Frances Fleming Ottmers Burnett passed away on December 14, 2020 in the home that she built with her own hands on the farmstead where she grew up.
Born in the farming community of Redwood, southeast of San Marcos, Texas on October 3, 1938, Frances grew up on the farm, the first of 8 kids. Intermixed with the chores of the farm and house were the adventures of a rural life that she first shared with her just younger sister Maxine and brother Robert and later on, she helped with caring for and keeping in line her younger brothers Mike, David, Daryl, Gregory and sister LouAnn. Her generosity in spirit and in cheer made her well-liked at home and in school and because of this was crowned Miss San Marcos High School in 1956.
She attended Southwest Texas State University and in July 1958 married her first husband Delbert. Delbert and Frances had 4 children and raised them while living in Austin and Nashville. After her divorce from Delbert in 1973, Frances moved to Houston.
Frances passed on to her children her love of art, learning and plants. Her lifelong love of art meant a life of painting and Frances earned a degree in Fine Arts at the University of Texas in 1974. She also took her kids on many adventures - from annual camping trips to Big Bend and Garner State Park to an epic summer journey across the American West. On her own, she had a love of exploring the world - first to Europe, then later many jaunts to Cancun when it was just first being developed, even going so far as to move to Cancun with her son in tow for part of a year to enjoy the culture and continue her painting. Later in her life, she made many a trip to the Isles of Scilly off the coast of Cornwall.
She rediscovered love with her first high school boyfriend Walter Bud Burnett and they were married in September 1996. Their rekindled romance took them on many travels including sailing the Chesapeake in Walter’s boat and engaged them in series of home creations, first with Frances joining Walter at his old family home outside Wimberley and then later a ranch outside the town of Duran, New Mexico. There Walter and Frances set about improving the ranch and the old ranch house.
Throughout her life, she was a consummate home builder, from building her own home on a part of the farm she grew up on, framing and roofing and finishing alongside her family, to building a new home with Walter that stretched across a cliff of the Blanco River, and then with Walter and her family bringing a new life to a 100-year-old stone-and-adobe ranch house in Duran that had been abandoned for 50 years.
Her life, homes and gardens were always filled with whimsy and color as she was always seeking to create a more beautiful place for her and her family.
Like many in her family, she was a voracious reader, often reading 3 or 4 books a week. Luckily, she could count on brothers and sisters to bring her a steady supply of books.
She was strong and driven which led her to accomplish most of the dreams in her life.
Preceded in death by her parents Malcolm Fleming and Lucille Atkins Fleming and her brother Robert and her sister LouAnn, Frances is survived by her husband Walter “Bud” Burnett; her four children Laura Ottmers, Carolyn Ottmers, Nancy Davis and Trey Ottmers, their husbands Jerome Pelitera, Tim Fox, and Joe Davis; her four grandkids Malina and Atticus Pelitera and Rachel Davis McCamley and Katie Davis Burleson; her sister Maxine and brothers Mike, David, Daryl, and Gregory; Walter’s children Susan Burnett and William Walter Burnett Jr.; her first husband Delbert Max Ottmers Jr.; and her devoted pets dachshund Abby, Maggie, cats Socks and Little Bit.
A memorial and celebration of her life will be held in the Spring of 2021, outdoors at her homestead.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in her name to Doctors Without Borders and Habitat for Humanity.
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