Mary Frances Horgan

June 21, 1927December 8, 2020

On June 21, 1927, Mary Frances King was born in St. Louis, MO to John Francis “Frank” King and Julie King (nee Wren). Three months after giving birth to Mary Frances, Julie King died of complications from childbirth. Mary Frances King never knew her mother. Consequently, she was raised by her father, Frank; her two aunts, Ellen and Agnes King; and her two uncles, Rich and Joe King. The King family lived in a home on Highland Avenue in North St. Louis in Blessed Sacrament Parish. Like most Irish-Catholic families in the depression, the King family was very poor and had very little money.

Mary Frances attended Blessed Sacrament Grade School where she graduated from 8th grade in 1941. Because of her excellent academic record in grade school, Mary Frances received a generous financial scholarship to Incarnate Word Academy in North St. Louis County. Without this scholarship, she would not have been able to attend Incarnate Word Academy. After four years, Mary Frances graduated from Incarnate Word with high honors and at the top of her class. In light of her stellar academic record in high school, Mary Frances was awarded a very generous scholarship to Webster College (now University) then run by the Sisters of Loretto. In 1949, Miss King graduated from Webster College with a B.A. in Latin and Spanish—Summa cum Laude. She also did graduate work at St. Louis University and the Aquinas Institute of Theology.

In February of 1952, Mary Frances King married the love of her life, John Joseph “Jack” Horgan, a recent graduate of St. Louis University Law School. This happy, loving union of marriage lasted for 49 years until Jack’s death in January of 2001. Together, Jack and Mary Fran raised five children: John Joseph, Jr., Mary Gerard, Paul Francis, Patrick James, and Thomas More; all of St. Louis. Mrs. Horgan has nine adult grandchildren of whom she is very proud.

Mary Fran was a lifelong educator who taught at Nerinx Hall, St. Louis Public Schools, Clayton Public Schools, Cor Jesu Academy, and John F. Kennedy High School. While she was a proud graduate of Incarnate Word Academy, she became particularly close and fond of the Cor Jesu community for whom she taught for about 20 years. She loved taking the CJA girls to Spain, Italy and Greece in alternating years each summer and chaperoning them with her beloved husband.

In addition to her passion for her family and education, Mary Fran became a tireless advocate for the civil rights of unborn children beginning in the mid-40’s (when Cardinal Carberry asked her to help lead the Archdiocesan Pro Life Committed in 1973), and continuing to her last breath on this earth. She even co-led the pro-life, and pro-family Missouri Delegation to the landmark International Women’s Year Conference (IWY) in Houston, TX, (including addressing the entire assembly) established by then President Jimmy Carter and Chaired by Congresswoman Bella Abzug (D-NY).

Mary Fran’s well hobbies were “talking politics and religion” with anyone and everyone, usually while having a scotch with the Cardinals game on in the background. Donations in her name may be made to Birthright, Our Lady’s Inn, St. Vincent de Paul, Cor Jesu Academy


Mary Frances Horgan

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jacqueline Kappel Waugh

March 15, 2021

I was in Mrs. Horgan’s first advanced Latin classes at Cor Jesu. I remember being the only senior in a class with juniors my last year. She made me feel comfortable with that arrangement. And she let me be president of Latin Club. I still have my t-shirt which I helped design. It says “Dux femina facti” which means “a woman was made leader”. I am glad to have known her. She taught me what true leadership means, serving others. May she Rest In Peace.

Chrissie Rush

December 20, 2020

My deepest condolences.

I was in Mrs Horgan’s first Latin class at CJA, where she installed a lifelong love of Latin, continuing to this day as I struggle to better understand the Extraordinary form of the mass. In fact, I experienced my first-and only-saturnalia, as well as first Latin mass (Tridentine) while a student of Mrs. Horgan. On a more personal side, her love and concern for her family, including most especially her aunts, always shown through .

My mom and I went on Mrs Horgan‘a first trip to Italy, with Mr. Horgan, while teaching CJ students. Unforgettable!

Finally, I can’t leave out Mr Horgan, for whom I had the pleasure of working as an associate at Moser and Marsalek.

Both of them stood up for truth in a world where good is bad and bad is good.

You were so fortunate to have them as your mom and grandmother.


Paul & Kerry DeGregorio

December 17, 2020

We extend our deepest sympathies to the family. Mary Fran made the world a much better place. Because of her tireless dedication, persistence, and prayers, the lives of millions of unborn children have been saved. We are certain she is up in heaven and looking down with pride with her beloved Jack on their amazing accomplishments, especially their beautiful family. Our lives were deeply touched by Mary Fran and we are truly grateful and honored to have known her for so many wonderful years and call her a friend. May She Rest in Peace.

Sr. maureen Martin

December 15, 2020

I am very sorry to learn of Mary Fran's death, although she must be in her glory now! I find joy in imagining her delight in meeting the Lord and loved ones face to face.

Your mom always left me smiling whenever I would meet her in the mornings at CJ, rushing to class, sharing that she always prayed the Lord would let her remember all she had to keep in mind that day!

Mary, praying for you and all your family.

Father O'Toole

December 15, 2020

From St. Joan of Arc days... The O'Toole family conveys our condolences - Dan, Mary Bridget, Ed and Matt. All the Horgan's are well remembered. Prayers for your family and the repose of the soul of Mrs. Horgan.

Rosemary Shea

December 13, 2020

Mary Fran King was one of my teachers at Nerinx and the moderator of the newspaper. I was the editor and we spent many hours working on it. Jack would come and do his homework. My class attended her wedding at Blessed Sacrament and then she was Mrs Horgan.

We met at SLUH and Cor Jesu when our children were students and became adult friends. I also met her often shopping at Straub's Webster.

At Nerinx she is fondly remembered by my classmates as an excellent teacher and was a favorite of many.

My sympathy to the family. She was a remarkable woman.

Rosemary Hahn Shea

Mary Schmidtlein Rhodes

December 13, 2020

Dear Horgan Family,

I was saddened to learn of your mother’s death. How fitting that God called her home on a Marian feast day. May she dance with the angels this day and may Mary Immaculate wrap her mantle around you and give you comfort!

She was a smart woman ahead of her time and a strong Irish mother!

How happy is she whose soul gains paradise! Angels rejoice! Archangels sing praise, the company of virgins welcomes her. Choirs of saints call out to her-- stay with us forever.

Eternal rest grant unto her O Lord!


Mary & Jim Rhodes

Stephanie Copple

December 13, 2020

Mrs. Horgan was hands down my favorite CJA teacher. She not only taught us Latin, but numerous life lessons and how to stand up for what is right! She was a gift to everyone she met. I was blessed to have her as a teacher and equally blessed to teach her granddaughter in middle school. She raised an amazing family and will be greatly missed.

mary kay vasterling

December 13, 2020

Deepest sympathies and condolences to all of Mary Fran's beloved children. In another time we would be there to offer them in person. We have wonderful fond memories of your mom, and her friendship with our mother and our family. Peace and comfort to you all.

Mary Kay Vasterling
Chuck Vasterling and Karen Earley

Katy Batterton

December 12, 2020

Some of my most favorite moments from my four years at Cor Jesu were in Latin class with Mary Fran. She always had a story to tell or a life lesson to give, and we knew she was coming down the hallway by smelling her perfume and hearing her heels! She was a true legend. I kept in touch with Mrs. Horgan for a bit after high school and I know she always held her students close to her heart and in her prayers. God Bless her, and I pray for her family.