Frances Eva Webb, a retired social worker for Inkster Public Schools, died on May 9, 2020 in Ann Arbor. She was 99 years old.
Born Frances Gordon to Ruth M. Gordon on December 5, 1920 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, she grew up in Harlem and worked as a secretary for the National Urban League as a high school student. She matriculated at Cheyney Training School for Teachers (now Cheyney University of Pennsylvania) before transferring to West Virginia State Agricultural and Industrial College (now West Virginia State University). There she became a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. at the sorority’s Alpha Delta chapter in 1940. She also wrote for and served as associate editor of the school’s Yellow Jacket newspaper. She was proud that one of her classmates was Damon J. Keith, who would later become a famous federal judge.
At college, she met Herman Bennett Chapman, an ROTC captain and Harvard-trained Baptist minister. The couple married in 1943 and became parents of a daughter, Carole Marietta, in 1944. After briefly living in New Orleans, the couple moved to Inkster, where they moved into a house built by her husband’s brother-in-law, Delmar White Sr., one of few African American home builders at the time. Rev. Chapman died in 1957.
Her career as an educator began in 1945, when she taught sixth grade for Inkster Public Schools. She later earned a master’s degree in elementary school counseling and an educational specialist degree at Wayne State University. After 36 years as a school social worker, she retired in 1980, the same year she married Lamar Webb. Mr. Webb died in 1986.
Mrs. Webb had a vibrant retirement, spent enjoying many enriching pursuits. She traveled to 50 countries. She was a member of the Inkster Public Schools Retiree Association, the Mary McLeod Bethune Association and the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa Inc. She earned several service pins as a volunteer for Retired Service Volunteer Program. She remained an active member of the Inkster Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta and was looking forward to celebrating her 80th anniversary as a member of the sorority in December. She was also a founding member of t
The Lutheran Church of Our Savior in Westland. The church has established a memorial fund in her name.
Left to celebrate Frances Webb’s memory are her daughter, Carole Marietta Chapman Watson and granddaughter, Dionne T. Watson of Oakland, California; her great-granddaughter, Teja R. Foster of Los Angeles; her adopted daughters, Carolyn Kimbrough, Ann Amis, and Jauanna V. Jackson and a host of friends and supporters. There will be a Zoom memorial service for her on December 5, 2020, the 100th anniversary of her birth.