Sister Mary Frances Heins, O.P., passed away on March 20, 2017. Born on November 12, 1927, in Galveston, she was always proud to have been “born on the island.” Her parents were Rosella Eckenfels and George Heins Sr. She is predeceased by her parents and her brother, George Jr; and she is survived by her niece Lenora Heins Gordon, great niece Jennifer Gordon, and cousins.
Sr. Mary Frances was taught by Dominican Sisters in Sacred Heart School and Dominican High School. Following a high school retreat she discerned her vocation to become a Dominican Sister and joined the community on September 24, 1946. She earned a bachelor’s degree (major: education, minor: chemistry) from Dominican College in Houston and a master’s degree in education from Lamar University in Beaumont with minors in physics and chemistry. Her life-long love of learning is evidenced by study at Notre Dame, Trinity, Sam Houston State, Loyola (Los Angeles), University of Texas and the University of St. Thomas.
Love of teaching, especially the sciences, followed naturally from her love of learning. Her administrative skills were also employed as assistant principal at Msgr. Kelly Catholic High School (Beaumont) and as principal at St. Pius X High School (Houston), and O’Connell High School (Galveston). Her teaching and administrative school ministry totaled 60 years in Houston, Galveston, Beaumont, Port Arthur, Taylor, and Riverside, Calif.
Along with her dedication to education was her love and service to her community where she served on the Education Board, Government Committee, Constitution Committee, and several Chapter committees. Among her family members and friends who cherished their times in her company where they found love, support, and fun were members of Galveston Dominican Alumnae. Sister Mary Frances will be remembered for her contagious smile which was only surpassed by her rather boisterous laughter.
She will be welcomed at St. Dominic Villa on Thursday, March 23, at 4 p.m. Her wake service will be at 7 p.m. Thursday evening. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, March 24, at 10 a.m. All services are in the Villa Chapel. Burial in Forest Park Lawndale will be at 1 p.m.
In lieu of the usual remembrances, donations may be made to Dominican Sisters Retirement Fund, 6501 Almeda Road, Houston, TX 77021.