Frankie Irene Wood - Mobile Memorial Gardens Cemetery
August 22, 2014
A chapel service for Frankie Irene Wood will be held at 10:00 AM on Saturday, 08/23/2014 from Dignity’s Three Notch Funeral Home followed by a committal service at the grave site.
Dec. 29, 1936-Aug. 21, 2014 Frankie Irene Chunn Wood died Friday morning at Providence Hospital. She had Alzheimer’s disease and suffered a stroke sitting in her favorite chair watching the bird feeder at home. Frankie was born December 29th, 1936 in Salem, Alabama near the Georgia line. She was the daughter of Henry Frank Chunn, the minister of the United Methodist Church in Salem, and Gladys Louise Weaver Chunn. While a student at Vigor High School in Prichard, Frankie enjoyed participating in school plays, singing in the school and church choirs, and playing tenor saxophone in the school band. She was a class officer. She wore yellow as an Azalea Trail Maid her senior year. Her daughters Sonya and Valerie followed in her footsteps and became Azalea Trail Maids during their senior years of high school. Sonya wore a yellow dress like her Mom in 1976-77. Valerie wore a lavender dress in 1977-78. Frankie earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Southern Mississippi. Over the course of 30 years, Frankie earned three more degrees, all from the University of South Alabama in Mobile. These were a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education, a Masters in Administration and Supervision, and another Masters in Educational Media. During her 35-year career, she taught for ten years, was a school library media specialist for eight years, and an elementary school principal for 17 years. Frankie began teaching at Hamilton Elementary in 1959. She taught at Bienville Elementary and Orchard Elementary. In 1966, she started as the principal of Semmes Elementary, becoming one of the first female principals in Mobile County. Frankie served as the principal of Forest Hill Elementary School and Emmanuel Christian School. Frankie taught 5th grade at South Brookley Elementary. She enjoyed working as a media specialist for Chickasaw Elementary School. Frankie retired in 1997. However, she did not slow down! She volunteered as a storyteller in schools, churches, and libraries along the Gulf coast. Frankie portrayed many characters in her storytelling, including a pioneer woman, a clown, Raggedy Ann, Betsy Ross, the Cat in the Hat, and Susanna Wesley. Frankie gave invaluable assistance to daughters Valerie and Stacey as they taught their kindergarten classes. Frankie helped with bulletin boards, tutored students in reading and math, and helped Hispanic students get their first grasp of English. Through the years, and especially after Frankie retired, she and Sonya had the opportunity to go on several wonderful trips. They flew in a hot air balloon over Charlottesville, Virginia, rode on an airboat in Pascagoula, Mississippi, rafted the Nantahala River, and walked on a glacier north of Whistler, British Columbia. They went on a haunted hayride in Fairhope. They stayed in a stone house at Shaker Village, picked apples in Michigan, and dove with the manatees at Crystal River. Frankie had a Shetland sheepdog (Sheltie) that she trained as a therapy dog. The two of them would often visit classrooms, libraries, hospitals, and nursing homes. They became regular visitors to the nunnery for older nuns on Springhill Avenue in Mobile. Frankie visited older people spent time with them playing Dominoes and putting together puzzles. Frankie is survived by her siblings, Dot Ballard, Bebe Ellis, David Chunn, and Debbie Musser, three daughters, Sonya Wood Mahler, Valerie Wood Simmerman, and Stacey Wood Vargas. She has three son-in-laws, Larry Mahler, George Simmerman, and Daniel Vargas. Frankie is survived by her four grandchildren, Meredith Irene Simmerman, Sydney May Simmerman, Clarissa Rahne Sluder, and George Laithan Simmerman. Visitation for Frankie will be Friday, August 22nd, 5:00-8:00pm at the Mobile Memorial Gardens Funeral Home on Three Notch Road. Her funeral service will be held at 10:00am Saturday at the funeral home. Frankie will be buried at Mobile Memorial Gardens next to her mother and father. Immediately following the graveside service, family and friends are invited to a celebration luncheon at the home of George and Valerie Simmerman, 1070 Dominion Drive E. off Snow Road in west Mobile. In lieu of flowers, Frankie’s daughters ask that you make a donation to Frankie’s Fictional Favorites. You may bring a donation or children’s books to the funeral home or send your donation to the Frankie’s Fictional Favorites account at PNC Bank. We will use these donations to provide books for the libraries at the schools where Frankie worked during her career.
Interment arrangements by Mobile Memorial Gardens Cemetery and Mausoleum, 6100 Three Notch Rd., Mobile, AL 36619 | 251-661-1333