Frances Grace Bennett of Groesbeck, at age 87, completed her earthly tasks and entered her reward in Heaven with her Savior Jesus. She passed away at Limestone Medical Center on Sunday, February 21, 2016. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at the First Baptist Church in Groesbeck, with Visitation beginning at 12:00 Noon at the Church. Dr. Tod Tanner (First Baptist Church of Groesbeck), Rev. Tracy Sims (Central Baptist Church of Thornton) and Rev. Nathaniel Bedford (Lone Star Baptist Church) will officiate. Pianists will be Laura Boecker and Sandie McLean and Phil Koester will be the vocalist for the service and Brian Boecker at the graveside. Concluding services will be held at the Pavilion at Faulkenberry Cemetery, followed by burial. Pallbearers will be Jon McLean, Greg Barnes, Kent Vogel, John Maline, Bill Maline, Mike Maline, Jim Bennett, and Kenneth Bennett. Honorary pallbearers will be Bill and Karen Stutts, Linda Bedford, and Maurice and Mamie Frazier. Frances was born on December 23, 1928 to Colbert Edison and Leanette (Bradley) Gregory in Groesbeck. She was welcomed into the fold by sisters Margaret Jo (Jodie) and Mary Earl. After graduating from Groesbeck High School in 1946, she attended Baylor University for two years. On visits back to Groesbeck, she caught the eye of young farmer, L. E. “Muggs” Bennett, who stated that he was going to marry her, before they even became acquainted. After capturing her heart, he told her that he was going to teach her something new every day. On October 30, 1948, they were married by Rev. Olen Waldrip at Groesbeck’s FBC. As cotton grew to be king in Texas, they would leave Groesbeck during cotton picking season and head to the Valley and West Texas (Pecos) with their cotton picking machinery in tow. Frances did not shy away from being a part of the action; she drove the pick-up truck behind the cotton pickers. In 1955, after an 8-year wait, their dream of starting a family was fulfilled with the adoption of daughter, Beverly, followed by son Brad’s adoption in 1961. Her family and home were the light of her life, and she became proficient in multi-tasking before the term became popular. She sought personal fulfillment by playing the piano at First Baptist Church, where she was a life-long member. She played approximately twenty-five years in Sunday school classes, worship, Vacation Bible Schools and week-long revivals. Later she began playing the organ at church, then spent another twenty-five years as the organist at First United Methodist Church. Frances shared her love and talents for the piano by teaching piano to children of all ages in her home after school. At the end of each school year, her students would dress in formal attire to perform in the end-of-year recitals. By the 80s she stopped giving private lessons, but she was asked to play for many weddings and countless funerals. Her love for Groesbeck was undeniable and she proudly fulfilled her civic duties by serving as a trustee of the GISD school board in the 60s. In the 70s, she served as a substitute teacher at the elementary and junior high campuses. Additionally, she served as a founding member of the Maffett Memorial Library Board of Directors for approximately thirty years. She and other board members oversaw the expansion of the library from the second floor of city hall to the construction of the present building in 1981. In the mid 60s, Frances, Muggs, Mae and Gayland Wilson, Jack Weaver and Sharon Barnett, and Carl Shugart envisioned the revitalization of the city park and pool. Together they labored in cleaning, shredding, repairing, and painting various parts of the park, playground, and pool. When finished, the park reopened under the auspices of the Groesbeck Recreation Association. Their determination and desire to re-establish a major leisure time attraction has served Groesbeck citizens well since that time. She was a devoted mother involved in her children’s activities, serving as room mother many years; and she and Muggs were always involved in building floats for the Homecoming parades. Frances supported Muggs in his livestock venture at Horn Hill, including their adventure together into raising emus in the 90s. She personally gathered the eggs in the winter and brought them home to incubate and keep them until hatched, spending many hours in their care, and supported the emu industry for some years. On a more personal level, she took on her favorite role of all – that of a doting grandmother to her two granddaughters. She also perfected her baking skills by making the most delicious poppy seed and rum cakes. She found great delight in creating such tasty items, then sharing the fruits of her labor regularly with many in Groesbeck. Two baking highlights were furnishing the annual Methodist Fall Festival with ten poppy seed and/or rum cakes, and making twenty-five poppy-seed cakes at the request of her future grandson-in-law, as his groom’s cake. An additional two hundred mini-cakes were made as guest favors at the wedding conclusion. Frances lived her life unselfishly and touched many lives. She was well known, loved by many, and respected by all. She was always the ideal lady, perfectly groomed, but her greatest beauty was in her loving smile and warm greeting to all, and her thoughtful deeds throughout her lifetime. As the matriarch of the Gregory and Bennett families, she had a very special place in the hearts of all her nieces and nephews and their families: the Joe McLean family; Jon McLean family; Bill McLean family; Mary Adams; Jim Barnes family; Lea Hardison family; Frances Jo Garrett family; Greg Barnes family; John Maline family; Bill Maline family; Mike Maline family; Elizabeth Garcia family; Butch Bennett family; Jim Bennett family; Kenneth Bennett family; Kathy Thompson family; and Steve Bennett family. Frances was preceded in death by her parents Colbert and Leanette Gregory; her husband, L. E. “Muggs” Bennett; her sisters, Margaret Jo “Jodie” McLean and Mary Earl Barnes; her niece, Frances Jo Garrett and nephews, Bill McLean and Steve Bennett; and her son-in-law, Mort Stepp. She is survived by her daughter, Beverly Stepp of Groesbeck; son and daughter-in-law, Brad and Julia Bennett of Abilene; granddaughter and grandson-in-law, Ashley and Clint Garwood of Cedar Creek; granddaughter, Madylou Bennett of Abilene; great grandchildren, Audrey and Bennett Garwood of Cedar Creek; step-grandchildren, Helmut Stepp of Greenville and Gregg Stepp of Springdale, AR; step-great grandchildren, Nathan and Kathleen Stepp of Tulsa, OK; Krista Stepp of Eldorado, AR and Ben and Jack Stepp of Springdale, AR; Kristopher Stepp of Denison; and Monroe Stepp of Tulsa; extended family, including many nieces and nephews; the James L. Bradley, Sr. family; Brigitte Olson; and Richard and Brenda Siler; and special friends, Bill and Karen Stutts, Nathaniel and Linda Bedford, Maurice and Mamie Frazier; and Linda Blacknall; and her beloved cat, Piper. The family wishes to express their sincere appreciation to the staff at Windsor Healthcare Residence for their devotion and loving care of Ms. Frances.