frances (Clark) Rankin, 87, left this earth on the evening of Saturday, September 16th, after a two-year battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. She died in her care home in Dallas, Texas with her beloved poodle, Sammy, in her lap. They were inseparable to the end.

Mary (she hated her name!) was born in Garrett, Texas to Lowell Howard Clark and Lillie Bell Christian Clark on November 24, 1929, the second of four children. Spending most of her youth in Ennis, she graduated from Ennis High School in 1947. As Mary grew up, she followed her Daddy around learning how to fix anything and to do anything with her hands. She dreamed of becoming an airplane pilot because it was something, to quote her, that her mother would be against. She WAS mischievous!

Throughout her life, even until her death, she was funny. She made everyone laugh every time they saw her. She joked and teased and brought out the best in everyone around her. To know her was to love her. On January 30, 1948, Mary married Fred W. Rankin in Rankin, (Ellis county) Texas. They were married for 64 years until his death on March 19, 2012. Together, they raised four children, three girls and a boy.

Her first job was at 12 or 13 working for her Uncle Tom in his grocery store. She made 35 cents a day. She went to beauty school after high school because her aunt needed another hairdresser in her shop but found it was not her cup of tea (she loved her coffee) and moved on after 4 or 5 years. She had many other jobs throughout her life but she spent most of her years working as a floor lady in garment factories. As Mary said, she was always a worker in the home and away.

She was an excellent seamstress (they call them makers now) and made most of her daughters’ clothing, and some of her son’s when they were children and even after they were gone from home. After she retired, she started a successful crafts business and loved making all sorts of things. Mary passed on her love of reading to her children. She had an extensive book collection, and until the past year, Mary read the Dallas paper cover to cover daily. She enjoyed playing cards and, back in the day, was an accomplished bowler. She loved to dance! And Mary was a huge baseball fan! She never missed a Rangers game. But most of all, she enjoyed being with her family. She took the kids (along with their friends) to Six Flags every summer and never missed a football game, band concert, marching contest, or anything else that they were involved in. She treated all their friends as if they were her own, and they loved her in return.

If there is one thing that Mary is remembered for saying, it would have to be, “Cain’t never could do nothin’!”, meaning that if you start out thinking you can’t do something, you are already defeated. You can do most anything if you want to and are willing to work at it. Her children took that lesson to heart.

Mary and Fred taught their children to love the Lord. Worshipping was an important part of their upbringing, and it was one of her greatest joys. She was a faithful member of the North Union Street Church of Christ in Whitesboro, Texas.

Mary is preceded in death by her beloved husband, parents, sister – Tommie Naomi Clark McNorton, brother – David Lowell Clark, and niece – Sheila Sue McNorton Childress.

Mary is survived by her sister: Patricia Dunn and husband, Nick of Lewisville; her four children: Sharon Rankin of Garland; Diane (Shug) Jones and husband, Eddy of Garland; Micheal Rankin and wife, Sandra of Whitesboro; Lucretia Frederich and husband, Ron of Coppell; her seven grandchildren: Chad Jones and wife, Kimberly; Regina Janway Lenart and husband, Stephen; Cody Jones and wife, Kimberly; Kevin Janway and wife, Stacey; Casey Jones Podlucky and husband, Dan; Dr. Elise Frederich Pruett and husband, Trent; Olivia Frederich McMakin and husband, Brian; her fourteen great-grandchildren: Taylor Orndorff, Darian Orndorff, Kimbre’l Jones, Jeffrey Janway, Jeremiah Jones, Kelby Jones, Izaak Lenart, Troy Podlucky, Karter Jones, Natalie Lenart, Lauren Lenart, Janae Jones, Alex Podlucky, Lyla Pruett; nephew Gordon McNorton and wife, Sandy; niece Dr. Gayln Perry and husband Emmett; nephew Paul Clark and wife Kristy; and niece Jennifer Kirby and husband Chris. Mary is also survived by her brothers-and-sister-inlaw, Joe (Bink) Rankin and wife, Linda; Johnny Rankin and wife, Trudy; Jerry Rankin Greisenbeck; many nieces and nephews, and close family friend and adopted Texan, Cynthia MacLennan.

The family would like to acknowledge and gratefully thank Brian and Shawna Morris of North Texas Personal Care Homes for providing a beautiful, clean, and loving home for her to live in the last year of her life. A very special thank you to her incredible, loving, and devoted caregivers, Violet, M1, M2, and Christabel for loving her and taking such wonderful care of her. And further thanks also goes to Shelby and Lesa at Mayberry Gardens Assisted Living for their loving care.

Visitation will be held Tuesday September 19, 2017 in the Chapel reception area, at Waterview Church of Christ, 1409 N. Waterview Drive, Richardson, Texas from 6-8 pm. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, September 20th, at 11:30 am in the Chapel at Waterview Church of Christ, 1409 N. Waterview Drive, Richardson, Texas. Mary's cremated remains will be interred, at a later date, alongside those of her loving husband in Elm Branch Cemetery, Bardwell, Texas.

Flowers are welcome, or should you wish to make a donation in her memory, the family suggests the VNA Meals on Wheels program or the Oglesby Foundation, in care of, the Waterview Church of Christ.

Honorary pallbearers: Eddy Jones, Ron Frederich, Chad Jones, Cody Jones, Kevin Janway, Dan Podlucky, Stephen Lenart, Trent Pruett, Brian McMakin, Gordon McNorton, Paul Clark, Joe Rankin, Johnny Rankin, and Charles Pruitt.

Arrangements under the direction of Ted Dickey West Funeral Home, Dallas, Texas.



  • Visitation

    Tuesday, September 19, 2017

  • Memorial Service

    Wednesday, September 20, 2017

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Mary Frances Rankin

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Nina Cannon

September 22, 2017

My deepest condolences to your entire family. While I never met Mary, I have enjoyed her crafts for many years. They have brought me, and those to whom they were gifted, great joy. I know she will be truly missed and that she will live on in your hearts forever. Hugs, Nina

September 19, 2017

We never had the pleasure of meeting Mary, but have been good friends of her daughter, Sharon.
Our prayers and sympathy go out to Mary's family. Mary is in God's hands now.

Terry, Lynn and Amanda Trippler

Alan Basinger

September 19, 2017

We are lifelong friends with much love. Mary Frances is singing with angels in heaven. Alan and Kirt Basinger


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