Frances Cornelia Ashworth Senter was born in Fuquay, right on 401, and moved with her family to the Ashworth homeplace which stood on Aiken Street at the ripe old age of two years. Frances hailed from a family of 6 sons and 3 daughters. All but two remained in the town and those two just moved to Kipling and Cary.
Frances was “properly introduced” to Jack by a Mr. Marshburn at a carnival on the site of Beef O Brady’s today. (the lot was vacant then) Jack had enrolled at Duke at age 16 and was wearing a three quarter raincoat. She even paid attention to the carnival, too. It had a ferris wheel, a booth selling chicken (to eat, we hope) and on this occasion or later ones covered the block all the way to former Stars theater, then a vacant lot. Frances dated Jack for 14 years, but finally somebody caught someone and August 2010 marked their 60th wedding anniversary. The Senters were faithful pillars of the First Methodist Church.
To the Senter family were born a boy, Milton, and 3 girls, Kim, Fran, and Amy. The family added seven grandchildren and ten great grand children. Frances worked for Wake County ASC for 35 years, four days per week, during tobacco season and “forever” she has been employed part time at Ashworth’s Clothing, founded by her father and mother.
When asked for a special memory of the Woman’s Club, Frances immediately recalled traveling with a Junior club woman from Cary to the National Woman’s Club Convention in Chicago. At the time Mabel Claire Maddrey was a candidate for treasurer and had been unable to secure a suite for her campaign headquarters in the hotel. When Frances and her friends checked in, guess what? They were given a large room overlooking the lake which they volunteered as the entertainment location for the entire North Carolina delegation. They had the Tar Heel emblem on everything and passed out N. C. peanuts as favors. After the convention, Frances and her party visited the “Old Town” part of Chicago where the cab driver refused to go and lived to laugh about it.
Among her local club activities “turkey suppers” stood out for Frances. First they sold them from the club house, then moved to the lunchroom (in the present middle school) and hired help to cook. They made gravy and served the meal selling in her words “a bunch of tickets.” Into food again, Frances and Willa Grace Keith did the slaw for a spaghetti supper. Lacking a big container for mixing, they put it into a garbage bag and got into it with their hands. Frances remained a big part of our “Box Lunches” and said the club has done a little bit of everything to make a buck.
Frances joined the Woman’s Club and appears to have been an active member except one year when she took off (Lynette thinks to have a baby.) Her record would be easier to recount if we could name the years she didn’t chair something or hold an office. They would be few. She began with Public Affairs, was corresponding secretary doing the yearbook, did the scrapbook, went back to Public Affairs, was Vice President doing the newsletter, and then was trained to became President. After her administration (l967-69) she headed Home Life, Conservation, Public Affairs, House and Gardens, and served as 2nd Vice President. Lately, Frances had been dedicated to House & Grounds, doing a lot of work decorating our restored clubhouse. Another important club record was sharing membership with her two daughters, Fran Baggs and Kim Johnson.
In 2012, the club recognized Frances when she surpassed Mrs. Myrtle Hopson with 64 membership years; however, Frances continued her years of service. Her record will read: SIXTY SEVEN YEARS. Frances will remain the gold standard for all of us!
Tribute by Shirley Simmons