OBITUARY

Friench S. Tarkington Jr.

September 2, 1932November 9, 2020
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Friench Simpson Tarkington Jr., 88, of Victoria, TX, passed away on Monday, November 9, 2020, at home with his loving wife, Martha Tarkington. He was born September 2, 1932, to Friench and Willy Virginia Tarkington in Victoria.

Friench and Martha began their history together in 2nd grade at Brownson school. Friench went to Schreiner in Kerrville, TX to finish his high school education – Martha graduated from Patti Welder and then finished her associate degree from Sullins College in Bristol, VA while Friench became a Longhorn attending the University of Texas. During their junior year, they found themselves back together at the University of Texas and shortly after were married in March 1952.

After getting his BBA in Cotton Merchandising, he became a lieutenant in the US Marine Corp and was sent to his duty station in Hawaii. Martha and their baby girl were excited to also be able to go and they lived there for 1 ½ years. Finally, his enlistment time was complete and they moved back to Victoria where he was a partner in the family’s cotton marketing business for over twelve years.

In 1967, Friench’s next occupation moved his wife and their two girls to San Antonio where he was Vice-President in the stock brokerage firm – Rotan Mosle. During this time Friench read an article about growing grapes in Texas and for their first planting they put in a dozen plants down at the Victoria “farm”. In 1985, when Victoria Bank and Trust asked Friench to consider managing their Trust investments, he willingly said, yes, and the family moved home to Victoria. He later became Senior Vice-President and Trust Investment Officer.

Both rejoiced when Friench was able to retire in 1994 from the bank and they could devote more time to their hobby of growing grapes and making wine and jelly. Since then, their little hobby became 400 plants which filled their time with plenty to do. They became known as one of the early Texas irrigated vineyards and were active in the San Antonio Regional Wine Guild. They even cooperated with the University of Arkansas and Texas A&M to bring an Arkansas hybrid into Texas Super Star status. And, they were asked to name the vine so they honored their home town by naming it Victoria Red.

Friench also loved his church and showed it by serving as an Elder. He frequently volunteered for work projects and mission outreach. Many a time he could be found helping to keep the church facilities in shape and preparing salads and desserts for Christ Kitchen. Because he had a sharp mind for finances, he was asked to serve on many Presbyterian foundation boards over the years.

Friench is survived by his wife of 68 years, Martha Tarkington; daughter, Ginny Itz (John Guillot); two grandchildren, Michael (Bianca) Cabrera and Taylor (David) Holland along with four great grandchildren, Cassidy Cabrera, Michael Cabrera, Jr., Cesar Samaniego, and Hayden Holland. He is preceded in death by their daughter, Willy Martha Tarkington.

A small private memorial service will be held for family members. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to The First Presbyterian Church of Victoria.

Words of comfort may be shared with the family at www.colonialfuneralhomevictoria.com.

  • FAMILY

  • Martha Calhoun Tarkington, Wife
  • Friench Simpson Tarkington, Father (deceased)
  • Willy Virginia Henderson Tarkington, Mother (deceased)
  • Virginia "Ginny" Itz (John Guillot), Daughter
  • Willy Martha Tarkington, Daughter (deceased)
  • Michael (Bianca) Cabrera, Grandson
  • Taylor (David) Holland, Granddaughter
  • Cassidy Cabrera, Great Grandchild
  • Michael Cabrera Jr., Great Grandchild
  • Cesar Samaniego, Great Grandchild
  • Hayden Holland, Great Grandchild

Learn more about the Tarkington name

  • DONATIONS

  • First Presbytarian Church

Services

No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

Friench S. Tarkington Jr.

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John Guillot

November 19, 2020

As Ginny and I left Houston for Victoria that early Monday morning, somewhere near beltway 8 it hit me. I will really miss my buddy. A high energy story teller, Tark would put a book in my hand if I mentioned an interest in a topic of history. I have a Tark Memorial Library spread through my house. He was always ready for any challenge I threw his way with a quick come back or an expression that spoke volumes. Snowflakes today melt when challenged, but not Tark. I regret the vanishing of people who could hear and respond to the truth. Tark made our discussions feel epic somehow, and I will miss him like a big brother.

Elton Fowler

November 18, 2020

Martha, We did sleep the first night but I dreamed about Friench. It was such a shock. Our loss will dwell for a long time. The comment that describes is -- "they don't make them like that anymore, and then they made only one." A humanitarian with the wisdom only rewarded to few. We pray for you and family.
Eileen and Doyle Fowler

Roy Ekstrum

November 14, 2020

Sorry to hear of you're lose, as a longtime neighbor he will be missed and please remember if you need something we are next door and just a phone call away.
Roy and Pat Ekstrum 361 571 -7807

Ricky and Carol Ann Lenz

November 13, 2020

We were deeply saddened to hear that Mr. Tarkington had passed away. Mr. Tarkington was a fine Christian man who had a smile on
his face. He was my 7th grade Sunday School teacher at First Presbyterian Church. He was a great teacher and he knew the Bible well. I had always had a great deal of respect for Mr. Tarkington. He always gave me a hard time about being an Aggie.
Those were great years and I was fortunate to have known Mr.
Tarkington. We know that many people will miss Mr. Tarkington.
May God bless the entire Tarkington family during your time of loss.

