Obituary of Mauricette Anna Germaine Dieudonne Olsen
Mauricette passed away on the morning of June 3, 2021, at the age of 100. She lived in good health until the end.
Mauricette, a French and American citizen, was born in St. Dizier, France, on April 21, 1921, to Maurice Gaston and Cécile (Mess) Dieudonné and is the youngest of three daughters. Her father had always wished for a son to be named after himself and when his third child is again a girl, he cannot resist and names her Mauricette. Much to his pleasure, Mauricette is an active child and loves to climb the trees in their yard to keep him entertained.
The three sisters lose their parents at a young age and grow up quickly. Mauricette is only 8 when her mother dies and 17 when her father passes. When WWII breaks out, she is barely 19 and though she was born and raised in the Paris region, the two younger sisters, Mauricette and Simone, move to Marseille, a Mediterranean harbor city, in the south of France where they join their older sister, Yvonne, who had already moved south as German presence there was less concentrated. Yvonne sadly is killed during this time and leaves behind a son, Serge, who, only 2 years prior, had lost his father, Max, as well. He is adopted by Micheline (Mimi) and Marius Audibert but Mauricette and Simone remain close to their nephew all their lives.
It is here, in the south of France, where Mauricette meets Paul Harvey Poisson, an American MP from MA who spoke French fluently. They married, had two sons, Guy and Maurice, and move to Brooklyn, NY, in 1951. Simone follows her own path in life and remains in France, close to Serge and the Audiberts.
When Mauricette leaves France, she is a ceramics decorator but since there is no market for her skill in Brooklyn, NY, she works as a waitress at the Army’s Officer’s Club and takes night classes so she can learn the English language properly and land herself an office job.
Paul, still active in the United States Army, returns to France (to build up Europe after the destruction of WWII) whereafter he is stationed in Japan and Korea (Korean War). The marriage ends when Maurice is a teenager. Mauricette has been through worse in her life, so she holds things together and raises her boys by herself.
Her first office job is at a brokerage firm, but she eventually lands herself a job at The Swiss Bank Corporation where she rises up the ladder and is instrumental in organizing and supervising a new Data Entry department that would facilitate the new SWIFT system, a new global financial messaging service, and a common language for international financial messaging. Mauricette loves her job but when, after 13 years, the bank offers early retirement to a handful of employees, Mauricette jumps at the opportunity and retires early.
In the years that follow Mauricette frequently vacations in France with her sister and nephew.
At the age of 80, she moves to Peekskill from Brooklyn to be closer to her son Maurice and his wife Lucia Poisson. Her other son, Guy, lives in Wisconsin with his family and he and his wife, Judy, come to see her when they can. Then, at the age of 90, Maurice and Lucia build an addition to their house so that she can move in with them and be properly cared for. Her sister Simone, who was living with Serge, dies at the age of 93 in 2012, and Mauricette braces for the end but it is another 9 years, at the marvelous age of 100, before she follows those who have gone before her.
Mauricette always knew how to laugh and was full of love and life. She was also self-disciplined, tough, and brave when she needed to be. She embraced her last few years with acceptance and courage. She read novel after novel, watched her favorite tv shows, colored with pencils, and did word puzzles daily. She read the newspaper every day and made plenty of remarks about the politics of the day! She also knitted scarves and blankets and everyone who knows her and visited her was gifted at least one of her scarfs. On her 100th birthday, her phone rang all day and she was very happy. She described that day as the best birthday ever!
Mauricette is survived by her sons Maurice and Guy, their wives Lucia and Judy, her two granddaughters Simone and Michelle, her great-grandchildren Emma, Will, and Hope, and her nephew Serge.
There is plenty to learn from a woman who has spanned a century and she will never be forgotten and greatly missed by all whose hearts she touched. C’est la vie! Vive la vie!