Frances Hobby, 89, long-time resident of Mineral Wells, passed away on Saturday morning, Oct. 26, 2013, after a hard-fought battle with cancer. She moved to Mineral Wells in 1961 and ultimately became Mineral Wells' biggest ambassador. Every place she went and every chance she got, she told strangers and new friends about the wonderful little city with the rolling hills that the locals call "mountains," well laid-out street system, big old hotel, state park and lake, international botanical gardens, war memorial, and the health promoting Crazy Water.
Born in Sylvester, Ga., to James Offie Spurlock and Mary Odell Avery, she married James "Earl" Hobby in Macon, Ga. in 1950. When the U.S. Air Force base in Bainbridge, Ga., closed in 1961, Earl accepted a four-month Southern Airways' contract job at Camp Wolters; and she and Earl sold their home in three days, packed up their two daughters and all of their belongings and moved to the strange, distant land of cowboys and Indians that would become their home for the rest of their lives. While she never forgot her Georgia roots, that was the beginning of Frances' fond attachment to Mineral Wells.
In 1968, she and Earl became small business owners when they opened Hobby's Car Wash, the city's first full-service car wash. After Earl's death in 1970, Frances successfully ran the business in the then "man's world" arena until she sold it in 1980. Many still remember the days of Hobby's Car Wash.
In the years following, Frances bought several run-down properties around town and renovated them into livable, attractive homes and apartments. She was a staunch proponent of and an active participant in "re-purposing" long before it became fashionable. In the late 1990s, she received the "Community Pride Award" for one of her renovations.