Melissa Katrine McFaden

Melissa  McFaden

Melissa Katrine McFaden (Horton) died in Houston, Texas on September 18, 2016 at the age of 82.  She was affectionately called “Tinka” by her children, grandchildren, great-grandchild, and in-laws, but she was known to most people by her middle name, Katrine.

Katrine loved all forms of beauty, from beautiful floral arrangements inside the home to the natural beauty of the outdoors, and most especially, she loved the simplicity of mid-century furniture and modern architecture.  She often quoted Frank Lloyd Wright, “If you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life.”

Katrine was an animated person, with a voice as powerful as an amplifier.  If you were growing up as her son or as a neighborhood kid and unfortunate enough to anger her, you would have heard how loud her voice could get.  But for everyone else, she was just good company, listening to and enjoying what others had to say.  At her peak, she was a fantastic cook and gracious entertainer.  As verbally expressive as she was, ironically, her most cherished activity was to sit outside in silence, relaxing and enjoying nature.

Katrine married her high school sweetheart, who she called “Sid” (Frank Sidney McFaden, Jr.), in 1954, moving from their hometown of Montgomery (Alabama) to Houston immediately thereafter, raising three sons along the way, and for a time, a granddaughter as well.  While he was alive, quite often, Sid thanked Katrine for keeping her figure; he was so proud to have a beautiful wife.  They lived in their dream home, designed and built by Sid, who was an architect.  Katrine worked for the Spring Branch Independent School District (SBISD) as a grade-level secretary and nurse’s aide, even carrying the family financially when Houston was hit hard by recession in the 1980s.

In the 22 years following Sid’s death, Katrine raised one of her granddaughters, Elissa Courtney McFaden, and saw her through college and beyond until Elissa married, and for a few years, she joined a group of ladies who met regularly to play bridge, a card game she loved.  Katrine followed politics, almost religiously, constantly watching her beloved Fox News Channel.  In the end, she developed a number of ailments, one of which may have been lung cancer, which took her away from us too soon.        

Katrine is survived by her three sons, Frank Sidney McFaden III, George Stephen McFaden, and William Clay McFaden, and her five grandchildren – Elissa Courtney Foster (McFaden), Frank Sidney McFaden IV, Liana Cristin McFaden, Luke Alexander McFaden, and George Stephen McFaden II, as well as her great grandson Riley Emerson Smith.  She is survived by one brother, Clyde Horton, and two sisters-in-law, Betty Horton and Betty Ruth Lange (McFaden).  Katrine was preceded in death by her husband, Frank Sidney McFaden Jr., two brothers, William Paul Horton and George “Buddy” Horton, and two sisters-in-law, Sue Horton and Mary Jo Horton.

A memorial service will be held to pay tribute to Katrine on Sunday, October 9, 2016, from 12:30pm to 2:00pm.  A meal will be served.  Please see Katrine’s Facebook page for venue information:

In lieu of flowers, please contribute to the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center, a nature paradise that Katrine loved.  The number to the Arboretum’s Tribute Gift Program is 713-366-0374.