Frances “Fran” Hanger Brooks of Marietta died Wednesday, August 25 after an extended illness. She was 74.
A devoted and loving wife and mother, Fran taught special education in Cobb County for 22 years. She was loved by her students and colleagues. She was twice named teacher of the year.
Fran is survived by her husband of nearly 50 years John Robert Brooks, III; her son Patrick Hanger Brooks; her daughter Addison Wells Brooks; her daughter-in-law Larissa C. Brooks; and her granddaughter Talia H. Brooks.
A graduate of Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina with a degree in special education, Fran also attended Montreat Anderson Junior College in Black Mountain, North Carolina.
Brought up in a military family, Fran was born in Selma, Alabama and later lived in Okinawa, Germany and Northern Virginia, where her father served tours at the Pentagon. She was graduated from George Marshall High School in Falls Church, Virginia.
After graduation from college, Fran taught special education at Northwest Middle School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She and John were married in 1971 and began raising their family there. After their children were born, she stopped teaching to be a full-time mom and do volunteer work. She was active at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and was named Woman of the Year by the Old Town Junior Woman’s Club in 1981.
Fran and her family moved to Marietta in 1983. While at home, she began a small business, Giggles, first selling balloons in the neighborhood and then becoming a crafter and participating in local craft shows. Her earnings paid for the family’s Christmases.
In 1991, Fran returned to the classroom, first at Mabry Middle School and then at East Cobb Middle School, where she taught until she retired in 2013. She and her family have attended St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church, Marietta for 38 years.
Fran was predeceased by her parents, Col. John W. Hanger and Annie Laurie Warren Hanger; her sister, Ann Hanger Wiseman and her brother John W. Hanger, Jr. She is also survived by her sister Jane Hanger Seeley of Minneapolis, Minnesota; her-brother-in-law Walter R. Wiseman of Chocowinity, North Carolina, and several nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, September 4, at St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church, 571 Holt Road NE, Marietta, Georgia 30068. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that expressions of sympathy be made to the charity of choice or St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church.
I had the pleasure of being Fran’s Paraprofessional for 7 years. You didn’t even have to know Fran to love her. She was, by far, the kindest, most generous and loving person I’ve ever known. We had many adventures with our Awesome class that I will take with me the rest of my days. Fran will leave an indelible mark in all our hearts forever.💔
John, Patrick and Addison,
Bill and I send our heartfelt sympathy to you in the loss of Fran. Althought it has been years since I have seen her, I have fond memories of her from our time as neighbors in Windsor Oaks. She was truly a gem of a person! I know you will miss her terribly. Praying for comfort and peace for you at this sad time and in the days ahead.
I had the absolute fortune to have known “Franny sweet” and call her friend. Her heart is golden, always willing to share her spirit, her life, her hugs and her love. I will truly miss Franny, an angel on earth!
Fran was such a dear and beautiful person. She was beloved by everyone who met her.
I had the pleasure of working w/ Ms. Fran at East Cobb Middle. Her gentle way and sweet nature is what I remember most. She loved her students and was simply, one of the nicest people you could ever meet. My sincere condolences and prayers to Addison & the rest of the family. 🙏🏾❤️🙏🏾
Fran was our angel on Earth…she lit up the classroom with her love and kindness, and made her students and colleagues feel special and loved all the time. She was a gift to all of us at East Cobb Middle School…I cannot thank God enough that He made the paths of beautiful Fran and I cross. She is an inspiration to me, as her very existence defined what love, strength, true authenticity, and happiness is. She was my friend.
I love you, Fran. We will take very good care of Addison at ECMS.
I will miss you forever. Thank you for blessing my life.
Our love and condolences go out to the family and friends of Mrs.Brooks,
“She’s in the sun, the wind, the rain,
She’s in the air you breathe
with every breath you take.
She sings a song of hope, and cheer,
There is no more pain, no more fear.
You’ll see her in the clouds above,
Hear her whisper words of love,
You’ll be together before long
Until then, listen for her song”
Our Mrs. Brooks was a loving presence at East Cobb. When you entered her space she made you feel at home. I’ll say it again and again, she was a blessing and she blessed us with Addison. My sincerest condolences to you and your family Addison.💐
Mrs. Fran was such a kind person, a true angel on earth. My sincere condolences. Thoughts and prayers to your family during this difficult time.
