Frances was born in Columbus, Georgia, in 1908, the daughter of Maude Ethridge Howard and Dr. Isaac C. Evans, Jr. She graduated from Columbus High School in 1925, in the same class with her brother, who was two years older than she.
Frances entered the University of Georgia at Athens in September, 1925, two months before her 17th birthday. She was the first, and quite possibly the only, UGA student to take advantage of an obscure clause in the 1925 catalog which provided that a student who took three years of both Greek and Latin could graduate with fewer than the usual number of required credits. Already proficient in Latin, Frances added Greek to her language skills. In 1928, at the age of 19, she received her Bachelor of Arts from the University or Georgia and returned to Columbus to teach at Columbus High School. She found that she was younger than some of her pupils.
Earns Masterís Degree
In 1931, Frances decided to return to UGA for a Masterís Degree. However, in June of that year, her mother died. Frances realized that she could not leave her 14 year old sister to be cared for by their busy physician father, so she took her sister, Sara, to college with her. She enrolled Sara in the Athens public schools and supervised her sisterís education as she continued her own. In 1932, Frances received her Masterís in English and Latin, and she and Sara returned to Columbus.
Frances continued to teach at Columbus High School until she married and moved to north Georgia. When her husband was transferred to Mississippi, she continued her teaching career there. Her last formal teaching position was at Lamar Academy, in Meridian, Mississippi.
Most of Francesí students began her classes with a dread and a groan. English and Latin are not renown for being the most interesting subjects in school. But it didnít take students long to realize that Francesí classes were immensely interesting. Frances was a demanding instructor who was relentless in pushing her students to their limits, but she did so with firm patience, persistent encouragement, and a genuine interest in her students as pupils and as individuals.
Her impact on her students was evidenced at her funeral in Columbus, Georgia. Former students, some who had not see her in fifty years, came to pay their respects to a teacher they admired as an instructor and a friend.