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Frederic Courcelle de Sibert

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Frederic Courcelle  de Sibert Obituary
Frederic Courcelle de Sibert
September 27, 1930 ~ January 10, 2011

MONTEREY, CA - Frederic Courcelle de Sibert passed away on January 10, 2011 at his home, after an extended but peaceful illness. He was 80 years old.
Fred, as he was known to friends and family, was born on September 27, 1930 in Geneva, Switzerland. He was the only child of Baron Pierre de Sibert of Paris, France and Dorothy Colford of New York, NY. Fred spent his early childhood in Geneva and then his parents moved to New York in 1936. After his parents' divorce in 1937, he spent the remainder of his childhood in France with his beloved father. They would remain very close throughout Fred's life, and his father, a highly decorated hero of two world wars, was an exemplary role model throughout Fred's life.
In 1947, after obtaining his French Baccalaureate, Fred made his maiden flight, leaving France for the United States in order to attend Princeton University via the Lawrenceville School. It was the beginning of a love affair with aviation that would last throughout his life. Fred graduated from Princeton in 1953 with a B.S. in aeronautical engineering, and then served in the United States Army as a helicopter pilot. During an extended tour of duty in Germany, Chief Warrant Officer de Sibert flew multiple life-saving missions and saw unofficial, but very real, action in Algeria, where he was a U.S. technical advisor to the French Air Force.
It was during Fred's European tour that he met the love of his life, Marie-France Gadala, in Paris. They were married shortly after his return from Algeria, and their first child, Isabelle, was born in Germany in 1957. Soon thereafter the young family moved to Connecticut where Fred began his career at Sikorsky, working as a flight test engineer under the legendary Igor Sikorsky. Their second child, Geoffrey, was born in 1959, and shortly thereafter the family returned to Paris. Fred would spend almost 20 years at Sikorsky; he was first involved in the design and then the marketing and sales of the S-61, S-64 "SkyCrane" and S-65 "Jolly Green Giant" helicopters and was eventually head of Sikorsky's European Operations. In 1971 a third child, Christopher, was born in Paris, where the family lived until 1980 when Fred retired. Once again the family crossed the Atlantic to settle in Woodside, CA where they would spend the next 20 years and where Fred served for some 10 years on the Woodside ASRB and Planning Commission. He especially enjoyed translating the epic works on Napoleon Bonaparte for the eminent historian, Proctor Jones. In 2001 Fred and Marie-France moved to the Monterey Peninsula.
Fred is survived by his beloved wife of 54 years, Marie-France; their three children and spouses: Mr. and Mrs. GŽrard Dusastre (Isabelle, nŽe de Sibert), Mr. and Mrs. Geoffrey de Sibert (Isabella, nŽe von Kotze), and Mr. and Mrs. Christopher de Sibert (ElŽonore, nŽe Valais). He also leaves six grandchildren: Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Dusastre, Quentin, Charles and Melody Dusastre and Frederic and Charlotte de Sibert.
A Funeral Mass will be held at the Carmel Mission Basilica on Saturday, January 15, 2011 at 11:00am, and a Memorial Service will be held at the Woodside Priory School, in Portola Valley, California, on Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 11:00am.
The family requests that no flowers be sent; a donation in lieu of flowers may be made to the breast cancer foundation chaired by Fred's daughter, Isabelle at: www.kellyshiresfoundation.org.

Published in The Monterey Herald on Jan. 13, 2011
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