James Franklin Peirce

Posted: Mon 7:52 AM, Jan 14, 2013
Funeral Home: Memorial Funeral Chapel
July 27, 1918 - January 9, 2013

James Franklin Peirce, age 94, formerly a Bryan resident for 65 years, passed away on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at The Court Assisted Living in Round Rock, Texas.

Visitation will be held on Saturday January 12, 2013 from 1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M. at Memorial Funeral Chapel, 1515 South College Avenue, Bryan, Texas 77801. A memorial service will be held on Saturday February 9, 2013 at 2:00 P.M. at Memorial Funeral Chapel, 1515 South College Avenue, Bryan, Texas 77801.

James Franklin Peirce was born on July 27, 1918, in Edwardsville, Illinois to George Franklin Peirce and Katherine Sarah Webb Peirce. He attended school in Edwardsville, Illinois, graduating from Edwardsville High School in 1936, where he was drum major and played the xylophone in the Edwardsville High School Band. Frank grew up in the Presbyterian Church. He learned to play his favorite hymns, "In the Garden" and "The Old Rugged Cross" on the xylophone, which he played at his grandparents' Methodist Church. He received a B.A. in Speech with a minor in English from the University of Illinois in 1940 and later obtained a Master's degree in Theater Arts from the University of Iowa.

After graduating from college, Frank taught Speech and Theater Arts at Edwardsville High School for one semester before entering military service. During World War II, he served in the Army Medical Department for 3½ years, 10 months of which were in the Admissions and Dispositions Office of the 122nd General Hospital in England.

Following the War, he taught English, Speech, and Creative Writing for 37½ years from 1946 to 1983 in the English Department of the A & M College of Texas, which later was renamed Texas A&M University. He retired as an Emeritus Professor of English in 1983.

Frank was the author of numerous scholarly and pedagogical articles, as well as short stories-primarily mysteries for Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazines. Eleven of his stories were anthologized. Besides being an Honorary Life Member of the Conference of College Teachers of English, he was a member of the Texas College English Association and the South Central Modern Language Association. He was a senior member of the Mystery Writers of America and a founding member of its Southwest Chapter. He was on the staff of five writers' conferences. Primary among the awards he received was a National Education Association Creative Writing Fellowship Grant.

He married Billie Jo Lochridge on September 3, 1947, and they were married for 64½ years. Their daughter, Janet Katherine, lives in Georgetown, TX.

Frank was a loving husband and father who will be remembered for the faithful way he provided and cared for his family. He could always be depended upon to give loving support to his wife, Billie Jo, and his daughter, Janet, in every endeavor in which they participated. He will also be remembered for his quick wit, sense of humor, and love of storytelling. Over the years, Frank and Billie Jo traveled all over the world on trips planned by Billie Jo. His favorite place to visit was the British Isles. Frank lovingly cared for Billie Jo until her death in February of 2012.

Frank was preceded in death by his parents, George Franklin and Katherine Sarah Webb Peirce, his brother, Roland, and his beloved wife, Billie Jo Lochridge Peirce. He is survived by his daughter, Janet Katherine Peirce; nephew, John Peirce and his wife, Sandy Peirce, of El Dorado Hills, Calif.; his sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Martha Katherine Lochridge Reed and Lee H. Reed, Jr. of Baytown, Texas; nieces, Sarah K. Wahl and husband, Terry Wahl of Baytown and Beth Reed of Baytown; as well as numerous great nieces, nephews, and cousins.

The family would like to thank the staff at The Court at Round Rock Assisted Living and Odyssey Hospice for their care for Frank in his last days.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made in James Franklin Peirce's name to the English Excellence Fund, which is used to support faculty and student research and general education. A donation to this fund may be made by writing a check to, Texas A&M Foundation with Department of English in the memo line. Donations can be mailed to the following address: Attention: Dalaiah Eiland, Academic Business Administrator, Department of English, Texas A&M University, MS 4227 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843.
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