Frances Siddall Gilkerson


Early Friday morning my mother, Frances, passed away in her sleep. At almost 95 she had lived a long and amazingly full life.

Yesterday my family gathered around and shared memories and stories that covered a span of almost 70 years. It was a glorious day full of love and laughter.

I learned so much from my mom – my love of painting, delight in the natural world, and the strong ties of family.

One of my earliest memories was of laying on the kitchen floor drawing while she fixed dinner. Her encouragement of my art making started way back then.

She was a creative herself, majoring in art back in the early 1940s at the University of South Carolina.

Her great love was of watercolor and illustration, and all of us got special drawings and stories for every major life event. Those drawings captured her sense of the magic at the heart of nature.

That life long love of nature led us on many family adventures into the swamps, woods, and marshes of South Carolina.

And it’s back to the island she loved that we’ll be taking her. Where she can delight in the light and color of the big sky, the calls of the birds, and the smell of the marsh.

And I’ll be thinking of her there, just like she was in one of my favorite photos of her, sitting on the front porch steps of our family’s home, enjoying the breeze off of the ocean.

Who do you need to thank for helping you give voice to your dreams?