Frances Harris Henderson was born on July 1, 1944 to the late Frank and Hazel Burrell Harris in New Orleans, LA. Frances was baptized into her faith at age 12, first by the Holy Spirit, then by water at the Second New Light Baptist Church by the late Reverend McKinley. She sang in the youth choir as a child then, as a young adult, served as a coordinator of the youth ministry and as an assistant secretary for the church until she relocated to Marrero, LA in 1975 and became a member of St. Mary Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of the late Reverend Wilbert Tross, Jr. There, she served on the Senior Usher Board, Beautification, and Women Ministries. Following Hurricane Katrina, Frances relocated to Brentwood, California and joined Grace Bible Fellowship in Antioch, California under the spiritual guidance of Reverend Kirkland A. Smith, where she continued her life of service. Frances attended McDonogh 35 High School. She graduated from California State University, East Bay, where she received a Bachelor's Degree in Human Services. She founded and directed the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Jefferson Parish while managing E.L.F.S. Enterprises, a family owned business. She held active membership in numerous civic and human rights organizations, including Urban League of Greater New Orleans, Jefferson Parish Voter League and life-time membership in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the National Council of Negro Women. She held positions of leadership with the Southeast Louisiana Black Chamber of Commerce, National Association of the African-American Chamber of Commerce, Women's Business Owners Association and the Louisiana Chapter of the Conference of Minority Public Administrators, to name a few. Frances participated in multiple civic and human rights movements advocating for change and equal rights for women, minorities and minority small business owners. She received various prestigious local and national awards and recognition for her outstanding dedication and commitment to her community, works of service and advocacy for change. Frances retired from the East Bay Regional Center in Concord, California as a case manager for older adults. This ended her professional career, but certainly not her works of service, as she assumed the role of primary care provider for her eldest son until his death in 2019. Frances was preceded in death by her late parents, Frank and Hazel Burrell Harris and her beloved son, Elisha Smith, Jr. She leaves her loving son, Spencer Smith, daughter-in-law, Joan Ogle Smith and three adoring grandchildren, Jordan, Sydne and Spencer II to cherish her loving memory, as well as Marquelle (Joseph) Williams, Nicole Brown, and a host of cousins, Godchildren, and loving friends. A Viewing will be held at Dan Scales Funeral Services, 107 W Eighth Street, Pittsburg, CA 94565, United States on Thursday, January 7, 2021 from 11 AM until 1 PM. A Christian funeral service honoring the life of Frances Harris Henderson will be held in the Chapel of Charbonnet Labat Glapion Funeral Home, 1615 St. Philip Street, New Orleans, LA 70116 on Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 3:30 PM, Reverend Edward Joseph, III, Pastor of St. Mary Baptist Church, Marrero, LA, Officiating. Visitation 2:30 PM in the chapel. Due to the covid-19 Pandemic, attendance is limited. Everyone in attendance is required to wear a face mask and practice social distancing. Strictly Enforced. Interment will take place at Providence Memorial Park Cemetery, 8200 Airline Dr, Metairie, LA 70003 on Wednesday, January 13, 2021. In lieu of flowers, please consider a charitable donation to the Urban League, United Negro College Fund of New Orleans, American Diabetes Association, and/or Sickle Cell Association of Louisiana in Frances's name. Please sign online guestbook at
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