In Memoriam

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Noëlle Blackmer Beatty

1932-2022

 

Noëlle, my beloved wife of 64 years, died peacefully of old age in her Memory Care apartment early this morning. Fortunately, she never contracted any version of COVID.

Born in Boston, Noëlle grew up on the campus of Phillips Academy in Andover, MA where her father taught English and was dean of the faculty. She graduated in 1950 from Abbot Academy, a nearby girl’s school that later merged with Phillips Academy to form the co-ed school known as Andover. I first met her because I was her oldest brother’s doubles partner on the Andover tennis team. We became casual friends and crossed paths occasionally during the next decade.

At Radcliffe College Noëlle majored in English and wrote a pioneering honors thesis on Eugene O’Neill, under the tutelage of a renowned Harvard professor, Howard Mumford Jones. While at Radcliffe, she also perfected the French she had learned from her mother as a young child. By the time she graduated in 1954 she was as fluent as a French native, enabling her to teach English for a year to young girls at a school in Cholet, a small city in Maine-et-Loire.

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LALITA TAYLOR OBITUARY
 

TAYLOR, LaLita Akers LaLita Akers Taylor was born in Severy, KS on October 4, 1930 to William Webster and Myrtle B. Akers and died November 8th in McKinney, TX. She moved with parents and brother to Longview, TX six months later. She graduated from Longview High School in 1947 and attended Baylor University 1947-1950. LaLita married Floyd E. Taylor on Dec. 23, 1950 at the First Presbyterian Church, Longview, TX.. They had two sons William K. Taylor and Michael A. Taylor. Then followed seven moves with Sun Oil Company. She made each move into a loving home, meeting new and long lasting friends along the way. She was a Cub Scout leader for seven years in Delhi, LA. The family always joined a Presbyterian Church in Odessa, Gainesville, Delhi, LA, Beaumont, Lafayette, Houston, and finally Dallas. She became interested in decorative painting, teaching for ten summers at the Hill Country Art Foundation. In 1974, LaLita and her sister Patsy began TAYLOR, LaLita Akers LaLita Akers Taylor was born in Severy, KS on October 4, 1930 to William Webster and Myrtle B. Akers and died November 8th in McKinney, TX. 


 

She moved with parents and brother to Longview, TX six months later. She graduated from Longview High School in 1947 and attended Baylor University 1947-1950. LaLita married Floyd E. Taylor on Dec. 23, 1950 at the First Presbyterian Church, Longview, TX.. They had two sons William K. Taylor and Michael A. Taylor. Then followed seven moves with Sun Oil Company. She made each move into a loving home, meeting new and long lasting friends along the way. She was a Cub Scout leader for seven years in Delhi, LA. The family always joined a Presbyterian Church in Odessa, Gainesville, Delhi, LA, Beaumont, Lafayette, Houston, and finally Dallas. She became interested in decorative painting, teaching for ten summers at the Hill Country Art Foundation. In 1974, LaLita and her sister Patsy began their journey specializing in Quimper antiques, making many trips to France. She is preceded in death by her parents, husband Floyd, sister Shirley and grandson Winston Taylor. Survived by her sons, Kent (Susan) Taylor of McKinney, Mike (Lisa) of Sherman, sister, Patsy McDonald, grandchildren Andrew, Erin, and Robert (Heidi), two great grand children Levi and Winona, as well as many nieces and nephews. Funeral services to honor and celebrate La's life to be held at Restland Funeral Home, Visitation at 9 a.m. and service to follow at 10 a.m. in Memorial Chapel, interment to follow.

She spent the next two years as executive assistant to the head of a New York City non-profit organization that sponsored international teacher and student exchanges. In April 1957 she accepted my unexpected invitation to a dance in Cambridge, MA. We got engaged shortly after I graduated from Harvard Law School that May, and were married in the Andover chapel that October.

Following an idyllic fall honeymoon in Vermont, we moved to Washington, DC where Noëlle worked for several years as principal assistant to the director of a non-profit think tank that facilitated testimony by private-sector experts at Congressional hearings on foreign-policy matters. During the 1960s, in the midst of nurturing our three children, Eric, Ned, and Julia, she earned a graduate degree in editing from American University in DC and launched a successful career as both a copy editor and a content editor.

