Our cherished friend, mother, grandmother and great grandmother lived a long and extraordinary life. Born in Ogden, Utah, she also lived in San Francisco, Washington DC, and then in Paris, France where she became an international expert on psychological rehabilitation. She then returned to live in Salt Lake city with family.
In the early 1970s, she was asked by the American Cancer Society to establish a program called Reach to Recovery in Europe. This program served women who had been operated for breast cancer, in a time when there was no reconstruction and "cancer" was a taboo word. Francine started the program in France, and went on to train thousands of volunteers in 39 countries to visit these patients and show by example that one could live a healthy life after cancer surgery. She was frequently invited to speak on psychological rehabilitation from cancer, and was often the only non-physician speaker at medical congresses. Francine went on to receive many honors, including France's Ordre du Mérite and her favorite, a tree garden named after her in Jerusalem.
Francine is survived by her two daughters, Jody Olsen and Francine Mahak (son David passed away in his youth), as well as Jody's children David Olsen and Kirsten Anderson, Francine's children Nima, Soroosh, and Cameron Mahak, and 4 great-grandchildren. She was also close to her sons-in-law Robert Olsen and Vali Mahak, to her sister-in-law Joyce Evans, and to her nieces Vicki Quan, Susie Scherr, and Anne Burgess.
She remained extraordinarily youthful throughout her 96 years, and somehow her mind and spirit never aged. Her friends and family all deeply miss her grace, kindness, wisdom, and humor.
A memorial will be held on Friday, October 11, 2019 from 6:00-8:00 pm at Starks Funeral Parlor, 3651 South 900 East, Salt Lake City. Guests are encouraged to use the complimentary valet parking on the north side of the building.
Please check back soon for tribute video.