Frieda Marian Branom was born in Cumby, Texas on April 21, 1916 to James Merit Branom and Mary Ethel Garootte Branom. Her sisters Ethel Clarine and Emily Geraldine were older. Her sisters Jimmie Sue and Margaret Jean and her brother Joseph Merit were younger. Only Jimmie Sue and Joseph Merit married. Frieda outlived her parents and all of her sisters and brother.
The Branom family moved to a home at 1708 Campbell Street in Commerce in the early 1920's. From there, Frieda attended the East Texas State Teachers College Training School, completing all twelve grades in 1935. She then stayed on at East Texas State Teachers College, now Texas A&M Commerce, and earned a Bachelor of Primary Education in 1939.
Frieda began her teaching career in Graham, Texas in 1939. Then in 1943, she enrolled at Juilliard School in Manhattan and received a Bachelor of Science in Organ in 1943. Afterward, she played the organ for a church in New York for a year.
Frieda taught in Colorado for a year.
She taught 2nd grade in Austin, Texas from 1953-1958. Then she moved to Houston where she taught 2nd grade at Ridgecrest Elementary School in Spring Branch, a district in west-northwest Houston from 1959 to 1979.
Frieda, her mother and three of her sisters bought a house at 1310 Aldridge Street in Commerce in 1963. With Jean acting as on-site project manager, the house was enlarged and remodeled to meet each sister's needs.
After retiring from Spring Branch ISD, Frieda went back to work in Campbell, Texas for a year.
Frieda loved to dance ballroom and tap. She also loved the outdoors and worked in the yard at Aldridge Street, planting trees and shrubs and flower beds and putting in many brick walkways. She fed the birds and watched them from the kitchen window.
She and her sisters were world travelers, often navigating the oceans on freighters such as the Ruben Tipton in the summer of 1962. Each freighter is required to offer a few cabins for travelers according to maritime law. Frieda and Gerry took several nieces and nephews on graduation trips abroad.
In her later years, Frieda was well read and kept up with the daily news. She had good eyesight and an excellent memory of the details of current events. She also maintained an interest in the British Royal Family.
She died on February 26, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. at the age of 103 years old. Her body was cremated and her ashes will be buried in the family plot in Rosemound Cemetery in Commerce, next to her sister, Gerry. Frieda is survived by a niece and several nephews and their families.
Memorials may be offered to the First Presbyterian Church of Commerce, Texas.
Wednesday, March 11, 2020
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Jones-Walker & Son Chapel
1209 Live Oak
Commerce, Texas 75428