Fredzania "Zanie" Thompson excelled in athletics while she was a student at Navasota High School, earning several athletic scholarships. She chose to attend Blinn College in Bryan, but the lure of a dream she'd had as a child was strong enough that she put her education on hold.
"She was more interested in modeling," her mother, Hakamie Stevenson, said. "That's definitely what she wanted to do. It's what she had started to do the day she was deceased."
Thompson was killed Friday in Navasota while posing for photos on a set of train tracks. Witnesses told investigators she was standing where two train tracks meet. Police said one set of tracks belonged to BNSF and the other to Union Pacific. Thomson was standing between the tracks and watching for an oncoming train from BNSF with her back turned toward an oncoming Union Pacific train. Witnesses said she tried to cross the Union Pacific tracks to avoid the BNSF train and was hit by the Union Pacific train.
She died en route to a local hospital.
Thompson was many things to many people, including an athlete, hair and makeup whiz, as well as a caring companion. To her five younger brothers and sisters, the young woman was a role model, said Stevenson.
"She was very helpful to her siblings," Stevenson recalled. "She was very outgoing, and made sure that everything was taken care of with them. She was a leader."
Thompson's family shared a photo taken of her on the tracks just before she died. In the photo she poses confidently, smiling, poised on the train tracks. The photos, taken by a friend of a friend, were to be the beginning of a portfolio the young woman was hoping to use in her pursuit of a modeling career.
Thompson's fiance Darnell Chatman, 25, said she had been offered several modeling opportunities in the past, but had turned them down.
According to Chatman, Thompson -- who would have turned 20 on Monday -- called him two weeks ago and was crying happy tears.
"She said, 'You're going to be a dad again,'" he said.
Thompson deeply loved Chatman's 7-year-old son, who would have become her stepson. She seemed to be a motherly figure to him, Chatman said, and the boy has been troubled by her death.
"He woke up crying this morning," Chatman said quietly. "He thought [her death] was a dream."
Both Thompson's mother and fiance said she was kind, welcoming and loved her friends. She would help anyone who was hurting and give them advice.
"Zanie had the most beautiful smile," Chatman said. "I believe she would want everyone to know what a kind and caring person she is."
Her funeral will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Brosig Auditorium in Navasota, followed with a graveside service in Oakland Cemetery. Before the funeral, the public can pay their respects at a visitation beginning at 10 a.m. Arrangements are under the direction of Psalms Funeral Home.