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Genevieve "Genie" di San Faustino

Death Notice
12 entries
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PhotoGenie di San Faustino loved life, loved people, loved new ideas, loved cooking, loved to travel, and despised growing old. She was born October 14, 1919, the older of two daughters of Genevieve Bothin Lyman and Edmunds Lyman, and she led life to the absolute fullest. Genie graduated from Santa Barbara Girls School and then, after a year spent in Germany in 1937, she returned home to attend Dominican College. In 1940 she married Alexander Casey, by whom she had her two sons, Michael and Lyman. In 1958 she married Prince Ranieri di San Faustino with whom she spent nineteen wonderful years before his death in 1977. During the 1940s, Genie and her friend, Jean Mailliard, founded Casey and Mailliard (later Genevieve Casey and Associates) which, over the next several decades, became the pre-eminent real estate brokerage firm dealing in homes in Pacific Heights and other northern San Francisco neighborhoods. Meanwhile, her own home became a gathering spot for friends, old and new, who enjoyed lively conversation and spectacular cuisine. Although never formally published, about two hundred fifty of her close friends and family members cherish their copies of the cookbook she wrote in 2002. That book, a compilation of her favorite recipes. was also an autobiographical journey through a lifetime of memories set around the culinary delights she so loved and the great chefs - James Beard, Chuck Williams (of whose Williams Sonoma she was an initial investor) and MFK Fisher to name just three) in whose kitchens she studied. But it was people and ideas which Genie really craved. She had friends all over the world with whom she stayed in touch, and her philanthropy was always directed to the newest and brightest initiatives. Proud of her service as a director of the Bothin Foundation (the last thirty years as its President), she never tired of challenging staff and other directors alike to seek out new and better ways to improve the lives of others less fortunate. Genie cherished close friends, particularly those who sought to make a difference in the world. One such friendship was the close bond she developed with Jane Goodall. She had met Jane on one of her many trips to Africa, and that chance meeting led Genie, in 1977, to become the founding President of the Jane Goodall Institute, an organization which she continued to support for the rest of her life. Like her grandmother and her mother before her, Genie served for years on the Board of Directors of Childrens Hospital before its merger with CPMC. She also served for many years on the Boards of the San Francisco Symphony, the Conservatory of Music, the Fine Arts Museums, On Lok Senior Health Services, the St. Francis Memorial Hospital Foundation, and the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation, of which she was a founder. Genie was active to the end. At age ninety, her dinner calendar was still filled weeks ahead. She played bridge regularly, was an inveterate reader, loved her garden which was visited by garden clubs around the world, and was still taking French lessons a month before she died. She was also enormously appreciative of the efforts of her caregivers, Sing, Marites, Sue, and George. Genie is survived by her sons, Michael (Jeanie) and Lyman (Carol), as well as five grandchildren (Shannon, Kimberly, Lyman, Charlie, and Kate) and twelve great grandchildren. She also leaves a stepson, Montino Bourbon, as well as five nephews and nieces and their families. A memorial service will be held at Grace Cathedral on Friday, March 25th at 11:00 AM. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made in Genie's honor to either the Jane Goodall Institute, 4245 N. Fairfax Dr., #600, Arlington, VA 22203, or to the Bothin Burn Center, c/o The St. Francis Hospital Foundation, 900 Hyde St., San Francisco 94109.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Mar. 13 to Mar. 14, 2011
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