Monique Heusner was born in Strasbourg, France, on January 25, 1935, and died shortly after midnight, September 1, 2023. She was the youngest of three sisters and the last to leave this world.
She enjoyed a long, rich life, spanning two continents: she spent her first three decades in France and the remaining years in Davis. She raised three children, completed a college degree, taught for a living, and pursued her many passions: art, literature, movies, singing, dancing, gardening, and looking after her pets.
She lost both her parents at 16, yet their influence on her persisted: her father had collected art and loved music, her mother had taught high school.
During World War II, her family lived for six years in rural southwestern France, which shaped her devotion to gardens and animals. Monique loved her pets: dogs, cats, rabbits, parakeets, a duck, and for a few years, an injured crow she had nursed back to health.
She graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BA from UC Davis in 1975, majoring in French, art history, and art studio. She earned her teaching credential in 1980 and taught French and art at Gridley High School from 1986 to 1999. Once retired, she continued teaching French at the Alliance Française in Sacramento and gave private lessons.
She continued to paint over the years, exhibiting her work at local galleries and juried shows. She also curated the Objet d'Art gallery in Davis in the 1990s.
Those who knew her remember her liveliness, curiosity, and welcoming generosity, the paintings she freely gave away, her inventive bilingual puns, and her love of driving. One of her fondest memories was exploring the back roads of France during the summer of 1994, to celebrate her recovery from breast cancer.
She will be mourned by her three children and four grandchildren, their spouses and partners, relatives in Europe, and many friends. The family will place her ashes at the Davis Cemetery and Arboretum in a private ceremony.
Instead of flowers, Monique would have appreciated donations in her name to any of your favorite charities.
The family would like to thank the nursing staff at Sutter Davis Hospital for their compassionate care in her last hours.