Celebrating A Life
Written by Plant With Purpose on September 15, 2010 in General
by Scott Sabin, Executive Director
Today we celebrate the life of Frances Landers, who passed away yesterday morning. Frances was the inspiring woman who first connected Plant With Purpose with Pere Albert and the communities we now support in Haiti.
One of the most buoyant and indomitable people I ever met, I consider her one of my heroes. I remember talking to her 12 years ago when she was undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, which later went into remission. I would ask how she was doing and she would cheerily reply, “I am doing really well, I just got back from a chemo appointment, so I am just a little tired.”
She was committed to serving, teaching, and loving children in Haiti, visiting countless times, including a trip to the mountains of Grand Collline (where Plant With Purpose works) on her 91st birthday! You can read more about her remarkable life, reprinted from her obituary, below. We have also linked to a couple of more detailed stories.
Frances Landers Obituary:
Frances Maschal Landers, 93, of El Dorado, died Tuesday, September 14, 2010 at her home.
The youngest child of Ethel Faye Maschal and John Henry Maschal, she was born in Collinsville Oklahoma on March 6, 1917. She was a member of First Presbyterian Church in El Dorado where she served in numerous capacities including that of Elder & Trustee. Frances graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1937 where she served as Captain of the Women’s Rifle Team. She also attended the University of Arizona at Tucson her senior year on an Alpha Xi Delta Scholarship.
Following her graduation and her serving a year teaching public school in Collinsville, she moved to Ft. Worth, Texas where she was employed at Leonard’s Department Store in 1941. It was there that she had a blind date with a young captain from Arkansas serving in the Army Medical Corps, Dr. Gardner Hayden Landers. They were married February 7, 1942 in Brownwood, Texas where Gardner was stationed just prior to his deployment at the beginning of World War II.
At war’s end Frances and Gardner moved to El Dorado where they raised their family and lived their sixty two years together. In 1977 the Landers began their medical mission work in the country of Haiti. For twelve years they returned to the impoverished country completing twenty-four medical mission trips.
In 1983 Frances began her work raising funds to build schools in the mountains of Southern Haiti. She was the founder of the Haiti Education Foundation which prospered under her dedication and guidance. That organization presently supports forty schools educating over 9000 students in an area of Haiti where no public education is offered. This effort has been the main focus of her life for over thirty years.
Frances was preceded in death by her parents; husband Gardner, brother John Howard Maschal and sister Marjorie Young.
She is survived by three sons, Dr. William Hayden Landers and his wife Lynn of El Dorado, Dr. James Howard Landers and his wife Linda of Little Rock and Judge Michael Richard Landers and his wife, Susan of El Dorado; her grandchildren, Elizabeth Hayden Clement and husband David, Brian David Landers and his wife Susan, Allison May Moss and husband Dennington, Dr. Andrea Hayden Huntley and husband Justin, William Jeffery Landers, Dr. Jason Maschal Landers and wife Laura and Michael Bryce Landers and wife Elizabeth; great grandchildren, Gardner Landers Moss, Ella Clayton Moss, Hadley Dennington Moss, Samuel Emerson Landers, Alexander Jack Landers, Davidson Paine Landers, Lilly Frances Landers, Lee Clayton Landers, Mary Hayden Huntley, and Georgia Scott Huntley.
She also is survived by her faithful caregiver Angela Narcisse.
Visitation shall be at Young’s Funeral Directors in El Dorado from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 15, 2010.
Following a family burial service, a Memorial Service will be at 11:00 a.m. Thursday at First Presbyterian Church, El Dorado with Dr. Dan Loomis officiating. A reception will immediately follow in the Fellowship Hall at the church.
Memorials may be made to the Haiti Education Foundation, c/o First Presbyterian Church, 300 E. Main St., El Dorado. AR 71730.