In the busy decades that followed, she somehow found time to write three books herself: the first was a text book on the history, geography, economy, and people of Suriname; the second was a detailed description of the origin and layout of the Dumbarton Oaks Gardens in DC; and the third was entitled Literary Byways of Boston and Cambridge. The latter was a witty, informative guidebook to sites in those cities where noted literary figures had lived or worked, often with appropriate quotes from their works. More than 10,000 copies of the book have been sold since it was published in 1991. 

Until her mid-70s Noëlle was also an accomplished singer. As a soprano in the Harvard-Radcliffe Glee Club she toured the U.S. and after we settled in DC she sang for several decades with the National Cathedral Chorus, both in the cathedral and in secular venues. The highlight of her musical career was singing Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony before a huge outdoor audience in Warsaw’s Old Town Square.

For many years Noëlle anchored our relationship with friends and neighbors in the Cleveland Park area of DC. She was a superb cook who produced exceptional meals for small dinner parties in our home and mouthwatering rustic ones when we took weekend excursions with our children to our unelectrified cabin in West Virginia. She also masterminded the annual beach weeks that later brought our three children and nine grandchildren together at Bethany Beach on the Delaware shore.

After I retired from law practice in 1987, Noëlle played a major role in planning trips that took us abroad each year. She had long been a collector of antique pottery and decided to become a dealer in old French faience. For the next twenty-five years she took us to France once (or sometimes twice) each year to acquire inventory, which she then sold at East Coast antique fairs or on her website. Her business succeeded on all counts. We had a great time hunting for exceptional pieces of pottery throughout France, we ate extremely well en route, we developed enjoyable relationships with a number of her U.S. clients, and every tax return we filed during that period reported a net profit from the business.

Over time, our foreign travels took us to fifty-one other countries. Noëlle’s photographs and written accounts of many of those trips constitute a substantial bequest to our children and grandchildren.

When we reached our 80s and began to think about retirement communities, our Denver-based daughter scouted Balfour while it was still under construction and urged us to move here, which we did in October 2014 shortly after the building opened. Moving here when we did has proved to be one of the best decisions we ever made.   

In recent years, as she became aware that dementia was compromising her life, Noëlle remained her essential sweet self despite all the frustrations she faced. I loved her dearly and will miss her greatly.

                                                                                                                        G.W.B.

                                                                                                                        August 30, 2022

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JON SCARBOROUGH - Long standing members of Quimper Club International will remember fellow member Jon Scarborough.

 

Jon passed away peacefully on May 29, 2022. He had been in failing health in recent months and had been residing in Brooksby Village in Peabody MA.

Jon’s career involved his work in art and graphic design, photography. He also ran his own business, Purcell Pumps. He served as a member of the state Republican Committee and on many election campaigns as the graphics designer and advertising manager. Eventually this led him to the State House, where he worked as the Executive Assistant to Representative Bill Robinson, the Minority Whip in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He finished out his State Government service as the Executive Assistant to Nils Nordberg, the Commissioner of the Department of Education and Training and held that position until his retirement in 2000.

 

He leaves behind his wife of sixty years, Claire, and three daughters and two grandchildren

Jon’s Quimper collection was mostly centered on post war pieces (1950s).
 

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ELIZABETH NEW SEITZ - Jeanne Elizabeth New Seitz peacefully passed away on September 23, 2021, in Charleston, South Carolina, at the age of 56. Born in Dallas on December 18, 1964, Elizabeth graduated from Highland Park High School in 1983 and was a 1987 graduate of Vanderbilt University where she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. It was as an undergraduate in Aix-en-Provence with Vanderbilt-in-France that Elizabeth's lifelong love of the people, language and culture of France was born.

Elizabeth continued her passion for France by earning her M.A. and Ph.D. in French and Applied Linguistics from Vanderbilt and also studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and Parsons School of Design in New York. After teaching French language and culture as a professor at the University of North Texas, Elizabeth's career shifted to Dell and Texas Instruments. She then pursued her true passion and joie de vivre by founding French Affaires which celebrates French travel, language and culture.

Elizabeth's beautiful gardens in Dallas; Courances, France; and Bluffton, SC, were always to be envied. Additionally, she was a true gourmet chef with a focus on French cuisine - bien sur. Elizabeth had an amazing sense of style, also inspired by her love of France. As an avid runner, she successfully completed marathons in Dallas, New York and Boston. Elizabeth enjoyed playful walks with Marcel, her beloved French pointer. From a young age, Elizabeth cherished her faith that was a cornerstone throughout all her journeys.

