Almost exactly a year after the death of her husband Franz, Rice lost another dear friend and a stalwart member of our community. Frances Brotzen was a truly remarkable woman–passionate, intelligent, curious, warm and utterly engaged with the world. The program from her memorial service in the Rice chapel on Saturday contains a sketch of her life story. I had it in my mind that I would summarize it here, but when I sat down to do so I realized that it isn’t possible. You really need to read the whole thing:
When Franz and Frances came to Rice in 1954, they brought with them a degree of sophistication and experience that was not common in Cold War era Houston. Their interests were wide-ranging–art, theatre, music, politics–and their willingness to bring others (particularly students) into contact with these things was stunningly generous. Frances’s service to Rice was second to none. She was co-master of both Jones and Brown, a regular participant in the cultural life of the campus, a stalwart of the Faculty Women’s Club and a kind ear for many students. She and Franz were awarded the highest honor of the Rice Alumni Association, the Gold Medal, in 1989 for “sustained and diverse service to the college sytsem and to the university.”
The only person I can recognize in the first picture (without checking) is Douglas Doughtie, who’s in the lower right corner. Other faces are vaguely familiar, but I’d be guessing if tried naming them.
Oops. I meant Edward Doughtie.
I bet that that’s Franz, Jr, sitting in front of Frances. Franz, Sr, is sitting on the floor in front of them, and wearing glasses.
Oops, misread your post. You are correct.
Actually, I’m pretty sure the guy with the glasses is Dave Davidson, but cannot swear to it. My brother did not wear glasses until a few years ago. By the way, thanks so very much for honoring my mom’s memory. Franz and I really appreciate it.
Franz is in the photo, but is sitting next to my mother in the background.
She was an amazing individual. Thank you for recognizing her devotion to Rice.
I miss both your parents very much. They were incredibly kind.
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RIP Franz Brotzen – He taught me thermal properties of materials in RiceU. And Frances Brotzen – I think she helped me find furniture in the Rice Graduate Apartments. Om Shanti