June 29th, 2017 under Obituaries
Frances Kellogg Sage of Alpine, Texas, died May 8, 2017, in San Antonio, Texas, where she had been recovering from surgery a year prior. She was born in Belvidere, Illinois, on Jan. 16, 1932, daughter of Neal John and Esther Streeter Kellogg.
Fran graduated high school at Billings Senior High School in Billings, Montana, in 1950. She and Jim were married June 2, 1950. That marriage ended on March 3, 2017, when Jim died. They were married 66 years. They had two children, Sandy and Steve.
In 1966 the family moved from Billings to Austin, as Fran received a fellowship from the University of Texas-Austin to obtain a PhD in English literature. She went on to become a teacher, and Fran held several other positions before retiring from the State of Texas Coordinating Board. Before retiring, she was co-editor of a literary journal, Latitude 30°18’. She was a prolific writer of poetry, essays, and other works.
Fran and Jim then moved from Austin to Alpine in 1995, and built a home in South Double Diamond. Fran loved the desert life and all the wildlife of West Texas. She worked tirelessly on environmental issues in a desire to keep the Big Bend area pristine. She and Jim founded the Big Bend Regional Sierra Club after moving to Alpine.
Fran was involved in many community and area activities. She gave her heart and soul to writing the newsletter for the Big Bend Sierra Club. In 2006, she received the Orrin Bonney Award from the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club for all her hard work. She wrote numerous articles for the local newspapers as to what was happening in this area. If she didn’t understand a topic, she would research it until she became knowledgeable. She served on numerous committees including the Big Bend Ranch State Park Advisory Committee. She was also a politics junkie and followed what was happening at local, state, and federal levels, even following bills through the various levels of government.
All her life she was a lover of books, reading “throw away mystery novels,” as she called them, to classics and everything in between. For years she belonged to a book club made up of members in this area.
One of the members said, “Fran was a founding member and active participant in the Fort Davis, Alpine, and beyond book group. Organized in 2001, Fran and Jim actively participated into 2016. Having been a former professor of English literature, Fran could always be counted on to provide meaningful, intellectual, and insightful input into our discussions. Her succinct, thoughtful comments routinely raised the bar, while always finding worth and value in the thoughts and opinions of others. She will be dearly and greatly missed by this group.”
Fran was also a lover of art. She and her husband got great pleasure in traveling to art museums around Texas and the country. Fran lived a long way from her grandson, Sam Lamport, but she and Jim would take Sam to art museums around the country each summer. He, too, learned to love art through his grandparents. Fran’s son Steve also enjoyed talking politics with her, and while most of us would have our eyes glazed over fairly quickly, they both got enjoyment out of these conversations.
Fran enjoyed painting, making cards, and other creative endeavors, as did her two sisters, Jeanne and Florence. Her daughter, Sandy, inherited a creative streak also.
Her passion for doing came from her mother Esther Streeter Kellogg. In 1999, she wrote of her mother, “There was no epitaph on her [Esther’s] gravestone, but if there were, it would say, “She tried.” She tried all her life. I think that I have tried to be the same. And that would be the epitaph I would want.”
She is survived by her daughter Sandy Sage of Alpine; son Steve Sage of Austin; grandson Samuel Lamport of Portland, Oregon; and niece Lynn Clifford (Gary) of the Woodlands.
One of the things Fran really enjoyed seeing each time she drove to Alpine was Rachael Waller’s rescued horses near Highway 118 South. She often said how much they brightened her day as she was caring for her husband.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be made to Rachael Waller’s Firelight South Ranch wild and domestic horse sanctuary,Wallerrachael@yahoo.com, or memorials to bigbendfriends.org.
There will be a Celebration of Fran’s life at 4:30pm July 9 at her home in South Double Diamond. Music will be furnished by the Swifts. Her family would enjoy seeing and meeting you at this event.