Francine Suzanne Tremblay

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Obituary


Francine Suzanne Tremblay

Francine Suzanne Tremblay, 90, of Everett, died peacefully May 11, 2011. She was born January 16, 1921 in Chicago, Illinois to Louis and Louise Fabian. Her mother died when she was only three years old. In her late teens she and her two sisters often took the El to downtown Chicago to see the opera. Like fashionable young women of the time, they wore beautiful hats and lovely dresses. In her late teens she worked as a window dresser where her obvious artistic skills were showcased. Not much later she was hired as a gift wrapper and window dresser at Stop and Shop in Chicago where her talent did not go unnoticed.
Relocating to California in 1949 she contracted with the San Pedro Fisherman's Fiesta to hand-paint a number of five foot tall signs to greet arriving visitors. They were beautiful. The theme she chose was her own original anthropomorphized version of a tuna in festive garb with each sign being unique. The Star-Kist Charlie the Tuna did not come along for ten or more years.
A circuitous series of events landed her in Beverly Hills, CA where she opened a gourmet foods shop on Brighton Way called the Elves' Pantry. It was short-lived but she had been noticed. In 1954 Linny's of Beverly Hills hired her and quickly recognized that she was a Gift Designer extraordinaire, and as such, an asset in catering to the Hollywood elite. She was given full rein. Francine enjoyed creating phenomenal one-of-a kind gourmet gift packages for famous patrons like Kirk and Anne Douglas, James and Pamela Mason and John Payne (Miracle on 34th Street).
During her tenure at Linny's she revolutionized gift-wrapping on multiple levels and was a catalyst for pre-packaged bows and gift wrap.
By this time Francine had been in two ill-fated marriages that ended in divorce, but blessed her with two children.
Francine's journey through life led her to New Jersey in 1960 where she met her soul mate and the love of her life, Paul Tremblay. He was 15 years younger and they were married until his death in 1994. Paul was an engineer for the US Army and in his spare time was in a jazz trio, playing keyboard and standing bass.
They enjoyed vacationing in the Berkshires and New England. They were both gourmet cooks and excelled in various artistic mediums. Francine wrote many recipes and was an avid contest-enterer at this time. She won many honors. Most memorable was an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Paris to the La Varenne Gourmet cooking school.
Francine belonged to a garden club and studied for three years to become a garden show judge. Self-educated, she was a voracious reader and had a marvelous command of the English language. She was a superb Scrabble player.
Francine moved to Everett, WA after the death of her husband, Paul, to be near her children.
She is preceded in death by both her parents; her two sisters; her husband; and a grandson.
Francine is survived by her son, Lewis Carlson; her daughter, Linda Carlson; four grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; seven nieces; and one nephew.
She was loved and will be missed.
About a month before her death she said, "I've led an interesting and good life, haven't I? When I die, don't cry for me. Celebrate the good things that I did and forgive what I did wrong."



Published in The Herald (Everett) from May 15 to May 17, 2011
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