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Frances Williams


Frances Lynelle Tankersley Williams, 82, of Abilene, peacefully passed away in her home on July 16, 2022. Nell’s life was marked by a rich faith in God, an unwavering devotion to her family, and the grace to share her talents with many.

Nell was born June 27, 1940, the second child of the late E.H. and Martell Tankersley of Knox City. Growing up, she and her family were Gospel singers and musicians and for decades she attended and later taught at the Stamps School of Music in Dallas. In September of 1962, in Abilene, she married the love of her life Kenneth Wayne Williams, a young engineer from Houston.  Theirs was a life of mutual encouragement, deep faith, abiding love, devotion, and support for those they loved.  Together they raised their children and built a successful engineering business in Abilene. Always one to encourage personal growth in others, Nell herself earned a BBA degree from McMurry University at the age of 55.

Nell was kind, caring, funny, entertaining and beautiful.  She was a member of Pioneer Drive Baptist Church, Bible Study Fellowship for 30 years and Big Country Emmaus for 15 years where she played the piano and volunteered in many other capacities. She was the pianist in the Gospel group Legacy and played countless weddings, funerals, and enjoyed entertaining residents of several care homes on Sunday afternoons.  Many churches in the Abilene area knew they could count on her to fill in and play any song in any key at any time and she was always thrilled to do it.  That talent, sweet spirit and compassion will be missed.

She is survived by daughter Kim Clonts and husband Greg of Knox City; son Ken Williams II of Tulsa, OK; her treasured four grandchildren:  Cyd Brown and husband Trey of Fort Worth, Creighton Williams of California, Lauren Hill of Lubbock and Emily Cates and husband Kevin of Knox City; also twelve beautiful great-grandchildren ranging in age from sixteen to three: Hudson Cates, Everett Cates, Eli Cates, Campbell Cates, and Jackson Cates, all of Knox City, Bennett Brown and Savannah Brown of Fort Worth, Parks Lawson and Everly Hill of Lubbock and Landon Williams of Mesquite;  other survivors include her younger brother Jimmy Tankersley and wife Ann of Knox City, sister-in-law Judy Mitchell and husband Jim of Wichita Falls and brother-in-law James Williams and wife Linda Jo of Arlington. She also leaves behind many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins and great friends.

Nell was preceded in death by her husband Ken, parents, and older brother Bobby.

A memorial service will be held in the Logsdon Chapel on the Hardin Simmons University campus in Abilene on Saturday, July 30, 2022 at 10 a.m. preceded by a visitation in the chapel foyer at 9 a.m. Nell was an early riser.

The family would like to acknowledge the wonderful care given to Nell by Hospice of Wichita Falls, the Knox City and Anson Hospitals, Dr. Gopichand Kapu and Dr. Samantha Goodman.  We would ask that in lieu of flowers, please make donations to your favorite charity or church in her honor.  Online condolences can be sent to www.tankersleyfuneralhome.com