April 10, 1922 – March 19, 2020
Frances Helen Calliham, trusted and beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend departed the temporal life on March 19, 2020 to join Jesus in her eternal home in heaven—just three weeks short of her 98th birthday.
Frances was goodness and kindness wrapped in an unerring faith; thoughtfulness encased in grace and understanding,; loyalty inside a tiny, energetic body; and a countenance that grew sweeter and more earnest every day.
Her smile captivated the room; she laughed whether one’s humor was good or not so good; and her joy for life was readily apparent each and every day.
She loved her family. Her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren brought her much joy and she reveled in their success and accomplishments. They, in turn, loved her for many reasons, including the fact that she could always see the silver lining in everyday circumstances.
Frances was born April 10, 1922, on a farm in Blevins, Arkansas, to Henry Edwin and Ella Mae Brooks. She lived there for 18 months until her parents decided to move to Gilbert, Arizona; a suburb of Phoenix. At two year intervals, three sisters would join the Brooks family.
She graduated from Business College in 1939 and went to work for Valley National Bank in Chandler, AZ. It was there, working as a teller, she met a young Air Force lieutenant, who had come in to open an account. The young lieutenant, Melvin Ray Calliham, was stationed at nearby Higley Field (later renamed Williams Air Force Base).
Frances and Melvin Ray (he preferred “M.R”) dated for 11 months and were married in a Gilbert, AZ garden wedding on September 17, 1942. For the next four years she and M.R. moved to various Army Air Corps assignments in Colorado and New Mexico. First son, Mike, was born in Hobbs, NM.
Following M.R.’s discharge from the U.S. Army in 1946, the family moved to College Station for him to study veterinary medicine at Texas A&M University. In the years of being married to a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine she followed his fortune to the Panhandle of Texas and back to College Station. Overall she was a part of the College Station and Texas A&M community for 63 years. Daughters Pat and Janet were born in College Station.
Once Mike, Pat and Janet reached adulthood she returned to the business world. She charted her course in the world of Real Estate. She obtained her Real Estate Brokers license and achieved success; first in real estate sales for 20 years and later in real estate property management.
Frances is survived by her son, Mike Calliham of College Station, daughter Pat Martin and husband Bill of College Station, daughter Janet Runkles and husband Rich of Windsor, CO, daughter-in-law Peggy Calliham of College Station; grandchildren Michael Calliham and wife JoElla of College Station, Sean Calliham, and wife Lisa of Pearland, TX, Leslie Ludy and husband Eric of Windsor, CO, David Runkles and wife Tricia of Fort Collins, CO, and John Runkles, and wife Tasha of Fort Collins, CO; and great grandchildren Ashley, Aaron, Haley and MaKenna Calliham; Hudson, Harper, Kip, Avy, Rees, and Lily Ludy; Rhodes, Ada, Taylor, and Henderson Runkles.
She is predeceased by her husband, Dr. M.R. “Nig” Calliham, her parents, and her three sisters.
In the current COVID-19 environment, the family will observe a private graveside ceremony. A public celebration of life is on hold until the glorious days beyond the COVID-19 lockdown. Stay tuned!
Donations, in her memory, can be made online at HospiceBrazosValley.org.
Below is a video tribute created by the Calliham Family.