1929 - 2013 STOCKBRIDGE Primm Turner ffrench, 84, passed away peacefully and unexpectedly on April 30, 2013, at home.
She was born in Richmond, Va.,, on March 9, 1929, daughter of Doris Bryant Turner and James Turner. Primm was a descendent of William Cullen Bryant noted American poet and journalist. The daughter of a salesman, she attended 12 different schools, graduating high school at 16.
Her teaching career began at age 20 after graduating from the University of Mary Washington. She taught throughout the state of Virginia before the civil rights movement and was a strong proponent for equality.
Primm studied pottery at the Istituto Istatle in Florence, Italy, where she met her future husband of nearly 50 years, John ffrench.
She taught at Williams School in Stockbridge where she was the K-12 art teacher for several years before they were married in 1963. John and Primm spent their first six years of their marriage in Arklow, Co. Wicklow, Ireland where their three daughters were born. She wrote a monthly column for the Berkshire Eagle while living abroad.
Primm and her young family immigrated to Stockbridge in 1969 where she and John had secured art teaching jobs at the newly formed Berkshire Hills Regional School District. Primm was Art Department Supervisor until her retirement in 1992. She was awarded Outstanding Educator of the Visual Arts in Massachusetts in 1985.
In 1972 Primm and John started the Dolphin Studio where they created a hand silk-screened calendar which is now in its 42nd year. In addition to being a wonderful teacher, Primm was a masterful painter, teacher, mosaic artist, screen printer, collage, and textile artist.
She had a terrific gift for friendship which she maintained with countless past students and many others throughout her life. People said she had the best laugh. She loved music, reading, her grandchildren and travelled extensively, spending her summers in Ireland.
Primm is survived by three daughters and their families. Sofia (Pat) Hughes and daughters Lily and Jamie of Stockbridge, Crispina (Chris) Swindlehurst, son, Ben and daughters Lucy and Violet of Becket, and Felicitas ffrench, a resident of Timberlyn Heights in Great Barrington.
FUNERAL NOTICE: Services will be Tuesday, May 7, at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph's Church on Elm Street in Stockbridge, celebrated by Father Jerry Finnegan. A gathering will follow at the Red Lion Inn.
Donations in Primm's memory may be made to the Activities Department at Timberlyn Heights 320 Maple Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230.
WELLINGTON FUNERAL HOME, 220 East St., Pittsfield, MA 01201 is in charge of arrangements.
Published in The Berkshire Eagle on May 4, 2013