Frances Ann Lee left this world for heaven at 2:12 a.m. on Saturday, April 7, 2018, after a courageous and lengthy battle with multiple myeloma and a short battle with metastatic lung cancer. Fran was a lifelong Norman resident, born on February 19, 1958, to Dr. Morgan and Patricia Lee, both of whom, along with her beloved kitty Lily Louise, preceded her in death. She is survived by her aunt, Mary Lee Gossett, of Norman, and her first cousins, Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish and Dr. Sarah Caroline Parrish, both of Oklahoma City.
As a child, Fran loved her summers at camp in Bandera, Texas, and was devoted to her amazing horse, Paree. She was a lifelong member of First Baptist Church Norman and grew up on OU football. A graduate of Norman High School, she attended the University of Oklahoma, where she received a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Sociology.
Fran was talented in many areas, as evidenced by her diverse career interests. She was a certified ophthalmic assistant at Dean McGee Eye Institute, and managed Dr. Lee’s Campus Corner Optometry office as well as Peak People of Norman. Her interest in criminal justice led her to join the team in the Post Conviction Unit of the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System, and to serve as a legal research technician for an Oklahoma City law firm. She also was a constituents’ advocate in the office of Governor Henry Bellmon and served as a Coordinator for many years at the Oklahoma State Department of Education before recently retiring.
During Fran’s tenure at the Department of Education, she served under three state superintendents and forged many deep and lasting friendships. She was especially close to State Superintendent Sandy Garrett, and the two remained so for the duration of Fran’s life. While she was a loyal and hard-working professional, Fran did not live to work, but believed work was simply a tool for living a rich life.
Indeed, Fran’s life was enriched by her joy in the simple things, such as sitting on patios in the company of loved ones and dining out with them often. Fran enjoyed Game Day in Norman, donning crimson to make her rounds to Campus Corner, tailgates, and house parties.
Fran had limitless energy, and it was difficult for her to sit still for long periods. She enjoyed the occasional movie, but good reviews from Fran of any film that did not have a happy ending were rare. She enjoyed being in control of her life in every situation, preferring to drive over being the passenger. In her vehicle, the Seventies station was always on, and she was a honker, convinced others needed a refresher course at Brown’s Driving School.
Fran was one of a kind. A straight shooter who did not parse words, Fran had a quick wit that never left her. When she laughed it was always with a hearty, deep belly laugh that her loved ones will never forget. Fran loved fashion and jewelry, Neiman’s, B.C. Clark, and Balliets.
She was a true Steel Magnolia and never ran from a challenge. She loved her family and friends, and they loved her dearly. Fran led a fulfilled life in the embrace of her loved ones. She left behind dozens who deeply mourn her passing. We will always remember her.
Fran’s family would like to express gratitude to the doctors, nurses, and staff at OU Health Sciences Center and the Stephenson Cancer Center for the superior health care they provided to Fran over the years.
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” John 11:25-26. In lieu of flowers, Fran’s family asks you to consider a donation in her memory to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (“MMRF”) or to the OU Scholars program.