Frances “Fran” Elizabeth Hunter (née Rhodes) was born on September 4, 1939 in Cleveland, Ohio to Clarence and Sadie Rhodes (née Batts). After graduating from Omaha Technical High School, Omaha, Nebraska in 1957, she married Dr. Richard C. Hunter and moved to California. She graduated from the California State College, Hayward in 1971, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She worked as a teacher and school administrator in the Berkeley Unified School District, directing the education of many students in the Bay area.
Returning to her birthplace in Cleveland, Ohio, Fran began working for the Greater Cleveland Project whose purpose was to ease the implementation of court-ordered desegregation in the Cleveland Public Schools. She obtained her Master of Science in Urban Studies from Cleveland State University’s Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs in 1988. After receiving her degree, she accepted a position with the college as a Recruitment/Placement Specialist. She was promoted and served for many years as the Coordinator, Internships & Graduate Assistantships. Her responsibilities included developing and implementing effective graduate recruitment programs. She is credited with the direction of the college’s program which has been recognized nationally for its innovative strategies for recruiting and maintaining minority students interested in pursuing careers in public administration and planning. She also served the college as an Adjunct Professor. She always had a smile on her face and approached everyone with words of encouragement.
Fran was an accomplished administrator and enthusiastic volunteer. She served on the Cleveland Public Library’s Board of Trustees for fourteen years. During that time, she held the positions of Secretary, Vice-President and President. She was instrumental in beginning the construction of the Louis Stokes Wing and the purchase of the Villa Angela property on which now sits the Memorial-Nottingham Branch. She was a proud member of the Greater Cleveland Alumnae Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. She served as Vice President of the Cleveland Housing Network and President of the Board of Arts Collinwood. She was passionate about the community and working with students to pursue their goals.
Fran served as a member of the governing board “Session” of the 1st Presbyterian Church in East Cleveland and the Boulevard Presbyterian Church in Euclid.
Two of her favorite bible passages are as follows: But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40.31 and Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
Fran died unexpectedly in Mayfield Heights, Ohio on May 3, 2020 at the age of 80.
Frances is survived by her daughter, Kim C. Hunter Justin (Jim), of Jackson Michigan; son, Richard C. Hunter (Christine Curtis), of Cleveland, Ohio; grandchildren, Kianna M. Robinson, of Chicago, Illinois, Kristin M. Robinson (Ronnie Madson), of Jackson, Michigan, Kyle J. Justin (Layne Fairly), of Farmington Hills, Michigan, and Rhiannon E. Hunter, of Cleveland, Ohio; great grandchildren, Jacob M. Williams-Justin of Jackson, Michigan, ZyAmaria J. Madson & Kimari G. Madson, of Jackson Michigan; special cousin Jewel Ann Williams and a host of other family and friends. She was preceded in death by her father, Clarence Rhodes, of Omaha, Nebraska; mother Sadie Mae Rhodes, of Omaha, Nebraska; and twin brother Frederick “Buddy” Nichols, of Omaha, Nebraska.
IN LIEU OF FLOWERS OR TREES, please send a memorial contribution in Frances Hunter’s name to the Cleveland State University Foundation to support the Levin College of Urban Affairs scholarships, 2121 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, memorial details will be forthcoming
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