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Frances Singley Mercade

September 4, 1947 — January 11, 2015



Graveside services will be held on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 1:00 P.M. at Calvary Catholic Cemetery, with Deacon Robert Standridge officiating.

  Frances Singley Mercade was born on September 4, 1947 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. She grew up on a small farm near Somerville, New Jersey and graduated from Somerville High School in 1965. She attended Douglass College for two years, until her mental illness struck in February of 1967. This illness would beset her for the rest of her life, but in spite of this she was able to obtain her two-year degree from Somerset County College with honors, in liberal arts, in 1984.

Fran married Venancio Mercade on November 13, 1969. She lived with her husband in Atlanta, Georgia, while he obtained his degree from Georgia Tech, and thereafter until 1978. She then became very ill and had to return to New Jersey for treatment; she remained there until 1998.

In 1998 she moved to Galveston, Texas, which she regarded as home. She spent three years in Texas City, from 2002 until 2005, but returned to Galveston in 2005, just in time to be evacuated during Hurricane Rita. In 2007 she moved into Holland House, on 61st Street in Galveston, where she would remain until November of 2013 – including the evacuation for Hurricane Ike. During this period she had breast cancer twice; she took pride in being a “survivor”.

Fran was self-sufficient and happy in Holland House; one year she was elected to the Resident Council as Secretary. But she started to go downhill physically in February of 2012, and her condition gradually worsened for the next year and a half until she had to leave Holland House on December 1, 2013. Her last residence was Briarwood Nursing Home in Houston, Texas. On December 5, 2014 she entered St. Joseph Hospital; she was moved to Houston Hospice on January 9, 2015 and died there on January 11, 2015. She is survived by her two brothers, Donald Singley of Minneapolis, Minnesota and Jeremy Singley of East Middlebury, Vermont, and her husband, Venancio Mercade, of Miami, Florida. She is preceded in death by her father, Mark Singley, her mother, Janet Singley, and her youngest brother, Paul Singley.

Fran converted to the Catholic religion in 2004 and attended St. Patrick’s in Galveston. She had a great interest in all things Galvestonian; she was a member of the Galveston Historical Society and a guide one year on their Historic Homes Tour.

Fran was an accomplished artist, though she was only able to paint occasionally, because of her illness. She was a member of the Galveston Art League and exhibited several pictures there and in the Texas City Art Show. She also took several classes in painting and drawing at Galveston College.

Fran wrote poems throughout her life. On several occasions she would entertain audiences at various functions by reading one of her poems, often impromptu and occasionally unexpectedly.

A favorite family painting is one of Fran’s entitled “The Pasture Gate”. It is a forceful work, showing the half-open gate to the pasture on the family farm in late autumn, with brilliant colors of gold and deep red. Fran spoke often about the symbolic nature of the painting, as a passageway from one part of her life to the next. We know that she has made the transition through the gate and is now in a wonderful place.

A small stream, Royce’s Brook, flowed through our farm. On rare occasions, every five years or so, the winter would get cold enough for the brook to freeze solid, so that we could skate for miles through the neighboring farms. Fran and her brothers would often reminisce about those magical moments when we could enter these quiet, wintry places, alone with nature. We have visions of our sister skating through her next life, finally at peace.

Graveside services will be held on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 1:00 P.M. at Calvary Catholic Cemetery, with Deacon Robert Standridge officiating.