Florence Naomi Mathis Fryer was born on July 23, 1932, in Gonzales, Texas (Elm Slough Community) to Edward Mathis Sr. and Tiny Polk Mathis. She was the second born to Edward and Tiny and early on learned the values of hard work and independence.
Florence graduated from Edwards High School in 1951 and thereafter attended Franklin Beauty School in Houston, Texas and became a certified cosmetologist at the age of 18. Her father designed and built Florence’s Beauty Shop, where she pressed hair for over 50 years. On Feb. 16, 1953, at age 20, she married her high school sweetheart, for a celebratory 67 years. To this union they had four children: Janice, Bessie, Frank Jr., and Wanda. Florence knew that rearing four children meant more finances, so she set out to find more work and landed at the Gonzales Manufacturing Company as a factory seamstress for over seven years. She also worked at Kelly Funeral Home as their beautician for many years, and from there, she worked for Gonzales ISD for 24 years as a teacher’s assistant.
Florence always found time for friends. She was an active member of the Progressive Club, Heroins of Jericho, and served as secretary of the Edwards Association during its formative years. Florence was the “beautician therapist” and always listened to stories, problems, issues of her many patrons both young and old for many, many generations ALL knew it stayed in the “Pressing Chair.”
She loved to cook, and her 7-up pound cake and German chocolate cake were always family requested. Florence had a genuine love for everyone, but her greatest loves in life were ALL of her family and her church where she served in many capacities, serving as delegate for the South Texas United Methodist Annual Conference for Henson Chapel for many years until her health wouldn’t allow her to continue. Florence continued to support and carry on the many traditions started at Henson Chapel United Methodist Church where she was a faithful member for over 75 years.
Florence went home to be with the Lord on Friday, Feb. 21 at the age of 87.
She was preceded in death by her parents, one daughter, Janice Christine, five brothers, Walter Mathis, Ross Mathis, Edward “Son” Mathis, Elias “Koochie” Mathis, and Topsy “Bubba” Mathis; and three sisters, Bessie Randle, Clara Mathis Fryer and Franner “Sugar” Mathis Brasfield.
She is survived by her loving husband and best friend, Frank Sr., son Frank Jr., daughters Bessie Naomi and Wanda Denise; one sister, Willie Mae Dyer of Dallas, Texas and grandkids, Jon Carter (Houston, Texas), Dakota Ronstandt (Winona, Wisconsin), and Aukievah “KiKi” Fryer, brothers-in-law L.W. Fryer Sr., (Gonzales, Texas) and William Brasfield Sr. (San Marcos, Texas), three sisters-in-law, Cloteal Lott (Runge, Texas), Magalene Mathis (San Antonio, Texas) and Bobbie Courett (Houston, Texas) and a host of many nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.
Florence was blessed with a loving, caring patience, and joyful spirit.
The family of Florence Naomi Mathis Fryer expresses gratitude and heartfelt thanks to everyone their prayers, support, calls, visits, and many acts of kindness.
Special thanks to Dr. Garth Vaz and staff, Gonzales County EMS, Quality Dialysis of Stafford, Texas, Renee Clack (home dialysis research assistance) and nurse Veronica Williams, driving from Houston, Texas faithfully, three days a week for nearly two years to provide care.
“Every Journey has its END, but in the END it’s the Journey the Counts.”
Services entrusted to Harris Funeral Home.