It is with profound sadness that I announce that former American Club of Paris President Stephanie Simonard passed away on Easter Sunday, April 4th.
Stephanie was the quintessential, dedicated and committed American expat in France. I had the immense pleasure of getting to know Stephanie shortly after my arrival in Paris in 1990 and could not imagine expat life without her presence. She came to Paris to study back in 1971 and like so many college girls fell for a charming French man. After graduation from Sweet Briar College, she made her way back to Paris to get married and to launch a 20-year career at KPMG Peat Marwick. As soon as she was admitted to the Paris bar, she opened her own firm, specializing in International Tax Law. This was professional Stephanie, but it was personal Stephanie whom I admired so.
Not content with simply advising clients on tax issues, she saw the importance of advocacy and thus became not just involved with AARO (Association of American Residents Overseas) but was President from 1981-1987. The list of clubs and associations that Stephanie not only supported but chaired is long: member and former Regent of the Rochambeau Chapter of DAR (1993-1996), DAR State Regent France, American Chamber of Commerce France (AmCham) Board Member, The American Cathedral Vestry (1982-1992), World Federation of Americans Overseas (founding co-chair 1991). Stephanie was the American Club of Paris’s first female President (1989-1991). She was also my sponsor when I joined in 2000. I poignantly remember her expressing some concern that I might not be able to afford some of the events but approved my application nonetheless and encouraged me to get involved in the Club. I think she would be proud of how involved I became just as I am proud to carry the torch she lit.
All of us long term expats owe Stephanie a debt of gratitude for all she did for the community.
Our hearts go out to her husband of 48 years, Baudoin Simonard, their three daughters as well as their grandchildren. A service will be held at the American Cathedral in the near future, and we will advise you of the details.
To our dear friend, we say Adieu. Rest in peace. You will be long remembered.