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Simonne Christiaens Hartley

September 30, 1923 April 7, 2020
Simonne Christiaens Hartley
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Obituary for Simonne Christiaens Hartley

Simonne Christiaens Hartley of Warren and Little Compton died peacefully on April 7, 2020 at the age of 96. Born in Brussels, Belgium, she was the daughter of Robert F. and Marguerite N. Christiaens. Simonne attended the University of Brussels, where she was a member of the crew team. She met and married her husband of sixty years, Philip Arthur Hartley, in Brussels during World War II. Following the war, Simonne immigrated to the United States, and spent the majority of her adult life living in Barrington and spending summers in Little Compton. Simonne was a member of the Rhode Island Country Club and the Sakonnet Golf Club, and was an active contributor and member of the Alliance Francaise de Providence.
A life-long lover of opera and travel, Simonne returned to her beloved Brussels every year well into her eighties. She adored animals of all kinds, often nursing and caring for multiple pets at home, and volunteering at the Animal Rescue League. Arguably ahead of her time, Simonne was a quiet but steadfast advocate of civil liberties and women’s rights, and took a great deal of pride in her ability to complete crossword puzzles.
In addition to her husband, Simonne was predeceased by her daughter, Marguerite Hartley Nolan. She is survived by her three granddaughters: Suzanne Nolan Vinson, Caroline Christiaens Nolan and Danielle Nolan McGonegal, their father, John B. Nolan and their respective spouses: James H. Vinson, Benjamin H. Barlow and Kevin P. McGonegal. She also leaves six great-grandchildren – Jack, Lucas, Charlie, Ellie, Eli and Ryan – who added a lot of laughter, artwork (and noise) to the final years of her life.
A memorial service celebrating her life will be scheduled once the COVID-19 crisis has passed. Memorial contributions in her honor can be made to the Providence Animal Rescue League, 34 Elbow St, Providence, RI 02903 or Friends of Little Compton Nursing Association, 115 East Main Road, Little Compton, RI 02837.

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