Our Second Pistol Packin’Mama

Larry GrubbShe is small, 5’4″ and about 100 pounds, and mighty in many ways. Her very latest “adventure” is recuperating from heart surgery in October 2015. Following her initial surgery, she had emergency surgery to repair a pacemaker that had broken and punctured her lung. Since that time, she has been on a very long and monumental road to recovery. She is still in rehab and working very hard to regain her strength and her ability to swallow. Her disposition is bright, her faith strong, and her eyes and smile dance when you enter her presence.

She was born in Fort Worth in 1931 in her grandmother’s home. She had one half-brother who was 10 years older than she was, and she worshipped him. Knowing her, I imagine the feeling was mutual.

When she was just a young teenager, she got her first job working for Baker’s Shoes in downtown Fort Worth. From then on she was always employed. She worked for an insurance company performing secretarial responsibilities. When she was 36, she went to work for the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI), Fort Worth, and retired from there in 1998.

It was here that she had to have training in the use of both a rifle and a pistol. When this was mastered, it was followed by target practice every three months for her continued certification. She said she could always hit the bull’s-eye. She was a Hazardous Duty Correction Officer. She is grateful that she never had to use her firearms.

As a supervisor she was over staff members and never had problems with any under her supervision. She worked with their schedules and on job performance evaluations. Throughout her career she never had any issues with staff or inmates. She treated everybody with love and consideration and never had problems. She treated inmates like they were somebody and they responded favorably to her.

As a counselor she was over inmates, she worked with scheduling for them, visitation, and family issues. She supervised their outgoing and incoming mail. There were occasions when she had to obtain specimens from male inmates.

As an FCI officer she was called upon to assist in problem situations either at FCI or another facility. For this she would need to have her gun. She did perform in the capacity several times. For example, she and a male officer escorted two male prisoners to the prison in El Reno, Oklahoma.

She has a daughter and a son, who are now her care providers. About 14 years ago she approached her daughter saying, “I think I am too old to keep up with a house and yard.” She and her daughter sold their individual homes and bought the home they have lived in since that time. Her son recently moved in to help care for her. She commented, “I have cherished this time with my kids and to know them as adults.”

She joined FUMCFW in 1991. She volunteered at the Mission for 15 years helping with record keeping. Frances enjoyed the work and the other volunteers and the staff. She also filled in at the Main Church Office on occasion. She is a member of United Methodist Women.

Who is she? Little but mighty, Frances Batchelor.



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