Frances S. O'Tuel

February 14, 1925January 7, 2019

LEXINGTON - Dr. Frances Bernard Settle O'Tuel, 93, of Lexington, SC, beloved mother, grandmother, friend and wife left us Monday, January 7, 2019. She was born in Atlanta on February 14, 1925. She was the daughter of the late Sara Frances Segars Settle and Edward Clayton Settle Jr. Fran grew up in Atlanta, Macon and Savanah. She finished A.L. Miller High School in Macon, Georgia, at the age of 14. She then attended Wesley College in Macon and graduated from the University of Georgia in Athens at the age of 17 with a Journalism degree. While in school, she was a member of Pi Beta Phi social fraternity/sorority . She was editor of the Red and Black, elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa and "Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities". She began her career as a counselor for Armstrong Junior College in Savannah and spent time in Panama working with the Atlanta paper during World War II. She received her under graduate degree in Psychology and Human Development at the University of North Carolina while working at the Veterans Administration. As her family grew, she moved to Charleston, SC and taught at Palmer College. She loved teaching and had a passion for travel. A lifelong educator, Fran received her doctorate in Early Childhood/ Elementary Education and Educational Psychology from the University of South Carolina, Columbia. She taught at the College of Education for the University of South Carolina for over 25 years! Fran taught multiple courses, conducted workshops and presented papers at numerous universities and conferences and authored and co-authored books and articles in the education field. As an educator for many years, however, her biggest love was the impact she could make on her students. That impact was significant in the lives of many. She was always so generous with her knowledge, time, and love. It always amazed me when I saw the joy of the students she mentored. They would be working on their doctorate and needed help with their dissertation and there she was. She taught over TV before distance learning was popular. She developed a course that she taught internationally that set her off on her world travels! She would tell the best stories and entertain us with her adventures. She enjoyed nature and horticulture but had a black thumb. By far, however, were her stories of her love for family and friends. She loved museums, cafes, history, and people. She always had her bags packed ready to go. She was a ray of sunshine that shone brightly in our lives. She will be dearly missed by many and was loved by all! When older people pass, a library is lost and volumes of knowledge and wisdom disappear! Survivors include her children and their families, Martha "Louise" O'Tuel McCarson of Villa Rica, GA, "Sara" Frances O'Tuel of Ellijay, GA, Alton "Al" Louis O'Tuel, Jr. of Walterboro, SC; son-in-law, Ronnie G. McDowell of Villa Rica, GA; husband, Alton Louis O'Tuel, Sr. of Walterboro, SC, and grandchildren, Louis Randolph "Dolph" McCarson and Jillianne Louise McCarson. She was preceded in death by her brother, Edward Clayton Settle III, and dear friend, Ruth Bullard. A celebration of life will be held at the Presbyterian Assisted Living Chapel, 700 Davega Drive, Lexington, SC, in February or March. Memorials may be made to the Frances S. Settle Memorial Fund, c/o AllSouth Federal Credit Union, 701 North Lake Drive, Lexington, SC 29072 (803) 356-1711 (Jamie McCormack). Please feel free to email family at


  • Frances S. Settle Memorial Fund


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Frances S. O'Tuel

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marie coons

January 13, 2019

I am so sorry for the loss of Fran. If it wasn't for your mom and Ruth I wouldn't be in NC...I have now lost 2 of my best friends..She loved elephants and everytime Hal and I saw one we always thought of Fran...Hal even had to get her a couple which she loved.
She will be missed by us.
Marie and Hal Coons

Julie Swanson

January 10, 2019

Fran was a constant and steady friend and mentor. She was always interested in others. She cared deeply about her friends, her family, and her work. Fran showed all of us that life is meant to be fully lived.