Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

October 29, 2013

Frances Hobby


Mineral Wells Index

— 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.

 As a landlord, she was widely known for being kind, compassionate, and forgiving. As a child, she remembered being hungry and having one dress and a worn-out pair of shoes; so she just could never legally evict even the most deserving as everyone "has a story." Over the years, she always found work for countless people who sporadically relied on her when they needed a job. For those who owe Frances Hobby money, please help someone in need. She lived her life always helping those less fortunate, and paying it forward in that manner would be the best tribute to her.

Frances supported local businesses and organizations whenever possible. For many years, she was active in the Mineral Wells Women's Club as well as the Chamber of Commerce, among others. In 1998, she was instrumental in reaching the Chamber's goal of getting 500 memberships by convincing the 500th business owner that it was a good thing to support Mineral Wells in this way.

Frances was a member of First Baptist Church since 1961.

She is survived by one sister, Elizabeth Clark, of Leesburg, Ga.; two daughters, Donna Metz and husband Dale of Denton, and Debbie Jenkins and husband Paul of Aledo; grandchildren Blake Petty and wife Summer of Weatherford; Dane Petty and wife Chelsea of Fort Worth; Brent Petty and wife Carrie of Denver, Colo.; Amy Metz Walker and husband Dusty of Birmingham, Ala.; and Adam Metz of Coppell; nine beloved great grandchildren; cherished nieces and nephews; and precious old and new friends of all ages.

The Texas visitation is Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013, at 9:30 a.m. followed by the funeral service at 11 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in Mineral Wells. The Georgia funeral service/burial will be on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013, at 11 a.m. at the Harmony Baptist Church and Cemetery in Ashburn, Ga. In lieu of flowers and in keeping with Frances' benevolent spirit, memorials may be given to the American Cancer Society, National Kidney Foundation, or the charity of your choice.

Many residents and officials would attest to the fact that Frances Hobby left her mark in various areas of the City of Mineral Wells.

White's Funeral Home/Mineral Wells