Frances Goff

Frances Goff
Frances Goff (1916-1994)

Frances Goff served as Director of Texas Girls State for over forty years. During those five decades, over twenty thousand girls from across Texas learned about patriotism, citizenship, and government at the program she helped to develop.

Frances Goff began her long career of service in state government. She worked with the Texas State House Appropriations Committee and assisted the Senate Finance Committee. Miss Goff also worked on the Board of Control as the State Budget Director.

During World War II, Miss Goff served her country as Sergeant Major to the commanding officer of Love Field, Dallas. Later she transferred to the Air Transport Command headquarters in Washington

In 1951, Frances Goff moved to Houston at the request of then Governor Allan Shivers, to serve as assistant to the president of the newly founded M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Research Institute. Although she retired in 1982, Miss Goff continued serving the hospital as assistant to the president.

Frances Goff has been honored for her work in state government, in military service, and in education. The American Legion Auxiliary of Texas rewarded her with a lifetime membership. The Houston chapter of the Women in Communications honored her with the Matrix Award. Frances Goff was also named an honorary member of the Delta Kappa Gamma honor society for women educators. In 1986, Texas Lutheran University’s Board of Regents presented Miss Goff with the Distinguished Service Award. Frances Goff was also inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame in 1986 and was awarded the Valley Forge Certificate for Individual Achievement from the Freedom Foundation.

Miss Goff began working with Girls State in 1947 when she advised staff members and made suggestions to improve the program. She continued to shape the program as Director from 1952 until 1994 (excluding 1957). Her influence continues as each successive generation of Girls State citizens shares their knowledge with the next.

Frances Goff’s true legacy is the achievement of Girls State graduates like former Governor Ann Richards, Comptroller Carole Keeton Rylander, Judge Court of Criminal Appeals Bea Ann Smith, and former Assistant District Attorney for Harris County Lori Swann. Because of Frances Goff and the program she shaped, over twenty thousand women have become not only better citizens, but better people, for as teacher, advisor, mentor, colleague and friend, Frances Goff taught them about life.

Miss Goff died September 15, 1994 and is buried at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin, Texas. Her biography, “Texas, Her Texas,” was published in 1997.