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Frances Sparkman Satterlee Alexander died peacefully on January 26, 2023, surrounded
by her family. She was born on February 18, 1933, to the Reverend Capers Satterlee and Frances
Sparkman Satterlee. Frances grew up in Spartanburg with her two sisters, Mary and Thorne. She
made her debut at the Assembly in Spartanburg. She graduated from Converse College in 1955.
After college Frances taught school in Camden and San Francisco. In 1958, she met the
love of her life and best friend, Mason Gardner Alexander. They married on November 22, 1958.
Frances was devoted to Mason, helping him in his career as a banker which took them to
Spartanburg, Columbia, and Greenville. In each city, she served her church, most frequently on
the Altar Guild and the Flower Guild. She was a member of the Junior League, remaining active
until moving to Charleston from Greenville in 2004. Frances was also a member of the Carolina
Foothills Garden Club, the Assembly in Greenville, the Huguenot Society, and National Society
of Colonial Dames.
Frances made friends easily, especially by playing tennis and bridge. She was quite
competitive. Frances also enjoyed gardening, particularly growing beautiful roses. Frances and
Mason traveled extensively. On their travels, she enjoyed both being on the open ocean on a
cruise ship and collecting antique Russian icons.
She loved her children and their spouses, but absolutely adored her six grandchildren.
She and Mason took their grandchildren on trips in the United States and Europe, opening their
eyes to a bigger world and instilling in each of them a love of travel. She delighted in being at
Kananga surrounded by her grandchildren.
Frances was fun loving and even a bit of a prankster, perhaps having put soap in a
fountain at Bishop Gadsen a time or two. She also had a creative side. She and a dear friend
started a small business, Simple Elegance, designing and selling bridesmaid dresses that could be
used on occasions other than just a wedding.
Frances and Mason moved to Bishop Gadsen in 2004. The family is very thankful for the
excellent care Frances received and for the outpouring of love and affection from the staff.
Frances is survived by her husband, her sister Thorne Satterlee Martin, and her children
Mason Gardner Alexander (Mary) and Capers Alexander Grimball (Frank). She leaves behind
six grandchildren, Margaret Alexander Thompson (Will), Francis Heyward Grimball (Paige),
Nora Harrison Grimball (Greg), Henry Yates Satterlee Alexander (Raisa), Frances Satterlee
Grimball Gouldin (Davis), James Mason Alexander, and seven great-grandchildren.
The funeral will be held at the Bishop Gadsden Chapel on February 2, 2023, at 3:30 p.m.
Interment will be in the churchyard at Trinity Cathedral, Columbia, SC on February 3, 2023, at
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to the Bishop Gadsden
Residents’ Fund, 1 Bishop Gadsden Way, Charleston, SC 29412 and Kanuga Conferences, 130
Kanuga Chapel Drive, Hendersonville, NC 28739.
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