Franchelle “Fran” Parks Hilliard
Franchelle “Fran” Parks Hilliard passed away peacefully on April 4, 2020 at Holly Springs Rehabilitation and Healthcare in Holly Springs, Mississippi. She was 95 years old. She leaves her twin daughters, Rebecca Hilliard Hutchins (Scott) and Sandra Hilliard and her granddaughter, Simone Franchelle Bourgeois. She was married to the love of her life, James “Jimmy” Hilliard, for 51 years until his passing in 2003, with whom she shared many big laughs and good meals. “Miss Fran” was a devoted member of Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church and never missed a chance to attend.
Miss Fran, who grew up in Fayette County, Tennessee, in a sharecropper’s shack with a dirt floor, knew she wanted more for her life. She played basketball so well that she earned the honor of All West Tennessee Guard in high school. Upon graduation, she left for Memphis to study typing and shorthand. She was so skilled at both that she switched to teaching prior to graduation, becoming a successful career woman before it was common for women to be in the workplace. She began her career as a court reporter and served as Administrative Assistant to a number of attorneys and Memphis Mayor William B. Ingram. She worked for Troxel Manufacturing in Moscow, Tennessee for a number of years and served as a teller at First State Bank in Mt. Pleasant, Mississippi, after retiring.
Miss Fran also worked tirelessly for her family. She cared for her mother, Elsie “Mammy” Parks, and her mother-in-law and sister-in-law at home for many years. She was always there when her family needed her. She adopted her twin girls as infants, gave them everything in life, and surrounded them with love every day. The only person she loved more than her daughters was her granddaughter with whom “Granny” had a special bond.
Miss Fran was an incredible cook and would often deliver her “famous fried pies” around the community. She played the piano by ear and for many years served her church as pianist, having taught herself to play as a little girl by carving “keys” in the top of an old dresser. She was a master letter writer and gave the best advice. She had a wicked sense of humor and could be both tough and tender depending on the situation. She loved her family, but most of all she loved the Lord, and given the slightest opportunity, she would tell you so. She will be missed very much, yet we rejoice that she is now with her Lord.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to either The Alzheimer’s Association, 225 N. Michigan Ave., Floor 17, Chicago, IL 60601 or by visiting www.alz.org or to the Covid-19 Relief Fund at www.who.int.
Arrangements were provided by Peebles Fayette County Funeral Homes & Cremation Center in Somerville and Oakland, Tennessee and condolences may be left on our online guestbook at www.PeeblesFuneralHome.com.