Tharena A. Brooks Naples, FL 7/29/1935 to 2/12/2014
Tharena A. Brooks departed this life surrounded by her family on February 12, 2014 at Avow Hospice in Naples, FL. She was 78 years old.
Rena, as she was called, was a proud first generation Greek American born to Nicholas George Avdellas and Stella Nychis in Pittsburgh, PA. She graduated from Aliquippa High School and then Slippery Rock State College with a degree in Elementary Education. Years later, as a single mother and teacher in Prince William County, VA, Rena got her Master's Degree in Education from Virginia Tech. Rena spent 50 years as a teacher in some capacity, starting in the classroom and then becoming the first English As A Second Language (ESL) teacher in Prince William County and later becoming the county's first ESL coordinator. She was a High School Reading Specialist and enjoyed substitute teaching in Naples, FL.
In 1987 she married the love of her life, Jack Brooks, a former Capitol Hill Congressional staffer, in Alexandria, VA. They retired to Naples, FL in 2002 where they enjoyed life, traveled extensively and were active stewards of Saint Katherine's Greek Orthodox Church where Rena served on the Parish Council and Jack served on various committees.
Jack passed away in 2009. Rena is survived by her two daughters, Susan Dorn and her husband, David; and granddaughters, Alexandra and Ava of Ashburn, VA, and Christine Sharp and her husband, James of Germantown, MD; a brother, William Avdellas; and sister-in-law, Amelia Avdellas of Camp Hill, PA.
Rena never met a stranger and as a result had many friends who enjoyed her company, her sense of humor, and her love of life.
A visitation will be held on Monday, February 17th, 2014 from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., with prayers at 6:00 p.m., at Fuller Funeral Home, 1625 Pine Ridge Road, Naples, FL 34109.
The funeral service will be on Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. at Saint Katherine Greek Orthodox Church, 7100 Airport Pulling Road, Naples, FL 34109.
Interment will follow at Palm Royale Cemetery, 6780 Vanderbilt Beach Road, Naples, FL 34119.
Rena was involved in many organizations. Donations may be made to the following groups: The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, Saint Katherine Orthodox Church, Naples, FL, Saint Paul The Apostle Mission, Ft. Myers, FL.
To leave an online condolence, please visit www.fullernaples.com.