Frances C. White
June 30, 1924 – May 13, 2019
Frances Cordelia Couch White, was born June 30, 1924, in Durant, Oklahoma to Herbert Hill Couch and V.L.A. (“V.Ella”) Gulledge Couch. She entered into the presence of the Lord on May 13, 2019.
Frances graduated from high school in Josephine, Texas, as Salutatorian of her class. After she graduated, she moved to Dallas, Texas, where she attended business school and worked as a secretary. She married Ardis White in Dallas, Texas, on September 12, 1942 after the beginning of World War II. In 1953, they moved to Houston where Ardis was a professor of Civil Engineering, first at Rice Institute and then at the University of Houston until his death. They resided in Houston for the rest of their lives. Even though Ardis died at age 59 on January 13, 1981, she considered herself married to him for the rest of her life. When asked why she never remarried after he died, she said she had the best husband in the world - why would she ever want anyone else? She lived for 38 years after his death. She loved Christ and grew up in the Baptist church where she served faithfully and enjoyed singing in the choir for many years. She and Ardis raised their daughters mostly at Woodridge Baptist Church in Houston and then later were members at First Baptist Church, Houston.
Frances is preceded in death by the love of her life, her husband, Ardis Howard White. She is survived by their children Lanita Kay White Martin and husband Brian of Houston, Texas; Pamela Gaye White Hardy and husband Carey of Lewisville, N. Carolina; grandchildren Heather Marisa Martin Stockwell of Houston, Texas; Joshua Ardis Martin and partner Deanna Van Winkle of Richmond, Texas; Christen Noelle Hardy Paige of Nashville, Tennessee; Nathan Noel Hardy and wife Brittany of Winston-Salem, N. Carolina; Luke Taylor Hardy of Nashville, Tennessee; Catherine Grace Hardy of New York City, New York; and great-grandchildren Brayden Tyler Martin of Richmond, Texas, and Roman Lee Hardy of Winston-Salem, N. Carolina.
- Visitation Friday, May 17, 2019
- Funeral Service Friday, May 17, 2019
Frances C. White
May 19, 2019
From Brian Martin on Frances White
Frances was my almost and real mother-in-law for over 50 years. It seems odd to sum up my feelings in a few short words, but they are filled with meaning and feeling.
1. Frances was kind, to everyone all the time. It didn’t matter who you were, where you came from, or what you did, everyone mattered.
2. Frances was considerate. Being kind is great, but being considerate means giving, and she did that whether it was her time or other things God had gifted to her.
3. Frances was patient, and a good example to others in this respect. I know because she was patient with me many times including babysitting when I should have been there. And more which I won’t detail. (Thank goodness that time is sort.)
4. Frances was competitive whether it was cards, or crossword puzzles, and whether the competitor was you or her.
6. Frances could be funny, and enjoyed even our stories and jokes whether younger or older. We always enjoyed her being there.
There’s much more that could be said and probably will be for sometime. But I say that I’ll never forget this special woman and the wonderful influence she had and still has on my life.
May 19, 2019
Neither Pam's nor Lanita's tributes would fit within the character limit on this website -- evidently we're too long-winded, which I'm sure surprises NONE of you. So, if you'd like to read those, they can be found on Facebook at
Thanks again to all for your unfailing love, support, and encouragement throughout this difficult time. We love you all.
May 17, 2019
FROM HEATHER MARTIN STOCKWELL
This is my favorite story from Nana’s childhood. I love imagining her as a little girl, with her big sister, headed out on a little afternoon adventure. This is as close to how she told the story as I can remember it. And I was lucky enough to hear it many times.
“One day around Christmas time, Rheda Mae and I were to spend the afternoon at our cousins house. I was, I don’t know maybe 4 or 5, so Rheda Mae was 8 or 9. They lived a mile or so away and back then, we were old enough to go by ourselves. We had to cross a railroad track to get there, and on that day there happened to be a rattlesnake blocking our way. We tried to go around but the path was too narrow. We threw rocks at it but it didn’t budge. Terrified, we decided we had no choice but to turn around and go back home.
But Munna wasn’t expecting us back so soon. We surprised her, walking up on her sitting in a slatback chair, leaned up against the side of the house, sewing. She was taking advantage of our absence and sewing our Christmas presents: clothes for our dolls.”
Heather here. I never knew Munna but I knew a lot about her from this story. It was a story that stuck with Nana a long time. She had told me the story so many times that by the time she forgot it, only recently, I knew it well enough to remind her how it all happened. And then she’d remember and thank me for telling her ♥
May 17, 2019
FROM CATHERINE HARDY
The thing i think about when I think about Nana is her generosity to everyone; so much generosity that she often made "friends" we might have advised against, or who might take advantage of her—but that was Nana, willing to embrace anyone and everyone.
May 17, 2019
FROM LUKE HARDY
Oh Nana. I know she had her stubborn streaks, and could dig her heels in when she wanted to. I’m sure Lanita can attest. But in my mind, Nana will always be an example and a hero of patience and long suffering. Patient on the Lord’s timing with things. Patient to see her dear Ardis. Always trusting that things were happening as they should. Patient with me when I didn’t call as much as I should. I think about her patience with me even years ago, when I was a bratty kid complaining rudely about a perfectly good meal she made, something I feel bad about to this day. But as long as I knew her, I only ever received kind and honest words from her. She always spoke her mind. I will miss that special sincerity. I will miss her musical laugh. And of course, I will miss her unparalleled ability to kindly but swiftly end our phone calls when I was apparently dragging on for too long. Rest well Nana, you earned it. Love you.
May 17, 2019
FROM NATE HARDY
Nana was everything that you would want in a grandma, kind and doting. Slow to anger. She always made it a point to send us birthday and Christmas cards, even as she became older and her memory was fleeting. She wanted us to know that she loved us. God’s word was important to her. The inside jokes about how much she loved the Gaither Vocal band are still funny even now. My heart is sad, but I rejoice knowing that she is with her Lord and Savior, and with her husband once again.
May 17, 2019
FROM CHRISTEN HARDY
Growing up on the other side of the country, I didn’t see Nana as often as the Houston bunch. But from the time I was a little girl I knew her as a woman of generosity and love. As a child this meant treats, gifts and spoiling, but as I grew older it looked like enthusiastic pride in our accomplishments and welcoming arms for the friends and significant others we brought to the family. What I came to appreciate about Nana only as an adult was the quiet spunk that carried her through many trials in life. She was a woman of simple joys and steady character, and rose to meet every challenge that came her way. One of my favorite memories was several years ago, when the granddaughters went through her jewelry and got to hear some of the stories behind them. I found a pair of her earrings just the other day, and was so pleased to see that her sometimes eclectic taste had come back around in style :) I will also always remember the last special moment I had with Nana, when i came for a visit last year during a rough time in my life. She didn’t really remember who I was, but she knew I was important and that I loved her. On the last night of my visit, I walked past her bedroom, where she was sitting in her pretty purple pajamas. She gave me a big smile so I went and sat on her bed, and we talked for a few minutes about nothing important. But i had the distinct feeling it would be the last time i got to do that. I was struck by how happy and peaceful she looked even after all her struggles, and that all she seemed to want was to be in her own bed, with someone to smile at and a hand to squeeze. I will always remember her as willing to give and receive love all the way to the end. That was the Nana I knew and will always cherish.
May 16, 2019
I am so sorry for your loss. I have fond memories of Sunday night visits for food, fellowhip and comic books at the White's home. She always greeted you with a smile and made you feel welcomed and special. She and my Mom, Winona Marler, spent "girl" time together every Friday morning while getting their hair done at Elsie Klaus's salon. Thanks for always making our family feel welcome. I'm sure you have already found Ardis, Fred Marler and Betty Autry in your new heavenly home. One day we will all be together forever in Heaven! Blessings!!
May 15, 2019
It was an honor to have known such a wonderful lady. Your presence will be missed. Rejoice in our Lord and we will all see you again
May 15, 2019
Sincere condolences to the family and friends of Francis (always, Mrs. White, to me). She and her husband Ardis (Artis?) were some of my parents' best friends. She and my mom shared hairdresser appointments every Friday morning, always looking Sunday best for the coming weekend of church activities - and beyond. Francis was the supreme hostess, always considerate of everyone - even the little kids like me. I always loved going to their house. (Thank you Pam, for allowing me access to your infinite stacks of comic books.) A lifelong friend of my Mom, they spent many times, conversations and events together as years went by. In recent years, I know they were not in contact, but will always be together as Sisters in the Lord. Fond memories, yes. Her Love carries on, still bringing a smile to my face and appreciation to my heart. So sorry for your loss.