Frangie Lucas Spangler was born June 12, 1920, to Prof. James Burleigh Lucas and Frangie Davis Lucas, in Blacksburg, Va. She departed this life, confident in her faith, on Aug. 13, 2012, and went to be with her God and with her husband, Howard Eugene “Gene” Spangler, who predeceased her on Aug. 13, 1998. She was one of four sisters: Fay Lucas Joerg and Gray Lucas Pyle, who both preceded her in death, and Laura Lucas Garrette, who resides in Richmond, Va.
Frangie’s father was a professor of organic chemistry at Virginia Polytechnic Institute; her mother earned her degree at Randolph Macon Women’s College. They instilled a love of science and learning in their girls, all of whom continued in the pursuit of knowledge throughout their lives. Frangie graduated from V.P.I. in 1940, along with her life partner, Gene, and they committed their lives to one another on Dec. 1, 1940.
Frangie and Gene made their home at Spangler Farms in Rockingham County, Va., and had four children, who survive: Patricia Gene Spangler Hilbert and husband, Don, of Castalia, N.C., Thomas Howard Spangler and wife, Wanda, of Harrisonburg, Frangie Spangler Turner (Bunny) and husband, Andy, of Broadway and Katherine Spangler Urban (Kitty) and husband, Bill, of Harrisonburg. She is also survived by five grandchildren: Pamela Hilbert and husband, Todd Wade, of Winterville, N.C., Daniel Hilbert and wife, Mary, of Rolesville, N.C., and their children, Samuel and Beth: Tomi Spangler Herold and husband, Michael, of Monterey, Va., and their children, Emma and Jack; Brian Spangler and wife, Kathy, of Colorado Springs, Colo., and their children, Connor, Mary and Jenna; Nicole Fagerli and husband, Corky, of Charlottesville, and their children, Anna and Caroline.
Life on a farm was a bit outside Frangie’s expectations, but she did well as a farm wife and devoted mother during the day, and retired to read her history books and keep up with developments in the world of science late into the evenings. She had an uncanny ability to come up with the answers to questions generated by the kids’ schoolwork, except when she said, “You need to look that up for yourself!” She was always a fount of information, both arcane and useful, and could be relied on for advice, for prayers, or just for a warm and comforting presence.
Frangie and her family attended services at Cooks Creek Presbyterian Church, where Frangie was well respected for her Bible scholarship and taught adult Sunday school classes for many years. She was known for her big, bright smile, always there to cheer and encourage others, no matter what her day contained. If any were in doubt that here was a woman of determination and strong faith, all doubt disappeared when she fell and broke her neck in 2009. In spite of being on the verge between life and death, and being told that it would be a long and laborious journey back to independence, she took on the challenge and completed the difficult recovery, aided by the good people at University of Virginia Medical Center, and Oak Lea and Crestwood at VMRC, and, with help and prayers from family and friends, accomplished her goal of returning to her home at Park Gables and living independently once again.
It was Frangie’s talent to take what life offered and make something wonderful from it, to live life on her own terms while creating joy for herself and for others. She was a sunny, bright spot in our world, and she will be sorely missed by many.
Services to honor Frangie’s life are planned for 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012, at Cooks Creek Presbyterian Church with Pastor W.L. “Sonny” Henkel presiding.
Memorial contributions may be made to Cooks Creek Presbyterian Church, 4222 Mount Clinton Pike, Harrisonburg, VA 22802, or the Salvation Army, 185 Ashby Ave., Harrisonburg, VA 22802.
Arrangements are being handled by Kyger Funeral Home in Harrisonburg.