HOLBERG, Ruth Allen Holberg was born October 27, 1929 in Crosbyton, Texas. A descendent of a pioneer west Texas family, Ruth spent her childhood throughout the state, and received her education in El Paso, Texas. Ruth grew up loving horses and the rodeo, and regularly competed in barrel racing competitions. In June 1951, Ruth married Mike H. Holberg and moved to Dallas, which she called home for the rest of her life. In Dallas, Ruth worked as an executive secretary for Stanley Marcus for two years before the birth of her daughter, Kristine, at which point she dedicated her time to being a loving mother. Ruth, Mike, and Kris spent their time off vacationing in Vail, Colorado where lifelong friends were made while skiing and playing tennis. Ruth loved to cook and entertain her and her daughter's friends, who knew her as the youthful, fun mom. After her daughter graduated from high school, Ruth began selling real estate before ending her working career at age 84 as a showroom manager for Old World Christmas at the World Trade Center. Ruth was an active member of her Delta Delta Delta alumni group, as well as Church of the Incarnation. If you were ever driving around town and saw someone with a license plate that read "GOOFUS" that was Ruth. Known by her grandchildren as "Ganny," Ruth lived her life the way she wanted to, with a classy demeanor, a great sense of humor, exquisite taste in fashion, and immense love for her family. Ruth passed away on January 31, 2021 after a brief illness. Ruth is survived by her daughter, Kris Graves, her grandchildren and their families, George Graves (Courtney) and Gretchen Manning (William), and her great-granddaughters, Olivia and Mills Manning and Sawyer Graves. A memorial service will be held in Ruth's honor on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 3 PM, at Church of the Incarnation, 3966 McKinney Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75204. In lieu of flowers, Ruth requested that donations be made to Church of the Incarnation at incarnation.org.

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Nancy C. Muller

West Bloomfield - Nancy C. Muller (nee Sessel) passed away peacefully on November 8, 2020 at the age of 87. She is survived by her children, Micahel, Gregory (Jackie), Martha (Craig Ricklin), Timothy, Mary, John (Joan), Christopher, and Joseph; grandchildren, Max Vernon, Kathryn, Kristine, Hannah, and Henry; and brother, Marcus Sessel (Joan). She was preceded in death by her former husband, John and daughter, Catherine. Due to COVID-19 precautions, private services were held at St. Paul on the Lake Catholic Church in Grosse Pointe Farms with interment at Guardian Angel Cemetery in Rochester. In lieu of flowers, memorail contributions may be made to: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Arrangements entrusted to Chas. Verheyden, Inc. www.verheyden.org     

We are sad to announce that Millicent Mali, died unexpectedly on September 16, 2020, after a short illness. She was surrounded by her children David and Laura and her husband Pierre.

Millie was fond of Quimper and the many friends who shared her passion. A collector of French Faience for over forty-five years and an avid researcher, Millicent authored three books, Quimper Faïence (1979), French Faïence, Fantasie et Populaire of the 19th and 20th Centuries (1986) and CA: A French Faïence breakthrough (2000). She also wrote and produced the Old
Quimper Review (1990 - 2004). Many of her articles and essays were reproduced in the Quimper Club International Journal. Millie was a charter member of and served as Vice President on the original Board of Directors of Quimper Club International. Her advice, mentorship, and friendship were invaluable to the organization through-out the decades. 

Recently, I learned that Pierre Mali, Millicent "Millie" Mali's husband, had passed away. Millie & Pete's daughter, Laura, said she and her brother held a joint memorial service after their dad's death which was about 9 months after Millie's passing.  They thought it fitting to hold a joint memorial service for the devoted couple.

 

Laura has been scheduled to speak to the Pottery and Porcelain Club of Rhode Island about her mother's studies and work. Later this fall, Laura wants to learn more about her mother's work, and continue some projects Millie had begun.

Susan Cox 

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Photo: L-R. Patricia Hull, Millicent Mali, Sandra Bondhus

On October 15, 2017, members met at the home of Sandra Bondhus to honor Millicent Mali as a QCI “Legend of Faience”.

