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Denise Francoise France (née Henry), born September 4, 1923, died August 25 at Sibley Memorial Hospital, surrounded by her family. She grew up in Paris, living through the German Occupation. She met her husband, Boyd France, in 1947 at the Paris Bureau of Reuters. They honeymooned on the Mediterranean coast, where Boyd was covering the saga of the ship Exodus, which famously tried to bring Jewish refugees to Palestine. He got a scoop by getting on board the ship. Denise got the story out by holding open the only public phone in tiny Port de Bouc (with a bartender's help).
They moved to Washington in 1951, where they raised their children (Cathie, Linda, Bruce and Steve) in Kensington, MD. Denise loved teaching French. She first taught in the FLES Program (Foreign Language in the Public Schools). In 1968 she went on to the National Cathedral School, where she shared her delight in French language and culture until 1987.
In 1999, Denise and Boyd moved to Cabin John, MD, where she enjoyed the river and the C&O Canal and lived close to two of her children. She was widowed in 2009 but was able to live independently until her death. She is survived by her four children, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, who will miss her humor, wit, honesty, style and je ne sais quoi.
There will be a memorial on Saturday, October 6, at 2 pm, in the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, 6201 Dunrobbin Drive, Bethesda, with a reception to follow at Denise's home.

Published in The Washington Post on Sept. 6, 2018