Shirley Ann Frnka

Shirley Frnka

Goliad - Shirley Ann Frnka, age 83, former long-time basketball and track coach at Goliad High School, left this world suddenly on Friday, April 30, 2021, at her home in Goliad. She was born on September 23, 1937, to Fred George Frnka and Mary Agnes Krenek Frnka in Eagle Lake, in a devout Catholic home. Shirley attended Texas Women’s University in Denton. It was during her time 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 physical education and coach basketball and track at Goliad High School. She coached the Goliad girls’ team to the 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. With Peggy Swierc as head coach and Shirley serving as assistant coach, the 1983 Tigerettes volleyball team reached the State Tournament. She was affectionately called “Coach.” Shirley retired from coaching and teaching in 1993. In 1998 the Goliad I.S.D. honored Shirley by naming its highly-regarded annual track meet the Shirley Frnka Relays.

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, Gary Mathis, Randy Frnka and wife Som, Michael Frnka, Mark Frnka and Ernie Frnka and wife Paula. 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) Neal and Dawn Frnka.

A Rosary will be held at 11 a.m., with a funeral mass following, on Saturday, May 8, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Goliad, officiated by Father Ty Bazar. Interment will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery in Goliad. 

Pallbearers include Tom Radack, Steve Radack, Gerald Radack, Don Frnka, Jeff Frnka, Ernie Frnka, Mark Frnka, Gary Mathis, Randy Frnka, Michael Frnka, John David Von Dohlen and Jerry Dornak.

Honorary pallbearers include the many students, student-athletes and teachers at Goliad High School that touched Shirley’s heart during her many years of service in the community.

In remembrance of Shirley Frnka, memorial gifts may be made to the Goliad Education Foundation Inc., P.O. Box 830, Goliad, Texas 77963. 

To read a full obituary, please visit Grace Funeral Home’s website at

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