Marta Francois

With great sadness, we announce the passing of Marta Francois, who passed away on March 31, 2022, peacefully at her home at the age of 83 after a short illness.

Marta was born in Philadelphia, Pa., and her first introduction to the Virgin Islands came in the early 1960s. She fell in love with St. Thomas, and it has been her home ever since.  Over the years, Marta displayed her bookkeeper knowledge and excellent customer service skills and talents at Zora’s, Cavanaugh’s, Dr. Pomerantz Dental Office, and Glen’s Gifts and Bags. She also demonstrated her administrative abilities at Francois and Associates and the Catholic Diocese of the Virgin Islands. She was an active member of the Catholic Diocese of the Virgin Islands and worked closely with Bishop Elliott Thomas, who is now deceased. She was also an instructor for the RCIA program, a gradual communal program for formal initiation into the Catholic Church.

Marta was very giving, free-spirited, well-read, and well-traveled. She loved St. Thomas and the beautiful people she met over the years. She was a true conversationalist and was always passionate about having conversations with her friends, family, or anyone who crossed her path.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Alberta Marie Ostertag Halvin of Philadelphia and Gerald Halvin of Glasgow, Scotland; sister, Drue Havlin; very special friend, Eunice Best; and special cousins, Jean and Peter McCall. She was twice widowed by Victor Harry Francois and Rufus Bellot.

She is survived by her adopted daughter, Nellie C. Varlack; cousins, Claire and Carlos Nogerol, Joaquin and Simon Noguerol, Guy Antonio, Franz and Kaleen Ostertag, Fred and Joseta Ostertag, Joseph Mundo, Allison and Pierson Ostertag, Steven and Sue Ellen Bainbridge, Bonnie Bainbridge, Claire and Ron St. John, Christine St. John, Mary Lou and Thomas Klein, Thomas and Jennifer Klein, Nicholas Thomas, Jessica Neal, Barbara Miller, Susan Hayes, Teresa Hayes, Marc Andre, Pamela, Ronnie, Dotty, Bob and Coni Hauschild, Wendy Hughes, Billy Sperry Jr., Nancy Ciccotelli and Pat Miller; caretaker, Veronica Jeremy; special friends, John Gentles, Evadney Hodge, Lynda Wade, Phyllis Cochrane, William and Carol Bellot, George and Ruth Smith, Ken Salzer, Debbie and Coleman Hart, Kathy Graebeldinger, Nancy, Luna Frett-Nibbs, Cynthia Smith, Marie Kulp, the Catholic Diocese of the Virgin Islands, Wesleyan Church family, Moron, Bellot, Francois, Varlack and Hodge families; and other relatives and friends.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend the celebration of life funeral service on Tuesday, April 12, 2022, at 10:00a.m. at the Turnbull’s Funeral Home. The interment is at Eastern Cemetery in Smith Bay.

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  • mary lou klein

    Marta led a very interesting life. I remember all our cousins & aunts would annually go on the Wilson liner for a day trip. Our moms/aunts would pack up all the food and when we got there, we could swim & do rides and have all our favorite foods. We would also spend every Christmas at our house. It was lots of fun. We will miss Marta and her quirky ways. God bless her.

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  • Mark Andre

    So sorry to hear about Aunt Marty. I will always remember her driving her Volkswagen Beetle. She did visit here some years ago. And we met Rufus. I passed on the news to Pammy. She'll let Ron know. Marc Andre

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  • Bonnie Bainbridge

    The last time we saw her was at Peter and Jeans party in FLA. She was always happy and robust and that is how we remember her. Our families deepest sympathies to all. I'm going to mark the family tree/history for my children as that would be Ronald's side of the family. Butt my sympathies for the loss of Marta. Bonnie Bainbridgel

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  • guy antonio ostertag

    Marta was two years older than me and as we didn't live close, we got to see her only on holidays and family get togethers. My memory of Marta then, was her smile and her laugh. She always seemed happy on those occasions. When we were older, i remember and was impressed by how attentive she was in conversation. This continued after she moved to St Thomas, and we spoke only by phone. i was especially happy and impressed that she converted and became a devoted Catholic. i know now she is with her Savior. God bless and keep you, Marta. Rest in His peace! Your cousin, guyantonio

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