Fran Friedland, a longtime teacher in the Syosset school district and lifelong athlete, has died at the age of 84.
Friedland died Jan. 10 of brain cancer at her home in North Carolina. Her family remembered her as a steady and kind presence who was above all a singular team player who believed in sportsmanship.
She taught physical education in Syosset schools for more than three decades, where she was lauded by students, parents and colleagues for her patience and generosity. She commanded respect without ever raising her voice, said her husband, Dr. Stan Friedland of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
“She just had that glow about her,” said Stan Friedland, 85. “She was a dedicated and able teacher and that reflects everything about her.”
Friedland taught her children and students that in life, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, but that taking it in stride and being a good sport was the most important thing.
Born in Brooklyn in 1932, Friedland was raised in the Bronx and decided at an early age that she would pursue a career in health and physical education. After graduating from Walton High School in 1949, Friedland attended Brooklyn College, where she met her husband Stan. Both physical education majors, they were seated alphabetically. They became a couple after a memorable first-aid class where she mildly injured him while practicing bandaging his ankle. It was a significant meeting, Friedland said, and the beginning of a happy partnership.
They were married in 1952 and Friedland graduated from college the following year. Both teachers, the couple moved to Long Island in 1958, living in Syosset until 2012, and then East Meadow until moving to North Carolina last year.
When not teaching, Friedland was an active person who loved to play tennis, dance, swim, and cycle. She traveled the world with her husband, exploring Europe and visiting national parks across the country.
During their 64-year marriage, they were a loving pair who were always on the same page, said their daughter, Amy Friedland of Manhattan.
Fran Friedland was a person of high integrity who led with her actions, and she was also a gifted listener, said her son Steven Friedland of Greensboro, North Carolina. Her first priority was being there for her children, he added.
In addition to her husband, son and daughter, Friedland is survived by sons Roy of Los Angeles and Len of Charlotte, North Carolina; and nine grandchildren. A service was held last week.