Frances Molpus
Frances Molpus
Frances Blount Molpus of Philadelphia, Mississippi, after living ninety-seven eventful, lively, and beautiful years, died on Feb. 9, 2014, at St. Dominic's Hospital. She would want all her family and friends to know she did not die of "old age" but from complications after a fall at her home on Jan. 24, 2014. She and all who knew her were betting that she would easily surpass one hundred years with her clear mind and exceptional spirit intact.
At age six, before modern medicine, she lost more than ninety percent of her hearing. Her father, a Neshoba County school teacher at the time, decided to teach her to read lips rather than use sign language. Even though she was deaf, she never saw herself as "disabled" and would accept a handicapped sticker on her car only after she broke her ankle at age ninety while kicking a soccer ball with her grandchildren at the Neshoba County Fair.
Raised during the depression as one of six children, she was self-sufficient, strong, and spirited--and unflappable by anything life presented. She was never timid about issues of right and wrong; fortunately, she had an unusual ability to voice strong opinions without offending others. It was just part of her personality.
A spiritual person, she firmly believed in treating all people equally, whatever their race or social status. She taught her children at a young age to treat everyone with dignity and respect. She gave her kindness and love unconditionally. She liked highly competitive bridge (was the top score at her club the afternoon before she fell), golf, "a little" white wine, her beautiful garden, and supporting her aging friends. She believed in helping the underdog and was viscerally repulsed by bullies. An unequivocating Democrat, she would often call her children to denigrate angry radio hosts or to discuss biased reporting by Fox News, but she never accepted her children's advice to stop listening to or watching either. (She could be a bit stubborn.)
During World War II she became a secretary at the Jackson Chamber of Commerce while her husband was deployed overseas. During that period, she embarked on a course of lifelong learning. She became a voracious reader and could discuss the great books, politics, history, architecture, world leaders, and current events knowledgeably. At age ninety-seven, she was still active in her book club, which included several youngsters in their sixties.
She was fiercely loyal to her husband of fifty years, the late Richard Molpus. They lived through the ups and downs of the sawmill business, and she was always willing to step up and work as one of the office staff at Molpus Lumber Company if needed. She never felt entitled and did not particularly enjoy the company of people who did.
She was the quintessential mother - the scout leader, room mother, chaperone, and confidante. She was a friend to myriad young people who visited her welcoming home over the years. Her door was always open. She would invite people throughout the day, so children never knew who might be around the supper table. Conversation was always lively and spirited.
Her greatest joy was the pleasure and love she gave to and received from her four children and their spouses. As eleven grandchildren came along, she was showered with attention from them, and even though deaf, she was a remarkable, understanding, and nonjudgmental listener. She could "hear" in the best sense of that word.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard H. Molpus, Sr, her parents, Henry Clayton Blount, Sr. and Sally Crawford Blount, two sisters, Iva Lou Blount Mundy and Annie Flora Blount Williams, and brother, Clayton Blount. She is survived by one son, Dick (Sally) Molpus, of Jackson, and three daughters, Melanie (Jim) Myers, of Dallas, Texas, Nancy (Tom) Pace, of Greenville, South Carolina, and Dorothy (Tom) Howorth, of Oxford; eleven grandchildren; two great-grandsons; a brother, Henry (Joann) Blount, of Alexandria, La., and sister, Dorothy Hudspeth, of Oxford, sister-in-law Lorraine Turner Blount; and a host of relatives and friends who took inspiration from her and grieve her passing.
All who knew her best feel that their lives were enriched by this remarkable and unique woman.
A celebration of her life will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at the First Baptist Church in Philadelphia after a visitation beginning at 1 p.m. at the Church. Dr. Dan Howard and Dr. Henry Blount will officiate. McClain-Hays Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be sent to: The Neshoba County Library, 230 Beacon, Philadelphia, MS 39350; Philadelphia Parents for Public Schools, P.O. Box 59, Philadelphia, MS 39350; Open Arms, Inc., Community Meal Ministry, P. O. Box 1431, Philadelphia, MS 39350; or charity of choice.