Today's Featured Biography
Marifranc Keeton Mathis
PIC ABOVE FROM 2009 - BEFORE BRAIN SURGERY
After graduation, I attended Texas Tech for one semester. That was followed by attending various colleges over the next several years until I graduated from Southwest Texas State in San Marcos, Texas, now Texas State University with English Major, Minor in Speech and Drama. We moved over 20 times in 10 years, I worked as well as reared my children and attended college part time at various places. After graduating, my first job was working part time on the night shift with the Internal Revenue Service Center in Austin, TX beginning in the spring of 1970. So much for the English major! I spent my career as a tax auditor, then as a program analyst helping to develop, test and train other auditors in using our newly developed software in examinations of individual and corporate tax returns.
In 1963, I married Nolan Leon Wells, whom I met in a Drama class at Arlington State College, as we now know of as UT Arlington. Nolan was pretty much a professional student as well as teacher. This led us to many locations from Arlington to Llano, Texas, then Whittier, California, then back in Texas to Arlington, San Antonio, Kingsville and San Marcos. Nolan earned a BA in History, a BA in English and a MA in English with Minor in Special Education. He used his earlier education to teach in high school in Llano, Texas and while in the National Teacher Corp, he taught in a low income area of San Antonio. Although we lived in Sayers, Texas, west of San Antonio, it was so small, across the street from where we lived was Adkins, Texas, and that is where we got our mail. Nolan commuted to Kingsville every other weekend and finally in 1968 got his MA from Texas A&I. After sending out over 100 resumes throughout the USA, he luckily was hired as an English Instructor at Texas State University in San Marcos. Leaving there after 4 years, he then worked as a Special Educator for the High School in Bastrop, Texas. Unfortunately, he died at age 37 from complications of the juvenile diabetes on the day after Christmas in 1974.
My first child, Crystal, was born in 1963 (in Llano, Texas) and was the daughter of my high school sweetheart, Clyde Bradstreet Brewer (from Handley Class of 1959). She has been a Pampered Chef consultant for almost 20 years and lives in Lakeway, west of Austin, Texas, is married to Koy Livingston who works as a building manager for the State of Texas in Austin. They have 3 children, Keeton Bradstreet, born in 1991, Kiplyn Marie, 1993 and Mary Kathryn Ovie, 2000.
Nolan and I had two daughters. Shauna Brooke Wells was born in 1967 in San Antonio while he was away on one of those weekends in Kingsville, of course! Shauna is married to Scott Davis who has brought 2 precious sons, Eric and Alex into our family. They live on a ranch near Rosanky, Texas where they care for their cattle, orchard and endangered species turtles. The best part is that he is a great dad and loving husband. Shauna teaches first grade in Bastrop, the same school district that her father taught in 40 years earlier!
Our daughter, Corrie Dell Wells was born in San Marcos, Texas, just before Thanksgiving in 1969…She was not supposed to arrive until after I finished that college that semester…but she arrived on her own schedule, not mine! She is Executive Director of Covenant Place (Assisted Living Community) in Burleson, Texas. She is the mother of my grandson, Kyler Wayne Wright, born in 1995. They live in west Fort Worth, Texas, so I am lucky to see them often.
Interesting thing I did? While a college student in San Marcos, I participated in a "sit-in" to protest the college president because he was found to have plagiarized during his academic career. I am sure it was my participation in the demonstration that hurried the resignation. My husband was fearful he would be fired for my protest, but luckily that did not happen!
I did not follow (what I now consider) wise counsel and wait at least a year after the loss of Nolan to make any major decisions. I met and too quickly married my next husband within 5 months of Nolan’s death. I thought I had found paradise when we went on a honeymoon to Arkansas. I fell in love with the tall trees and decided to move there! I gave notice with the IRS within two weeks left our 4-bedroom home (rented out) in Austin and took residence in a (tiny) two-bedroom trailer. We began raising 60,000 chickens in 4 poultry houses located near Hope, Arkansas. Every 6 weeks, they picked up the mature chickens and delivered a new batch of chicks, less than 24 hours old, beaks blunted, sexed to remove roosters from the batches and already vaccinated! We survived in Arkansas for 5 years. Not long after the trailer was totally destroyed in a fire, in mid-1980, we divested of the chicken farm and returned to Fort Worth. That happened to be the hottest summer in Fort Worth history. We moved into an unconditioned rent house! What a summer. I soon thereafter divested myself of the husband and returned to work for the IRS where I stayed until I retired in early 2008.
Since retirement, I have kept busy with various activities, especially traveling, visiting with family and working part time jobs, including doing a few tax returns around “that time!”
I have traveled quite a bit. I have driven through some but not enough of the USA to states I had only read about, Montana and Wyoming among others. I finally visited the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone Park. I have been fortunate to have traveled extensively with the IRS, but that was limited pretty much to large, populated, metropolitan cities. I have also vacationed in Europe twice and to Central America visiting 5 countries there. I have been to various cities in Mexico, central, south, east and west. Travel is a pleasure whether for a day trip or a longer vacation. Our family often vacations in Galveston and enjoys all the pleasures of playing in the sand and waves, surf fishing, finding shark’s teeth, catching crabs with chicken necks on string or in crab pots, as well as just enjoying doing absolutely nothing there!
I am lucky to have survived surgery for removal of a menegeomal tumor in the brain in 2009. Luckily, no cancer, no lingering effects. I have various “old age” aches and pains, especially from arthritis and constantly fight the extra pounds that love to climb on me when I am not looking!!
It has been my pleasure to work on the reunion committees for both Poly 1960 (I attended 2 years there) and EHHS 1960 (where I graduated with the 1st class from the new school.) I am looking forward to visiting with many friends from the “olden” days as well as those that I have come to know in the last few years working on the reunion activities.
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