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1923 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
FRANZEN, Cola Age ninety five, of Cambridge, MA, died April 5, 2018, in Hartwell, GA. She was born at home in Hart County, Georgia on February 4, 1923. One of eight children, she was one of the only three to live past childhood. Born to Jule and Inez Duncan Wakefield, she we also preceded in death by her sister Sara Wakefield King and brother Robert Austell Wakefield Reading at a very early age, she skipped grades and graduated valedictorian of her high school. Through scholarships, loans and working, she graduated Piedmont College in Demorest, GA at age 19. Gaining a fellowship, she left for New York City to attend Columbia University where she received her Master's in Journalism. She also met Wolfgang Franzen at this time and they were married shortly after graduation. She wrote for United Press in New York and Raleigh, NC during her husband's deployment during the war. After returning, they moved to Princeton where she began her love of foreign languages. She first learned German. Shortly afterwards they relocated to the Boston area where Wolfgang was a physics professor at Boston University. By now, she was also fluent in French and began studying Spanish. They traveled the world with his career and she enjoyed being able to communicate fluently wherever they were. Her love of the Spanish language led her to an award-winning career as a translator when she was in her 80's. She received the PEN/Gregory Kolovakis Award; the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from the Academy of American Poets. On October 2, 2003, the Massachusetts State Senate honored her with a Resolution for her long and distinguished career and the Cambridge City Council declared November 13, 2003, Cola Franzen Day. She was an accomplished poet in her own right as well. Her work is now housed at the Indiana University's Lilly Library. She is survived by her two neices, Donna Chambers of Hartwell, GA and Jeanette Harris of Rydal, GA; four great-nieces and nephews; five great-great nieces and nephews; and a godson, Paul Yamazaki of San Francisco, CA. A Celebration of Life is planned for Thursday, September 20, 2018, 10:00 AM at Stanton Funeral Home, 786 Mt. Auburn St. (Rt. 16) Watertown. Graveside Service at 1:30 P.M. at the Bellevue Cemetery in Harvard, MA. Donations may be made to the in her memory.

View the online memorial for Cola FRANZEN
Published in The Boston Globe on Sept. 16, 2018
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