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What were the best things about Fran?
Her ability to work with people no matter who they are. She was able to handle any problem with a calmness that most people would find so very difficult. Fran was always a caring individual who put other people before her own. I remember one day we were walking in mid-town when she saw a homeless man on the street with a sign "please help me" and she bent down and gave him $10. I said, "Fran why so much?" and she answered, "Why not?". That was Fran, my friend, my mentor, my boss. RIP wonderful Fran Justa.
She had such a strong sense of humor in the way she viewed herself. I remember her telling me a story of taking a very young Sarah out for a meal. Fran asked Sarah what she wanted, and Sarah's initial selections from the menu were not the healthy choices that Fran insisted on. She said, "So I told her, 'Hey, you're not eating out with your father, you're eating out with me!'" Without further prompting, Sarah immediately changed her choices to something Fran would approve of. Fran often told stories that poked fun at herself, which was something I loved. I am deeply grateful for all I learned from Fran about life in Brooklyn, social justice, leadership, summer bungalows, and parenthood. It also meant so much to me to know that Clare was in a truly safe and loving place on the days when Fran took care of her after school while Jay and I were working and struggling to pay the ever increasing rent in Park Slope.