Look up the word “lady” and you’re bound to find a picture of Mrs. Christine Watson Marsters. A strong woman, with the finest of Southern manners, Christine Marsters reigned with intrinsic grace as the Matriarch of her beloved Stewards Mill community in Freestone County, Texas. Whether you knew her as Mrs. M., Miss Christine, or simply Chris, those of us whose lives have been touched by this grand lady, even in the most infinitesimal manner, cannot help but love and adore her.
Christine was born into a family whose rich heritage includes generations of individuals with resilient pioneering spirits. Her awareness of these ancestors surely contributed to the steadfast, but warm and caring person she became as an adult, Christine would often take time out during her day to l o o k over her beloved legacy, imaging how the land might h a v e looked to her ancestors when they first came to Texas. She is proud of her heritage and felt a deep obligation to preserve it for future generations. Christine was 12 years old when her father, Charles Watson, passed away. The family subsequently moved to New London, Texas where Christine finished high school. After high school, Christine attained her formal education from Baylor University. The union between Frank Harrison Marsters, Jr. and Christine Watson on November 24, 1944 began a new chapter in Christine’s life.
Frank served his country during World War II in the Asiatic Pacific Theater of Operation. Frank and Christine’s first son was born in Erie, Pennsylvania. Soon after, the couple moved back to Texas, the place they loved, where two more sons completed the family. After spending several years working for a large corporation as its regional sales manager, the couple formed Marsters Company in 1958 in Houston. The Company engaged in land development, real estate, and residential construction, for over twenty years in the “NASA Bay Area” and built five of the original Mercury Astronauts’ homes. Starting in 1969, the Company built the “Original” Quail Valley Club House and numerous custom homes in the Quail Valley Subdivision, Missouri City, Texas. Even though the Marsters made their home elsewhere, the family spent many a summer in Stewards Mill, Texas. In 1977, Christine and Frank retired to their Stewards Mill home on the WX Ranch. Christine Marsters took excellent care of the land that had been entrusted to her by her family. People who knew Christine would come to her for advice on various oil and gas leases.
Christine was active in preserving the history of her family and that of Freestone County. She served on the Freestone County History Book Committee, helping to document the oral histories of the area. She maintained her membership in the Jose Antonio Navarro Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas where her proud heritage shines among the rich history.
In 1978, Christine headed up an endeavor to begin an annual Stewards Mill gathering that is still going strong. Every December, those who remember growing up in the community, make a pilgrimage to the historical church, which has no electricity and is heated by wood burning stoves. The cedar Christmas tree and homemade decorations create a living history. For many years, Christine treated the gathering to the Christmas story as told in Luke, Chapter 2.
Christine was known for her exquisite letters. Whether you had experienced a loss of a loved one, celebrated a milestone graduation, or welcomed a new addition to the family, Christine always had the perfect words for the occasion. Several recipients, through the years, have shared how much these letters meant to them, some even going as far as to frame them for posterity.
Not long ago, Christine became a member of First Baptist Church in Fairfield because “God had work for her there.” She lived her faith and was known throughout the community for the special love she had for God.
Christine held court at Fairfield Nursing & Rehab after a fall limited her physical abilities. Her spirit, however, continued to be strong, and a visit with her was like a touch of sunshine.
Her family, her friends, and the community, in which she lived, feel a great loss. It was a privilege to have known her and loved her, indeed.
Christine was welcomed into heaven by her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on December 13, 2012, having completed almost 88 years on this earth; she was born January 31, 1925. She was preceded in death by her parents: Ava Katherine (Bass) and Charles Henry Watson and her husband, Frank Harrison Marsters, Jr. and sister, Marjorie (Watson) Bass.
Those left to cherish the memory of this endearing lady are her children: Frank H. Marsters III and wife Linda, Scott W. Marsters, Sr. and wife Natalia, and Charles G. “Jeff” Marsters; sister Pam (Jacobs) Day; grandchildren: Lindsay Marsters, Frank H. Marsters, IV, James Marsters, Melissa Marsters, Scott W. Marsters, Jr. and Samuel A. Marsters; and Great-grandchildren, as well as a host of cousins and friends. Christine Watson Marsters.