Dr. Louise Gangloff Cording, 68: Specialized in brain injuries

Dr. Louise Cording specialized in treating patients with brain injuries because she was intrigued by how the mind works.

The Decatur psychologist even formed a brain injury support group that met monthly at Emory University Hospital's Center for Rehab Medicine on Clifton Road.

"She was fascinated by the workings of the brain, and she found out that you can really help these folks, but you have to stick with it," said Dr. Bob Schnapper, an Atlanta neurologist and friend. "It's a long process, and she was very good at it. She dealt with the most severe end."

His wife, Linda Schnapper, described Dr. Cording as a "bulldog for her patients," willing and ready to do whatever to provide care.

"She would fight for them, and I saw it not only with her patients but with friends," Mrs. Schnapper said. "I never heard her verbalize any particular reason she [worked with brain injury patients], but love was just a big part of her life."

On Tuesday, Dr. Louise Gangloff Cording of Atlanta died from complications of brain cancer at her home. She was 68. The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Friday in the Arlington Chapel of H.M. Patterson & Son Funeral Home, which is in charge of arrangements.

Raised in Sandy Springs, Dr. Cording had been a nurse for decades before she earned her doctoral degree in psychology from Georgia State University. Bob Cording of  Kingsport, Tenn., said his sister may have developed an interest in medicine from an aunt who lived in rural Pennsylvania.

"She was a doctor and she married a doctor, and we all had been up to visit her," he said. "As far as I know, that was her first connection with anything medical. But she was quite brilliant, so it doesn't surprise me that she became a doctor at all."

Charles Mamane of Washington, D.C., knew Dr. Cording when she was a nurse at Grady Memorial Hospital. When he was studying engineering at Georgia Tech, the doctor covered his tuition.

"She'd loan me the money to pay tuition, and I would pay her back by mid-quarter," he said. "But by the end of the quarter, I would have to borrow again to pay for the next quarter. That is just an example of the type things she would do for people. She mothered anybody who came in contact with her."

In fact, owners of Cafe Istanbul, a Turkish/Mediterranean restaurant in Decatur, called her "mother." She and Mr. Mamane used to eat there most Tuesdays. Dr. Cording insisted that they stand by the business on Sept. 11, 2001, the day of the terrorist attacks.

"We sat there for the whole evening just to make sure they were protected in case some crazy came there," Mr. Mamane said. "In later years, when she had a brain tumor and couldn't eat salt, they made her dishes without salt. They always had mommy's food."

Dr. Cording traveled to Europe extensively for fun and training. She'd befriend colleagues at neuropsychology conventions, so her friendships spanned the world.

"She had to capacity to engulf people with her love," Mr. Mamane said.

Survivors besides her brother include her mother, Dorothy Cording of Austell.