Longtime Twinsburg library supporter remembered for community involvement

April Helms
Kent Weeklies
Frances Nugent

TWINSBURG – A founding member of the Friends of the Library, as well as the organization’s first president, was remembered for her passion and community involvement by those who knew her.

Frances Nugent, 92, died Dec. 30.

According to a Jan. 4 Facebook post made by staff at the Twinsburg Public Library, Ms. Nugent served on the Friends board for more than 20 years, and also was a member of the Foundation of the Twinsburg Public Library.

“The Board of Trustees, Friends of the Library, The Foundation of the Twinsburg Library, and staff mourn the passing of a wonderful supporter of the Library and its mission,” the post stated. “She will be truly missed.”

Nancy Shalala, Ms. Nugent’s goddaughter, said that she “was kind of like my mother.”

“Frances didn’t have any children of her own, but my mother was her best friend since kindergarten,” Shalala said. “She was there at our dinner table four nights a week, if not more. She helped out with the family. I have seven sisters and brothers. We would say it was like having the school principal at our dinner table.”

Shalala’s comment was apt. Ms. Nugent had a master’s degree in education, and was a teacher before becoming the first female principal at Rhodes High School in 1979. She also served as principal at St. Dominic’s Elementary School in Shaker Heights.

“She was a great person,” Shalala said. “We had widely divergent political views, but as long as we kept it away from politics we got along.”

When Shalala’s parents were killed in 2007, “she was a wonderful substitute for my mother.”

“Frances was really there for my family,” Shalala said. “She took my sisters and me on elaborate trips. One year it was Italy, another Scotland. She was a world traveler, and read voluminously. She read hundreds of books.”

Even in her early 80s, Ms. Nugent was “going across Europe, and keeping up with me and my sisters.”

“She was a great lady,” Shalala said. “I miss her a lot.”

Tabby Ogrizek said she first met Ms. Nugent when she started volunteering with the Friend’s book sales.

“Fran's love and passion for serving the community through the Friends of the Twinsburg Library was evident by how she did the business,” said Ogrizek, a board member with the Friends of the Twinsburg Library.

“Her strong personality got things done and you always knew where she stood when decisions needed to be made,” Ogrizek said. “Many things changed over the time of her involvement and some steps were more challenging than others, but she was the first to reflect back to say that how we evolved was all good.  I enjoyed chatting with her in the Shop when I came in for my assigned time. What a wealth of knowledge and experiences. When I took over the office as president of the Friends, Fran was so supportive and encouraging, having been in my shoes years before.”

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at Ss. Cosmas and Damian Catholic Church on Jan. 4, and burial was at All Saints Cemetery.

Ms. Nugent was the daughter of the late Joseph and Norah (nee Walsh) Nugent; and sister of the late John W., Joseph E, Norma, and Mary Nugent.

Memorials may be made in Ms. Nugent’s name to Friends of the Twinsburg Library, 10050 Ravenna Road, Twinsburg 44087.

Reporter April Helms can be reached at ahelms@thebeaconjournal.com