Houston Treasure for 2016
Photo by: Gittings
A Houstonian since age 3, Fran Fauntleroy’s early aspirations revolved around family life—to emulate the idyllic example set by her parents. She attended Lamar High School and University of Texas, where she was a Kappa Kappa Gamma and a Bluebonnet Belle. Living out her deep faith meant serving her Lord by being the best wife possible to beloved husband, John, and mother to children Glenda, Shelley and Parker, her greatest blessings. But “to whom much is given, much is required,” she believes, and so she volunteered for “Meals on Wheels” and delivered food from restaurants to the Houston Food Bank. In the process, she was forging relationships that would direct her later endeavors, but a career was the furthest thing from her mind.
In 1977, Fran and five of her best friends co-wrote a family cookbook called “Six Flew Over Cuckoo’s Kitchen.” It was a success and two more cookbooks followed, with Fran doing the marketing. Subsequently, she published Houston Epicurean magazine, which led to the creation of her own publishing company. Houston Gourmet Publishing Co. produced “Houston’s Cooking” books—with Houston Chronicle Food Editor Ann Criswell—for many years.
In the midst of this, Fran raised money for the new Women’s Wing of St. Joseph’s Hospital, chaired the Ballet Ball and has been on the board of Rienzi (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston) since its inception. She was on the development board of University of St. Thomas and worked tirelessly for their School of Nursing. She has been an agent of The Social Book for years and chaired two of the Houston Food Bank’s major fundraisers.
Fran was widowed suddenly in 2003 and several years later at social event, Fran sat next to a couple—Kerr and Jill Taylor—who she learned had a dream to help orphans into loving homes. Fran immediately said, “I want to help you.” They formed a non-profit organization to help families secure no-interest loans for the enormous costs of adoption. To date, Pathways for Little Feet has funded over 300 children into those loving homes.
A great-grandmother and small of stature, but full of passion and spirit, Fran has earned her nickname: “Energizer Bunny.”