Frankie S. Wellins

Frankie_Alone_pIn Loving Memory of

Frankie Sessmer Wellins


Frankie Sessmer Wellins, Honorary Vice President of The Players, passed peacefully from this earth on February 17, 2015.  Born in Louisville, Kentucky to Jewish immigrant parents, she married Ira Wellins in 1947 and moved to Rhode Island in 1952.  Frankie would have turned 90 on May 23.

Frankie was a fiercely proud and dedicated member of The Players for more than 57 years, serving as Vice President, Treasurer and Production Committee Chair.  This spirited, can-do woman preferred to work behind the scenes and generously devoted her time and talents to the tasks of Stage Managing and Producing.  Frankie built sets, sewed costumes, and generally threw her hands in wherever there was a need. The first show, which Frankie Stage Managed, was Players’ 1958 production of GUYS AND DOLLS.  Frankie set the standard for Stage Managers at the Club.  FOLLIES, FIORELLO (two times), BURLESQUE, THE GREAT SEBASTIANS, SEPARATE TABLES, and THE DARK AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS are but a handful of the plays Frankie Stage Managed.

Frankie’s daughter, Nancy Wellins, has generously designated The Players as the recipient of In Memoriam Donations honoring her dear Mother.  A daughter’s reflection on the role the Club has played in her life best sets forth the reason for this family’s generosity.

“I did think about my mother’s life in choosing where to direct donations, and it seemed most fitting to direct them to the organization to which she had devoted so much of her prodigious energy and ability for close to 57 years. I have such fond memories from childhood of going to see the plays and musicals she stage-managed, or of helping her locate items in our basement for use as props. The Players have been our second family since as long as I can remember, and I’m pleased, as I’m sure she would be, if those who wish to honor her memory can help to furbish the Players’ coffers, even if just a wee bit.”

Nancy’s poignant quote exemplifies the true essence of The Players.

We shall forever remember our treasured friend, Frankie Wellins, and honor her memory by living the valuable lessons she selflessly taught us.

Please keep Nancy and all of Frankie’s family, including sons-in-law Andy Moul and Michael Charles, grandchildren Ricca and Samantha Gaus, and Ari Charles, in your thoughts and prayers.


The Players has been truly honored and humbled by the generosity of Frankie Wellins’ friends and family.  Please accept our most sincere appreciation.


Kathleen Oliverio