Jake Pratt

November 13, 2020

I have fond memories of both of you from my childhood, teenage, and later years. Friench was always a man I admired. His witty sense of humor will be missed. The pictures said so much about him.

Shelley and I are saddened by his passing.

With much love, we pray that you will be comforted with happy memories of a devoted husband and a life that was lived to the fullest.

Love,
Jake and Shelley Pratt

Doug and Beth Reed

November 13, 2020

Thank you for welcoming us both into your vineyard community and supporting us as we grew our own vineyard and winery. You are both beloved inspirations and examples of lives well-lived.

Charles Suehs

November 13, 2020

Martha and Family,
Condolences from Charlie & Barbara Suehs of San Antonio and Castroville. Friench was a truly great gentleman and wonderful person. My favorite memories with him are discussing viticulture issues at SARWG meetings. He had a superior intellect and analytical mind for solving agriculture and related enology problems. His sometimes humorous experiences regarding growing grapes in South Texas were delightful to listen to. I also enjoyed hearing about your family history and time in the Military. What a wonderful history and great memories. Much love to you.

Tommy Wray

November 12, 2020

Dearest Martha and family,
We send our love and prayers to you and your family. Losing someone is never easy but knowing that a great man of faith, such as Friench, has left his earthly home for his heavenly one is a comfort within itself. We enjoyed all the photos of your happiest times. Lots of smiles and great memories. You will be in our prayers tomorrow and in the days ahead. Were it not for these crazy times, we would be there with you.

Tommy and Janie Wray

Greg Shelly Johnson

November 12, 2020

Martha, we are truly sorry for your loss. Our prayers for you and your family. We are blessed that our vineyard came from yours. Every time I am out in the vines I am reminded of both of your guidance. The stories he would tell, your laughter told us of a wonderful well lived life together. Greg and Shelly

Muriel Cullen Argen

November 12, 2020

My deepest sympathy and my prayers
Muriel Cullen Argen
Hilton Head, SC

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

Friench Simpson Tarkington Jr., 88, of Victoria, TX, passed away on Monday, November 9, 2020, at home with his loving wife, Martha Tarkington. He was born September 2, 1932, to Friench and Willy Virginia Tarkington in Victoria.

Friench and Martha began their history together in 2nd grade at Brownson school. Friench went to Schreiner in Kerrville, TX to finish his high school education – Martha graduated from Patti Welder and then finished her associate degree from Sullins College in Bristol, VA while Friench became a Longhorn attending the University of Texas. During their junior year, they found themselves back together at the University of Texas and shortly after were married in March 1952.

After getting his BBA in Cotton Merchandising, he became a lieutenant in the US Marine Corp and was sent to his duty station in Hawaii. Martha and their baby girl were excited to also be able to go and they lived there for 1 ½ years. Finally, his enlistment time was complete and they moved back to Victoria where he was a partner in the family’s cotton marketing business for over twelve years.

In 1967, Friench’s next occupation moved his wife and their two girls to San Antonio where he was
Vice-President in the stock brokerage firm – Rotan Mosle. During this time Friench read an article about growing grapes in Texas and for their first planting they put in a dozen plants down at the Victoria “farm”. In 1985, when Victoria Bank and Trust asked Friench to consider managing their Trust investments, he willingly said, yes, and the family moved home to Victoria. He later became Senior
Vice-President and Trust Investment Officer.

Both rejoiced when Friench was able to retire in 1994 from the bank and they could devote more time to their hobby of growing grapes and making wine and jelly. Since then, their little hobby became 400 plants which filled their time with plenty to do. They became known as one of the early Texas irrigated vineyards and were active in the San Antonio Regional Wine Guild. They even cooperated with the University of Arkansas and Texas A&M to bring an Arkansas hybrid into Texas Super Star status. And, they were asked to name the vine so they honored their home town by naming it Victoria Red.

Friench also loved his church and showed it by serving as an Elder. He frequently volunteered for work projects and mission outreach. Many a time he could be found helping to keep the church facilities in shape and preparing salads and desserts for Christ Kitchen. Because he had a sharp mind for finances, he was asked to serve on many Presbyterian foundation boards over the years.

Friench is survived by his wife of 68 years, Martha Tarkington; daughter, Ginny Itz (John Guillot); two grandchildren, Michael (Bianca) Cabrera and Taylor (David) Holland along with four great grandchildren, Cassidy Cabrera, Michael Cabrera, Jr., Cesar Samaniego, and Hayden Holland. He is preceded in death by their daughter, Willy Martha Tarkington.

A small private memorial service will be held for family members. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to The First Presbyterian Church of Victoria.

Words of comfort may be shared with the family at www.colonialfuneralhomevictoria.com.

Learn more about the Tarkington name

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