Atossa H. French
Concord, N.H. — Atossa H. French died Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013 at Havenwood-Heritage Heights in Concord.
She was born in NYC, eldest daughter of Hubert and Atossa (Nilsen) Herring. She lived in many places during her long life. However, her “home base” remained property on Lake Sunapee in N.H. purchased by her Norwegian immigrant grandfather, J.R. