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Frances was born in Virginia in 1911. For many years, she and her husband Paul lived in Glendale, California, where she worked as a nurse in the "Glendale Sanitarium and Hospital", now known as "Glendale Adventist Medical Center". When the couple moved to Texas, Mrs. Frenzel developed a passion for plants. They returned to Glendale with their two daughters in 1951 and Frances joined the LAGC in 1952. She also became a member of "The National Council of Amateur Accredited Flower Show Judges" and "The National Council of Landscape Design Judges", and was listed in "Who’s Who in America".
While Mrs. Wilkes and Dr. Templeton became experts in the horticultural side of gardening, Mrs. Frenzel’s expertise was rooted in flower arrangement and display. It was in this area that she made her most important contribution to the history of the LAGC. She founded the "World Flower Festival: A Cultural Symposium" in 1962. This event, for which she was chairperson, continued annually for the next 36 years, until it ended in 1998.
The "World Flower Festival" was a major event, staged in fine hotels and offering elaborate luncheons. In the early days, it would attract as many as 400 conferees. The LAGC and its members participated by creating flower arrangements that would decorate the tables alongside the main conference room. With live music playing in the background, prominent experts would demonstrate the art of flower arranging.
The affair was an important source of funding for the LAGC. At the final festival in 1998, the cost of the luncheon ranged from $21 to $25. Donations were solicited from individuals and businesses whose names were published as sponsors in the Program. Flowering plants were sold, and a raffle was held. Profits were distributed in equal amounts to the LAGC, the Greater Los Angeles District, and to CGCI.
On February 7, 2001, The Los Angeles Times published an interview with Mrs. Frenzel, who had just celebrated her 90th birthday. In that interview titled "Living a Beautiful Life" Frances Frenzel emphasized "I'm not stopping at 90."
The lovely portrait photo of Mrs. Frenzel was taken on August 19, 2000 and was generously provided by her daughter Helen LaGourgue.
Frances Frenzel (full name Frances Marie Frenzel-Johnson) passed away in 2006 at the age of 95.
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