Jeannine Yvonne Frantz passed away on November 24, 2020 in her home surrounded by her family. She was born in Paris, France on September 9, 1927. Her beloved parents, Jean Henri Frantz and Genevieve Goujat Frantz, better known as Papé et Mamé, had a huge influence on her and her descendants. Her brother Jacques was her protector and mentor, almost another parent more than a big brother.
Jeannine loved the piano and took classical lessons starting at an early age. Her goal was to attend the Conservatoire de Paris and become a professional classic pianist. However, marriage intervened soon after the war ended and took priority over a musical career. At 18 years old, she married Claude Jacquemin, a friend and school mate of her brother, who was serving in the Free French Army under General Patton. As she described it, once she was married her primary goal quickly shifted from making music to raising children.
She continued to play her favorite Chopin, Beethoven and Debussy pieces for many years. Her children remember growing up to the melodious sound of classical piano. They all remember her total concentration as she played, often accompanied by a tell-tale chewing of her right cheek. Music remained an important part of her life and attending concerts a lifelong pursuit.
In 1952 Jeannine, Claude and their two and a half children made the major decision to leave France for a new life in America. They assimilated well and fell in love with this country. Within a few years they had three more children.
Life changed when they divorced in 1960, and Jeannine was remarried to John Guttridge. Her sixth and seventh children were born from this union. That marriage ended in 1973.
When the children were young, day trips to the Jersey shore were a treat, complete with picnic lunches of cold chicken and hardboiled eggs. Later there were many glorious week-long stays at a rental house in Avalon.
When her son, John, took his family on regular Colorado dude ranch vacations, she was always included. No one could get her on a horse, but she loved mountain hiking and just being with family. Two other loves of hers were planting lovely flower gardens and working diligently to keep them healthy and beautiful, and caring for her very special and affectionate cat, Callie.
Jeanine loved to ski. Beginning at a young age, she traveled with her parents and brother to the French Alps. After emigrating to the U.S. there was a long hiatus from her beloved sport. In her forties she joined a local ski club in Pennsylvania and introduced her then eight-year old son Eric to the sport, taking him first to local slopes, then out west and eventually on to the Alps.
Skiing and many friendships were not the only benefit of being in the ski club as it was there that she met Greg Chesmar. Their new friendship soon turned serious and became a life partnership of 42 years. They lived a full life together, sharing a love not only of skiing, but of concerts, operas, and French restaurants. She and Greg both loved to travel, visiting many countries and states over the years. Many of their trips were to France to visit Jeannine’s relatives and friends. They continued to travel abroad together until her late ‘80’s. Her son Eric and his partner Craig accompanied her and Greg on several European vacations to Portugal, Italy and many France trips, one of which was an 88th birthday celebration in the south of France that included her French nieces and nephew and all of their children.
Jeannine’s children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren truly appreciated her unconditional acceptance and love, which she freely gave in large doses, just like Papé and Mamé had done with all their family. She made each grandchild and great-grand child feel like they were the only one.
She will be immensely missed by her partner Greg and his four children, 10 grandchildren and three great grandchildren and by sons John and Eric; daughters Vicki, Carole, Christine and Daphne; grandchildren Jamie, Lori, Danielle, Andrew, Shawn, Juliana, Olivia, Derick, Christopher and Marissa; great grandchildren Makayla, Daisha, Delaney and Dade. Her second son, Phillippe, predeceased her. She will also be missed by her family in France, including her nephews and nieces Eric Frantz and spouse Alyat, Catherine Frantz and Corinne Frantz; great-nephews and great-nieces Camelia, Dahlia, Morgan, Nicolas, David, Anouk and great-great-nephew and nieces Rafael, Louise and Shirley.”
The family is planning a celebration of life event later in 2021. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Jeannine’s name to The Bucks County Housing Group at https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/weblink.aspx?name=E115143&id=2