Frances Kay Harris, a Born on the Island (BOI) Galvestonian on August 26, 1917, passed away in Galveston on January 22, 2012, leaving a rich legacy to the city she loved.
Frances graduated Ball High School and attended the University of Texas. She headed for New York for a career in the theater which was derailed when she met the love of her life, her husband Lewis Harris. In fact, after their first date she wrote her parents that he was the man she was going to marry. Frances and Lew were married at NY City Hall and lived in New York where Lew pursued his music career. Then, in 1947, she, Lew, and their two children moved backed to Galveston where she has lived ever since. In later years, even with limited mobility, Frances was seen in restaurants all over Galveston, greeting old friends and enjoying being “out among ‘em”.
Early on, Frances became involved in the community. In 1948, she became the host of the Frances Kay Harris Show on radio station KGBC. The show, which started as a “women’s program”, evolved into a community forum during its 54 years on the air.
She served as President of Galveston’s League of Women Voters when that organization was instrumental in changing the city’s outdated (since 1900) Commissioner System to its current Council-Manager form of government. She was one of the speakers on Galveston’s behalf when the city won the ALL-AMERICAN CITY award for its progressiveness.
In the late 80’s, she campaigned against casino gambling on the island which was ultimately voted down.
Frances translated her joy of traveling into becoming a Travel Correspondent for The Galveston Daily News and wrote travel columns and lectured for more than three decades. During this time, she aggressively pursued the construction of a permanent cruise ship terminal for the Port of Galveston and in 2000 saw the fulfillment of her dream when the Carnival Cruise Lines initiated service to the city.
Her interests involved the Friends of the Rosenberg Library and, as an animal lover all her life, a longtime supporter of the Galveston Island Humane Society which honored her at the very first annual Galveston Island Paws Gala.
She is survived by her daughter Tracy Kay Harris and son John Kay Harris and Harriet Schubb, granddaughter Michelle and Dan Weiss, and five great-grandchildren--Lewis, Hannah, Sophie, Talia and Miles, and rescued puppy, JohnKay.
The family extends heartfelt thanks to Dr. Tom Blackwell and Colleen Stegman for their wonderful care and to some of the special caregivers who made her life comfortable during her final years: Jacqueline Hockless, Isatou Karoma, Tina Naunheim, Gina Tristan. Blessings go to her special friends on the Island: Sue Williams, Barbara Sue Schneider and Jack Crummett.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to the Galveston Island Humane Society or your charity of choice.
J Levy & Termini Funeral Home