Mary Frances “Fran” Rogers stepped through Heaven’s gates on January 6, 2021. Fran was born July 27, 1928 to James and Constance (Widdows) Meeker. Fran grew up in a modest one bedroom house on North Grove in Wichita, Kansas. She was the fourth of six children. Fran graduated from East High School in 1946 and attended one semester at Bethany Nazarene College. The essential defining attribute of Fran was her great heart of love.
Her love of life and adventure found expression through her travels across the U.S. and around the globe. Fran always said she could be packed and ready to travel anywhere in the world in just 20 minutes. A train ride to Canada with her maternal grandparents and her older brother, Eugene, was the genesis of her passion for travel. She learned to combine travel for pleasure with travel for service to others. She frequently made trips to foreign lands not only to see the sights and explore the cultures, but also to give of herself in Christian service wherever help was needed. Fran’s sense of adventure lives on in her children and grandchildren.
Fran loved business, math, and accounting. Although her college career was cut short, she had a keen mind for numbers and economic principles. Long before house flipping reality TV came along Fran and her husband, Dick, enjoyed fixing up houses and either renting them or selling them. Fran’s business acuity and her willingness to work provided a hobby that yielded benefit for both the family and the community.
Fran had a heart for Christian missionary work. In addition to traveling to foreign mission fields, she also served locally in her church. She was a strong advocate of supporting mission work and she demonstrated her passion for missions through her service and generosity. For many years, Fran served as treasurer for the Kansas District Nazarene Missions International council.
People were very important to Fran. Her heart of love reached out to people without regard for any of the attributes that often divide our society today. She saw value in every person and recognized each individual’s God-given potential. Fran was at her core an optimist and she helped people believe in themselves. Others have described Fran as an encourager, a beautiful Christian, a Godly woman, and someone who is beautiful inside and out. As a young adult, Fran taught a children’s Sunday School class. Some years later she and Dick taught a Sunday School class for young married couples. Fran would always prefer to add one more friend rather than gaining another dollar or acquiring more possessions. She was magnificently successful at loving people and making lifelong friends.
Fran loved her husband and her family. She met her husband, Richard “Dick” Rogers at the First Church of the Nazarene in Wichita. They married on August 10, 1947 and devoted their lives to loving God and serving in the church. Together they raised three children. Fran was a wonderful baker who was well known for her delicious cookies. She kept her freezer stocked with homemade cookies of all types for the enjoyment of her guests and grandchildren. Fran modeled excellence for her children and always expected them to do their best. Hanging on the wall in her home was a short cross stitched poem that reflected Fran’s attitude toward life – “Good, Better, Best. Never let it rest, ‘til your good is better and your better is best!”
Fran is survived by her three children, Kathleen Leid, Richard (Pamela) Rogers, Julie (Wayne) Huxman; six grandchildren, and seventeen great grandchildren.
Fran was preceded in death by her husband; her parents; her sisters, Dorothy and Virginia; her brothers, Eugene, Robert, and Dean; and son-in-law Gary Leid.
Above all, Fran loved Jesus supremely. Her legacy of love lives on in the lives of her family and friends. And she is at home with her Savior and Lord.
First Church of the Nazarene/Missions
1400 E. Kellogg Drive, Wichita KS 67211