In Memory

Linda Francis (Brand)

Linda "Francis" Brand, 39, of Jacksonville passed away Wednesday, April 25, 2007. Born May 16, 1967, in St. Augustine, Linda was a loving wife, mother, daughter, granddaughter and friend.

The home going of our loving, brilliant Linda took us by surprise, but our merciful God has plans for her now. After a brief illness with cancer, God chose to close the door here on Earth, and to open up a heavenly door that has lead her into the majestic presence of Jesus.

Linda is survived by her husband, Charles  "Chuck" Brand (who is also a fellow 1985 classmate); son, Joshua Brand;

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01/03/10 04:09 AM #1    

Sonya Willis (Smith)

Wow....I had NO idea!!!!

01/22/10 11:50 AM #2    

Leigh Thomson (DeVane)

There are just too many stories to tell about Linda. I'll just attach the eulogy Margaret and I wrote and read at her service.

I can’t remember for sure if I met Linda in Kindergarten or second grade. I do have a very vivid memory of doing one of those circle games on the playground at RB Hunt and Linda being right across from me. We became friends in elementary school. Then Margaret moved to town and although we weren’t best friends just yet, our schools were small so everyone was friends with everyone else. In the sixth grade we all three started band and became better friends. By high school we were all three very tight. Let me tell you what kind of friend she was…

She was our “always late friend.” In high school our parents would drop us off at the mall for a movie or just to hang out. We would met at 7:30, but we would tell Linda we were meeting at 7:00. She was always right on time at 7:30. And yes, this continued into adulthood when we finally fessed up and told her what we always had done.

She was our “always willing to go to a concert friend.” Margaret convinced her to go to their first concert in the ninth grade and she was hooked. She was ALWAYS willing to go to a concert no matter what kind it was. She wasn’t real big on country music, but last year when I wanted to go a country concert…there was Linda right beside me. Laughing and rolling her eyes, but she was there. She and I were supposed to go to a concert next month for her birthday.

She was our “blind as a bat friend.” She and I would get in trouble in Mrs. Loftus's English class b/c Linda would forget her glasses and I would have to read the vocabulary words off the chalkboard to her. We went to a movie once and arrived late (probably b/c of Linda). The lights were already off and the theater was packed. We had to squeeze our way past people who were already seated. But Linda didn’t go down far enough and sat squarely on some strangers lap.

She was our “teach us new things friend.” Margaret (who was initially a northerner) had never eaten a biscuit before. She spent the night with Linda and was served biscuits for breakfast. Linda had to teach Margaret what they were and how to eat them. She taught me about Arby’s. I’d never eaten there before we went to college. Our usual Thursday night routine was to go to Arby’s for take out and then go back to our dorm to watch The Cosby Show and Family Ties. Family Ties and Michael J. Fox were her absolute favorites then.

She was our “tell it like it was friend.” Other people would sugar coat and pacify. Linda, however, would be quick to offer her opinion and call us on the carpet if we weren’t “behaving ourselves.”

She was our “always had us on the floor laughing friend.” She had impressions she did all the time…..Carol Burnett, the martian from Bugs Bunny, the Church Lady from Saturday Night Live, and she would imitate Michael Jackson’s Thriller dance. She and Margaret rode the bus to school together every day. Margaret would have a stomachache from laughing at Linda the entire bus trip. She had a habit of nicknaming people. Shelly dated a guy named Eddie for a while. Linda would unexpectedly burst out with her nickname for him “Eddie Spaghetti with the Meatball Eyes.” Shelly and Eddie didn’t date long after that I always wondered if Linda had a hand in that. The worst attacks of “Linda induced laughter” usually were in church, class or a college music recital. And they often ended up with coke or grape juice coming out of someone’s nose. That happened in college at least weekly. She always said the grape juice hurt worse than the coke. I could go on for hours with stories about how she made us laugh.

She was our “always wanted to play a game” friend. In college we failed many a test and let many loads of laundry pile up b/c of playing cards. She was always on the hunt for good table games to make us play. Scene It and Pictionary were two of her favorites. And after dinner, whether or not you wanted to….you played games.

And lastly she was our “always there to support us friend.” Through the years the three of us saw each other through boyfriends, college, jobs, marriages, lost pregnancies, the births of our children (we each have one son), and parenting struggles. Last year Linda and Margaret stood by me after the death of my husband. Then Margaret and I stood by Linda after the death of her father. And now Margaret and I will stand by Chuck and Jxxxx.

Everyone else may call her Linda, but Margaret and Leigh will always call her friend.

04/28/10 02:51 PM #3    

Cindy Halstead (Grotz)

Leigh and Margaret ... it is so wonderful that you have such fantastic memories :)

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