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Frances Helen Conway Gammon

Frances Helen Conway Gammon, a long-time resident of Vicksburg, passed away peacefully on Feb. 17, 2021, at the age of 99. A native of Fort Deposit, Ala., she was one of 10 children born to Lena Idell Daniel and Lloyd Colvin Conway.

Co-valedictorian of her high school class, she attended the University of Alabama, where she was elected president of Tutwiler Hall, was a Mortar Board honor society member and in 1943, was among 27 UA students selected for “Who’s Who Among Students at American Universities and Colleges.” She married George A. Gammon while still in college.

During her senior year, he was called to active duty in World War II, prior to her college graduation, so she discontinued her studies at that time to join him before he went overseas.

One of her proudest moments occurred in 2018 when she learned that while at the University of Alabama she actually had accumulated enough hours to earn a bachelor’s degree in English, with minors in history and French and was awarded her college diploma. At that point, she became the oldest-ever to graduate from the University of Alabama.

A resident of Vicksburg for more than 60 years, she was a very active member of the Vicksburg Church of Christ, where she taught Sunday school for many years and developed lasting friendships. She dedicated herself to being a lifelong learner, with a keen interest in many things and a sharp inquisitive mind.

During her long life, she was an avid reader, an antiques collector, a Realtor, an outstanding cook and a very enthusiastic Alabama football fan. However, her favorite role was that of wife and mother, the very heart of her family. Her strength and wisdom set an example for all those who were fortunate enough to know her.

Frances’ extended family always meant the world to her. She spent her lifetime devoted to her siblings, always keeping in touch with them and their activities. She was a favorite aunt of her numerous nieces and nephews, and even though she may not have met them, she knew the names of all their spouses, their children and grandchildren and where they all lived. She delighted in knowing that she started a tradition that counts over 120 newborn babies in the Conway family having been wrapped in the same baby blanket that she used to take her oldest child (the first Conway grandchild) home from the hospital.

She is survived by five children, George A. Gammon Jr. (Keith) of St. Francisville, La., Ernest Gammon (Glenna) of Baton Rouge, La., Daniel Gammon (Melanie) of Hoover, Ala., Joseph Gammon (Jeanne) of Bentonville, Ark., and Mary Gammon Duke (Steve) of San Antonio, Texas.

“Granny,” as she was lovingly called by her 16 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren, had a deep love for and commitment to her large family and always put them first. She also leaves a brother, Haurice Conway (Mary Alice), of Tuscaloosa, Ala.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, George A. Gammon Sr.; her parents; six brothers, Malcolm Conway, Harry Conway, Tom Conway (Margie), Maurice Conway (Ruth), Lomax Conway (Beth) and Dewitt Conway (Aileen); and two sisters, Mildred Conway Durden (Delma) and Edna Conway Crenshaw (C.W.).

The immediate family will gather for a brief graveside service, with a memorial celebration of life at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family appreciates donations in her honor to a charity of choice.

Fisher-Riles Funeral Home has charge of arrangements.