Fredna, the oldest of seven children, was born in West Monore, LA to Connie Mellard and Pauline Watts on February 19, 1933. She married James Albert Cruseturner in 1949 and they had three children. During the early years of marriage and raising a young family Fredna pursued and earned her BS from the University of Lamar and M.Ed with a Diagnostician Certificate from the University of Texas. After graduation she taught at the Nederland ISD, served as the principal of a private Christian school, and taught as a special educator at the Athens ISD before retiring in 2000.
Fredna had a shameless love affair for peanut butter candy - Old Fashion Peanut Butter Bars, Chick-O-Stick, and Butter Fingers - along with a favorite Texas icon, Blue Bell Ice Cream. In between her indulgences Fredna was an avid reader. She had an affinity for reading the back of every book she picked up and crossing through the curse words in black Magic Marker. She enjoyed many different genres, but the top of her list and always by her side was the small unassuming blackbook, The Holy Bible. Along with reading Fredna was also a faithful member of the local United Pentecostal Church and was proud of the fact that she was one of the first of her generation to receive the Holy Ghost when Pentecost first came to Southeast Texas. Although her legacy is vast and varied her greatest sense of pride is that the Pentecostal heritage would continue with the subsequent generations.
Fredna passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of September 30, 2021. She is proceeded in death by her husband, James, and son, Jimmy “Cotton” Cruseturner, and brother, Professor James Mellard. She is survived by four sisters and one brother, two children, four grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, and six great-great grandchildren.
A graveside service will be held Friday, October 8, 2021, at 1 pm at the Hester Cemetery in Alto, Texas with Brother David Clark officiating.
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