Frances Catherine Sowder

19330403 –


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Frances was born in Ganado, Texas on April 4, 1933 to Arnold and Catherine (Florus) Psencik. She was raised in Smithville, Texas by Rudolf and Albina (Svec) Psencik after the death of her biological mother. After high school graduation in Smithville, Frances worked at Southwestern Bell and attended the University of Texas in Austin. While there, she was introduced by longtime friends Dan and Wilma Hurley to Madison, who was attending law school, also at the University.  Frances and Madison were married on November 25, 1951 in Austin. They moved shortly afterwards to Lubbock where Madison began his law practice.  Five years later, and with children James, Andy, and Mary, they moved the family to Idalou, Madison’s hometown. Later, Bill, Bob and Tim joined the clan. Frances and Madison embraced Idalou as a wonderful small town to raise a family. Frances and Madison were very proud of their children’s accomplishments and endeavors. They stressed with their children the value of hard work, how to treat and respect others, to live with high moral and ethical standards, and to appreciate the value of education and a strong spiritual life.
Frances immersed herself in many community activities. She was a member of the St. Mary’s Hospital Auxiliary, the Dimensions Board (women’s health program) at UMC, Catholic Family Services Board and a longtime member of Idalou Civil Culture Club. Frances served on the boards of Mahon Library, Lubbock County Youth Center, Women’s Quarterly Board (advisory group to the Avalanche-Journal), C.A.R.E. at UMC, Hospice of Lubbock and Lubbock Historical Community Society Board. She assisted with many telethons sponsored by KTXT to raise money for community projects. She was later an Ambassador for Red Raider Ranch. She also committed countless hours as a Boy and Girl Scout leader. She was an Idalou school room mother for each of her children and volunteered extensively for all school activities. One of the many fun things Frances and Madison enjoyed was dancing with their friends at the Merry-Go-Round Dance Club.
If Frances had an opportunity to speak with a person for only a few minutes, that person became her friend. She knew a great number of people she counted as her warm acquaintances. Frances offered engaging conversation and genuine concern for all those around her.

Frances is survived by brother Ivan Psencik and sister-in-laws Bertha Psencik and Oleta Foster. Also surviving Frances are her children and their spouses: James and his wife Andie (Dallas), Mary ( Austin), Bill and his wife Sheri ( Lubbock), Bob( Dallas) and Tim (Czech Republic); grandchildren Jennifer Clements and husband Charles, Shannan Pfeifer and her husband Theron, Andrew Sowder, Paige Sowder, Madison Sowder, and Abby Sowder; and great grandchildren Heidi and Townes Pfeifer. She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews. Frances will be missed by many members of the extended Psencik and Sowder families and so many special and longtime friends.

Frances’s children wish to thank the caring and devoted staff at Raider Ranch, her Physician Dr. Floyd Pirtle and all of her friends for their care and concern for mother; including in particular, Sabrina Robbins and Robin and Don Walker.


Donations may be made in Frances’s memory payable to the Andy Sowder Memorial Scholarship Fund of Notre Dame and forwarded to David Hentges, 4601 88th Street, Lubbock, Texas 79424.


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