Patricia Hull
President, Quimper Club International

A Tribute to Jean-Claude Euzet (en Francais and English)
1943-2019
GRECB has decided to republish his article
"CERAMICS AT THE 1885 EXHIBITION"
which appears in no 8 (year 1986) of the GRECB1 bulletin. This relevant work continues to retain its importance today, capturing and supporting the spirit of the 2019 annual exhibition.
Being a tireless explorer of archives, Jean-Claude had examined, among other things, the regional newspapers in search of the daily life before 1914 in Beauvais and its region. This was the source of many especially important publications for both GRECB, GEMOB2 and other publications including the "Chronicles of Beauvaisian Life" in the Couleurs-Mag magazine (2013-2014).

Read More

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Desvres faïence specialist François Piton has notified the QCI that sadly, M. Claude Fourmaintraux, former manager of the famous La Poterie faïence factory in Desvres, died this August at age 98. Claude descended from a rich tradition of ceramists originally from Lille, including Antoine-Joseph Fourmaintraux (1728-1792), his son FrançoisJoseph Fourmaintraux (1764-1841) who moved to Desvres and established the family there, Louis-François Fourmaintraux (1802-1885), Emile Fourmaintraux (1857-1929) who founded the La Poterie factory, and Gabriel Fourmaintraux (1886-1984), Claude’s father. Claude studied as a young man in Desvres, Boulogne-sur-Mer and Malicorne, and in 1941 after WWII, he joined his father to help resurrect a factory that had been badly damaged during the German occupation. In 1946 Claude became the Technical Director under his father Gabriel and along with his brother-in-law Daniel Dutertre, the factory gained prosperity and acclaim. Claude’s brilliant father Gabriel was well known for his porcelain creations, especially miniatures, as well as crackleware. 
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Longtime QCI member Diane Dannelly Robinson passed away in Plano, Texas, on May 26, 2020. 

Born and raised in Dallas, Diane graduated from Principia College in Elsah, Illinois. She enjoyed horseback riding, swimming, playing golf and was devoted to her family.

Meeting the love of her life on a New Year’s Eve blind date, Diane married William “Jack” Robinson in May 1964. Diane and Jack moved to Oklahoma City for a time, but eventually returned to the Dallas area.

Diane was active in her church, serving on committees and teaching Sunday School classes. While Diane enjoyed knitting, she was also an avid and accomplished needle-pointer.  Working with her sister, they founded “et cetera”, a needlepoint design business, creating and painting original needlepoint canvases and selling to retail shops around the U.S.  She enjoyed traveling with Jack across the U.S., Canada and England, but she especially enjoyed many trips to France.  Diane was instrumental in helping Lucy Williams and Katie Wiggins Sledge, founders of The Quimper Club International, by serving on the bylaws committee and serving for many years as the treasurer and secretary of the organization. During many trips to France with Jack, her sister or friends, she accumulated a large collection of French faience and antiques through which, she met and enjoyed many new friends throughout North America, the U.K., and Europe.  A friend to all, always eager to help a friend with her steady hand, patience, wisdom and a smile on her face, Diane will be missed.

Diane was predeceased by “Jack” Robinson her husband of 55 years and is survived by sons Stuart and Mark Robinson, a daughter-in-law and two grandchildren and sister, Susan Cox, also a member of QCI. 

A memorial service will be held at Third Church of Christ, Scientist in Dallas on a future date when churches are once again open for services. Diane will be laid to rest with her husband Jack, on Tuesday, June 2, at the DFW National Cemetery in Dallas.

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Long-time QCI member Ginny To passed away peacefully at home in Fremont, California on August 3, 2018 after an illness of several years. Ginny joined the Quimper Club in 2001 and was an ardent collector of Quimper and Desvres faïences. 

In addition to collecting faïence, she loved to garden, care for her Chihuahuas, swim, and sing karaoke. She spoke French and traveled to France frequently for QCI meetings, to visit family and to purchase faïence. For those fortunate to know her, she was a lovely and generous person. Family and friends will miss her dearly. May the shelves and walls of heaven be lined with French faïence for Ginny!

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Qclub member Maggie Calkins has sent the sad news that her mother and fellow Quimper collector, Ann Calkins passed away on Sept 12th. She will be missed by family and friends alike.

You can read the entire obituary on this link: https://obits.cleveland.com/obituaries/cleveland/obituary.aspx?n=ann-calkins&pid=193945300

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