Frances Cooke Gilchrist Patch died at her home in Silver Spring, MD of congestive heart failure on July 8, 2019. She was 84 years old. She was preceded in death by her husband, Cephas Taylor Patch, in 1990. She is survived by her children Martha (Randall) Moore and Nate Patch, her grandchildren Ian Moore, Delaney Patch, and Caroline Moore, as well as 2 nieces and a nephew.
Fran was born in New Haven, CT in 1934. She graduated from Hood College, and fueled by a passion for English literature, she went on to earn an M.A. in English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She taught English at West Virginia University and the American College for Girls in Istanbul, Turkey. She adored teaching, especially her Turkish students. Upon returning to the United States, Fran was a Program Officer for the Fulbright-Hays senior exchange program for university lecturers and research scholars in the Near East and Africa.
She married her husband in 1962 and the couple settled in Cabin John, MD for the next half century where they raised their two children. She was an active volunteer in her children's lives, serving on PTA executive committees and leading a Girl Scout troop for many years. Along with several talented colleagues, she co-founded Counterparts in 1984, a professional services business and later worked for The Dreiford Group until her retirement in 2001. Following her retirement, Fran volunteered in the panda program at the Smithsonian National Zoo and was the "matriarch" of a Cabin John-based book club. In 2015, she moved to Riderwood Village and joined its Continuing Education Committee where she later served as co-chair.
Fran, or "Cooke" as she was known to family, loved to travel, cook for others, and read. She and her husband were avid birdwatchers and loved to spend their free time off the beaten path. According to many opponents, she was also a formidable Scrabble player.
A memorial service will be held on August 10, 2019 at the Riderwood Village Chapel in Silver Spring, MD. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Montgomery Hospice (1355 Piccard Drive, Suite 100, Rockville, MD 20850) or to Audubon Maryland-DC (2901 E. Baltimore St.- Box 2 Baltimore, MD 21224).