OBITUARY: Mary Frances Schmitt Ligon


Mary Frances Schmitt Ligon, a beloved mother, and grandmother, peacefully passed away on March 27, 2021.

She will be dearly missed by her sons, Sandy Ligon and wife Susan; John Ligon and wife Paula; and Matt Ligon and wife Stacey, her grandchildren are Chloe, Margaret, Catherine, Jessica, and Matthew respectively; sister-in-law, Joan Schmitt, nephew, Jay Schmitt, and niece Kelley Rice. Preceded in death by her brother, Dr. Jack Schmitt.

Born August 24th, 1937, Mary Frances graduated with an English degree from Vanderbilt University and was a well-respected Franklin Realtor and Broker for more than 30 years. Her legacy was her family, three sons and five grandchildren, her many lifelong friends, and most especially a group of ladies known as “The Flakes.”

Mary Frances was proud to be a fourth-generation Williamson Countian following her parents, the late Frances Jefferson Schmitt and John Carlyle Schmitt. She actively participated in the Anderson/Cowles family reunions and was honored to attend the 100th reunion, held in 2019.

“She was my friend through thick and thin. As an only child, she was the sister I never had,” said Eunetta Kready, who was just four weeks older and grew up a few houses away. “When Gayle (Howard Brinkley) moved in, we became the Three Musketeers.”

“It was really sweet that Eunetta and Mary Frances included me, even though I was younger,” said Mrs. Brinkley. “She has been my friend since the first day I moved into the neighborhood. I was 4 years old. The two of them have been a part of my life always,” said Mrs. Brinkley.

“Mary Frances was known for her sense of style from an early age. She was always doing what was exactly right in exactly the right way,” Mrs. Kready said. “My mother always said she would take us both to a birthday party and we looked perfect when we arrived and when she came to pick us up, I looked like I had been rolling in a mud puddle and Mary Frances still looked perfect.”

“She paid great attention to detail, whether personally or professionally, for her entire life,” Mrs. Kready said, with Mrs. Brinkley adding, “Mary Frances didn’t leave anything undone. She crossed every T and dotted every I.”

She lovingly raised three sons in Franklin while actively supporting her community and local organizations such as the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County, Harpeth Academy, Battle Ground Academy, Franklin Family YMCA, Friends of Williamson County Public Library, United Way, Carter House Association, Williamson County Association of Realtors, and First Presbyterian Church where she served as an elder.

In the late 1970s, she began assisting in construction and real estate offices which led to the start of her real estate career in the early 1980s. Mary Frances maintained her community affiliations, earned many accolades and designations, was a Life Member of The Million Dollar Sales Club, and was named Realtor of the Year by the Williamson County Association of Realtors in 1991.

She was a friend to many and her sense of personal style, warm smile, and Southern graciousness were the hallmarks of her 30-plus-year career in real estate. She helped countless families buy and sell their homes, be they newcomers or longtime residents. She enjoyed success and inspired others who joined the field with her support and guidance.

Franklin Realtor Danny Anderson first met Mary Frances when he and his future wife, Teresa, attended their first Heritage Ball before they had even moved to Franklin.

“It has just been a lifelong, rewarding friendship,” he said. “Professionally, Mary Frances was truly an exemplary agent. She was a mentor, kind, knowledgeable, a great leader, and always patient and understanding.

“In my estimation, and to most people who knew her, she was a true lady in every aspect and a true professional,” Anderson said.

Her family says, “We have lost someone very precious to us. She showed us to always be kind, respectful, loving and thoughtful. She believed those traits were not a weakness but a strength and could get you through anything. We will miss her each day but are grateful she is now at peace”.

They would also like to extend immense gratitude to Linda Johnston, Christina Potts, Marlorita and Ivanziae Battle, Danielle Renwick-Ladd, Marchelle Ladd, Lynda Matthews, and the amazing staff at NHC’s Aspen Arbor and Alive Hospice Residence for their loving care.

She will be inurned at a date not yet determined in the columbarium at the First Presbyterian Church of Franklin following a family service led by Pastor Chris Joyner.

Memorials may be given to First Presbyterian Church of Franklin or Battle Ground Academy.