Colette Marie Parsons
Colette Marie Parsons
Colette Marie Parsons of Merrill Gardens in Sonoma, died surrounded by family April 27, 2012, in Sonoma. The only child of Count Emmanuel and Jeanne Francoise (Galloy) de Lapersonne, she was born March 23, 1931, and raised on her family’s banana plantation in Guadeloupe.
During World War II, German blockades forced islanders to subsist on fish and bananas, so Colette’s family fled to Casablanca. During Colette’s teen years, her father’s work as a French government soil scientist took the family to Cameroon; there Colette enjoyed her first pets – a black leopard and several monkeys.
Colette moved to Nice in her 20s where she pursued her life-long love of food through Le Cordon Bleu culinary classes. There she also met John C. Parsons, a USAF navigator from North Carolina, at a USO social. They married in 1957, moved to America in 1959, and had two children. They divorced in 1971.
Following the divorce, Colette lived in North Carolina, South Carolina and Atlanta, where she built a computer analyst career, which she pursued into her early 70s. In 2007, she moved to Sonoma to be closer to her only grandchild.
Colette’s intelligence and logic were evident early in her life. After learning to read French at age 4, she first devoured the family’s French literature, then tackled American classic, “Gone with the Wind,” teaching herself English using a French-English dictionary. Books remained her lifelong pleasure; she rarely left the house without a novel bulging from her purse.
Recognizing Colette’s mathematical aptitude, her father, an accomplished bridge player, introduced her to cards at a young age. Colette became a highly skilled, lifelong board game and card enthusiast, excelling at duplicate bridge, a passion she pursued through four Sonoma clubs.
Colette was laid to rest in Mountain Cemetery, Sonoma.
She is survived by daughter, Patricia, and son-in-law LTC Ian Hyslop, of Eldridge, Iowa; and son John, daughter-in-law Ellen, and granddaughter Dominique Parsons, of Belvedere.
Donations may be sent to Sonoma County Public Library Foundation, 211 E St., Santa Rosa, CA 95404 with the notation “for Sonoma branch, in honor of Colette Parsons.”
Duggan’s Mission Chapel
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