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Cecile Rose Danehy

October 20, 2019
Cecile Rose Danehy
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Obituary for Cecile Rose Danehy

Cécile Danehy of Rumford passed away on Sunday, October 20 in Providence, RI.

She was born Cécile Rose Vernier in Casablanca, Morocco. At age five, her family moved to Dijon, France, where she would grow up. She is survived by siblings Michel, Philippe, Christine, and Dominique.

In 1977, she became an RA at Colgate University’s French house. It was there that she (literally) stumbled upon her future husband, John; they first met when she came bowling down the stairs and into the kitchen.

She received her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, and became a professor of French language and literature at Middlebury College. It was in Vermont that Cécile and John had their son Errol.

In 1998, Cécile and her family moved to Rumford, RI. She began teaching at Wheaton College, where she would work for the next 20 years. During her time there, she was an executive committee member of the International Comic Arts Forum (ICAF) from 1997-2011.

Among other things, Cécile loved sewing and knitting, the New York Times Crossword, idiomatic phrases, and a strange British spread called Marmite. Her sayings—most of which were in French—can’t be translated because they don’t make sense in French to begin with. That never bothered her; the less sense she made, the more fun she had.

Cécile was also an avowed Anglophile. Some of her favorite memories came from a semester working at the University of Sussex. Exploring ruined castles and sites like Stonehenge left a lasting impression, and fed her interests in fantasy and ancient languages. Eventually, she even read and translated the original text of Beowulf.

Her home was in America, her mind was (sometimes) in England or Ireland, but her soul was in France. Throughout her 40 years in America, she retained her French citizenship, and proudly raised her son as equal parts American and Frenchman. And like a true Frenchwoman, she never let go of her dignity.

In the end, what Cécile loved most were her family and friends. Both in America and in Europe, she will be missed and celebrated.

A service will be held at the St. Margaret Church, Pawtucket Ave., Rumford at 10 am on Saturday, November 2. Flowers may be sent to the church, or memorial gifts in her name may be made to the Natural Resources Defense Council (www.nrdc.org), or the Environmental Defense Fund (www.edf.org) to support their environmental efforts.


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