Goliad- Shirley Ann Frnka, age 83, former long-time basketball and track coach at Goliad High School, left this world suddenly Friday, Apr. 30 at her home in Goliad. She was born Sept. 23, 1937 to Ford G. Frnka and Mary A. Krenek Frnka in Eagle Lake. Shirley was an outstanding athlete at Eagle Lake High School where she graduated in 1956. She attended Texas Women’s University in Denton and it was there that she met her best friend Caramae Simmons and that fond relationship remained loyal and true for over 60 years.
In 1961, Shirley was hired to teach and coach basketball and track at Goliad High School. She coached the girl’s team to a Class 3A State Championship in track during the 1981 season and in 1984 her Tigerettes basketball team was the first to qualify for the Regional Tournament. As an assistant coach, the 1983 Tigerettes volleyball team reached the State Tournament. Shirley retired from coaching and teaching in 1993 and in 1998 the Goliad I.S.D. named its highly regarded annual track meet, The Shirley Frnka Relays. In 2014, the alumni association awarded her the Distinguished Service Award for her continued support and service to the school. In the Goliad community, she was respectfully and affectionately called “Coach” until the day she died.
Shirley was preceded in death by her parents; sisters, Evelyn (Frnka) and husband Ed Radack and Josephine (Frnka) and husband Sam Mathis; brothers, Fred R. Frnka and wife, Eunice; Ernest Frnka and wife, Wilma, and Walter Frnka. Along with Caramae, other surviving family members fondly remembering Shirley are her sister-in-law, Nellie Deshazo Frnka; nephews, Tom Radack and wife, Marissa, Steve Radack and wife, Sherry, and Gerald Radack. Also, Don Frnka and Jeff Frnka, Ernie Frnka and wife, Paula, Mark Frnka, Gary Mathis, Randy Frnka and wife, Som, and Michael Frnka. Also, nieces, Janet (Frnka) and husband J.J. Grigar, Frances (Frnka) and husband, Rick Ewing, Ann (Frnka) and husband, Glenn Crorey, Jeanne Mathis Osborne, Terri (Frnka), and Dawn Frnka. Additional surviving family members include numerous great-nephews and great-nieces.
A funeral mass was held at 11 a. m. Saturday, May 8, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Goliad, officiated by Father Ty Bazar. Interment followed at Holy Cross Cemetery in Goliad.
In remembrance of Shirley Frnka, memorial gifts may be made to the Goliad Education Foundation Inc., P.O.Box 830, Goliad, Tx 77963