Frances Merlene Templeton
1941 - 2019
Frances Merlene Templeton, age 78, passed away on September 9, 2019. She was born in Crabtree, GA on January 12, 1941 to Claude Cleveland Stroup and Alice Gwendelyn Holt Stroup.
A classy and soft-spoken lady, Merlene’s life was governed by a pure heart and caring spirit that was seen by all. She was strong, independent, and unafraid to assert herself for causes that she believed in, though she might have stood alone. She passed her class, strength of character, and hardworking spirit on to her three children. Merlene always worried about and looked out for her children, a legacy produced from a love story that she shared with her soulmate, “Bo”. Their love story started one night on a blind date while he was stationed with the military in Georgia; from that day and following their marriage on May 13, 1959, they would share that love until his death in 2013. Devotedly rearing their children and keeping their home, everyone in the Templeton household did what Daddy said, but knew that Momma was the boss. They lived in Alabama for a short time but moved to Lumberton where they would spend the rest of their lives. After her children were grown, she went back to college to pursue a bachelor’s degree and would spend many successful years as a realtor, working until very recently. Merlene enjoyed making trips to Lake Charles where she would occasionally go and make a “deposit” at her favorite casinos, and for her regular patronage, they would inundate her with many “free” gifts and prizes. A proud grandmother or “Nina”, occasional cruise ship partner, and weekly margarita companion at Elena’s every Tuesday, Merlene was many things, but most importantly, she was a hero to her children and truly a special lady that was loved by all that knew her. Leaving her side would always be accompanied by the reassuring soft expression, “just be careful”, and as she left this world to be rejoined with her beloved Tommy, the care and love from that simple expression will always remain imprinted on the hearts of those that loved her.
Left to honor her memory are her sons, Steven Ray Templeton and wife, Tara Lynn, of Lumberton, TX and Thomas Anthony “Tony” Templeton of Lumberton, TX; daughter, Carol Donita Templeton of Lumberton, TX; brother, Gerald Stroup and wife, Kathy, of Leesburg, GA; sister, Juanita Haygood of Marietta, GA; granddaughters, Stephanie Gail Smith of Waco, TX and Katelyn Childress of Nacogdoches, TX; great-granddaughter, Evelyn Gail Smith; and numerous extended family and friends.
Preceding Merlene in death was her beloved husband of 53 years, Thomas Ray “Bo” Templeton; her parents; daughter, Karen Anita Templeton; and sister, Felicia Meers.
Visitation with family and friends will be 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., Thursday, September 12, 2019, at Lumberton Family Funeral Home, 766 S. Main St., Lumberton, TX. Merlene’s life honoring graveside service will privately held at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, 4955 Pine St., Beaumont, TX, with Paul Williams officiating.