We are all blessed for having known Fran. She was a lasting influence on so many lives—-her students and her co-workers. So gentle and soft-spoken and a great sense of humor. I will truly miss her.
While I never knew her, I have friends along with many more who were so fond of her and her giving for others. God be with those for their loss. Oh, so to be like she was!
Fran was such a blessing to everyone she met. It was a pleasure to work with her she was amazing. Her students loved her and I did too. We all will miss her beautiful smile and loving spirit. “I thank God every time I remember you.” Philippians 1:3. May God continue to give Addy, Patrick and John peace and comfort during this sad time. Fran will be truly missed.
I don’t think I ever saw Fran without a smile. Sharing a 2 week trip to Italy a short 5 years ago was pure joy watching the excitement in her face. She and John have provided so much joy in many lives. We will all miss her her beautiful smile. Sending much love to John.
Dear dear Fran – humble, made every person feel special, had he gift of hospitality, was so much fun, a surrogate mother to Rob. We were blessed to have you in our lives dear one.
I knew Fran for about 61 years. She was a dear friend and one of a very few long term friends I kept up with. We met at Falls Church Presbyterian Church in Falls Church, Virginia. She was likely the sweetest, most caring and most unselfish person I have ever known. She was unfailingly kind and thoughtful. She is missed sorely, but we will see each other again. Blessings to her family and wide circle of friends as we navigate this very sad time.
Fran was my godmother and one of the best people I’ve had the honor to know. There are so many things I loved about Fran, but the thing I remember the most is when she was speaking to you, she made you feel like the only person in the room, you were her focus. She was genuinely interested in what you were saying and inquisitive – not for the sake of asking questions, but because she was truly interested. She made everyone around her feel good about themselves and that is a rare gift. I cherish the times I spent with her and will never forget the impact she made on me and on the world. Goodspeed dearest Fran. You are loved.
John, Patrick, Addison, Larissa, and precious Talia, I am so sorry. I knew Francine when she was still Fran Hanger at Northwest Junior High School. John, you two were meant for each other and were perfect together. There are too many memories to mention, but: bridge club, charades, Miss America parties, Halloween parties, etc. It has been so good to see you folks the past several years here in Winston-Salem before Covid hit. Fran was such a lovely person inside and out. We all loved Fran. My love and hugs and prayers for all of you. ❤️❤️🤗🤗🙏🙏
I’m so sad to hear of Fran’s passing. She was a wonderful person who would say hello to everyone and acknowledge them which can really make a difference in someone’s day. Her bright personality will be severely missed by anyone who was lucky enough to know her. My most sincere condolences to her family.
While our paths did not cross much since college, when they did it was old home week. So much fun getting caught back up, sharing many laughs and yes some tears. Always tough to say goodbye as we never knew when we would meet again. We now know where.
Brooks Family: I am so very sorry about the loss of Ms. Brooks. She was a wonderful woman and always made me smile. She was so caring and talented. I have never looked a pine cone and not thought of Ms. Brooks….from those Saturdays we spent hunting pine cones in the woods of Windsor Oaks so she could turn them into wonderful Holiday Crafts. She was such a gem and she made everyone feel so loved. Rest in Peace Mrs. Brooks.
I remember Fran and the rest of the dinner group coming over to my parents’ house in Marietta while I was growing up. Always a friendly “Hi Kathleen! How are you?!” And usually followed with a big hug. We were all so lucky to have her in our lives and to have gotten to know her in our own ways. I am saddened to learn of her passing, but will hold her memory and bright, large smile in my heart. My condolences to the family and all who knew and loved her. May her memory be a gift we all cherish.
My thoughts and prayers, John, are with you and your family at this difficult time. Fran will be dearly missed! ❤️
I shared a lunch table with Fran for several years at East Cobb Middle School. We both ushered in our students before the general population of kids…she with her wonderful Special Ed students and me with my awesome ESOL/IEL students. Lunch with Fran was ALWAYS such a pleasure! She was a loving soul whose caring heart shone through her smile every single day. She will be missed by many.
When Fran and I taught together at East Cobb Middle school, her presence was always positive and enthusiastic. Plus., her classroom was heaven for those students who were lucky to walk through those doors. What a beautiful lady.❤️🩹❤️🩹❤️🩹