Cover photo for Fredrica Lake's Obituary
Fredrica Lake Profile Photo
1925 Fredrica 2018

Fredrica Lake

June 25, 1925 — August 20, 2018

Fredrica Le Moyne Lanford Lake, of Houston, passed away peacefully on August 20, 2018. She lived a full and generous 93 years until experiencing a stroke the previous day. Born in New Orleans in 1925 to Willie B (Henderson) and Frederick Lanford, she grew up in Sumner, Mississippi. The shock of Pearl Harbor and the sudden departure of boys to join the military transformed her high school studies into typing draft cards and ration books. After graduating in 1942, she attended Stephens College, then the University of Alabama, earning a BA in Journalism in 1946 and making lifelong friends as an Alpha Delta Pi sorority sister. In 1947, she traveled to New York City for a fun-filled adventure with her best friend Jane Cullins Sanderson, and attended the legendary Powers School. Fredrica spent several years as a welfare agent in Tallahatchie County, Mississippi, before her marriage in 1957 to R. Henry Lake of Memphis, Tennessee. Her life was filled with a large extended family, raising three children, and entertaining good friends. An interest in fine needlework fostered by a beloved grandmother led her to volunteer with the Woman's Exchange of Memphis, an organization that helps women make and market their homemade sewing. She served on the Board and chaired the first Woman's Exchange Cook Book, even when that meant testing ice cream recipes in the middle of January. She also designed heirloom children's dresses for the Exchange, and some of her models are still in use today. When the family moved to Houston in 1966, Fredrica continued to design and create beautiful hand-sewn christening gowns, flower girl, and portrait dresses through several local boutiques under her own label, "Alicia Designs". Over the next 40 years, she made more than 1,200 dresses, day gowns, and baby bonnets. She was a self-proclaimed "lace-aholic" who only worked to support her habit. These exquisite Alicia dresses have been, and will be, treasured and worn by generations of children. After her beloved husband Henry died in 1995, Fredrica embraced a new goal: to become a Life Master in contract bridge. She traveled the world with cherished friends to earn the necessary points at tournaments and was delighted to achieve her goal in 2002. She continued playing both contract and duplicate bridge with several groups for 15 more years and was a sought-after substitute. Her love of antiques inspired her to complete the rigorous docent training at Bayou Bend, and she enjoyed sharing the collection with tour groups. She also served the community as a member of the Junior League and the Garden Club of America in both Memphis and Houston. Fredrica spent countless happy hours in her garden, followed the stock market with avidity, and was always eager to discuss the latest news, whether global or local. A sure sign of her favor was an invitation to join her on the back porch for a cool drink and a lively conversation covering current events, within view of her lovely flowers. She is survived by her daughters: Fredrica (William) Fester and Shirley (John) Rouse, grandchildren: John K. (Karina) Lake, Jr., Katherine Fester, William Rouse, James Rouse, and great-grandchildren John H. Lake and Justis Lake, as well as her beloved nieces and nephews. Her husband R. Henry Lake, son John Kupka Lake, and sister Margaret Lanford Rice preceded her in death. A lifelong Christian Scientist, Fredrica had a strong faith in a loving God and was a true Southern lady and steel magnolia. Her graciousness and generosity were well-known and everyone who met her was charmed by her gentle manner and hospitality. A service at Elmwood Cemetery in Memphis will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be directed to the Woman's Exchange of Memphis or the charity of your choice.
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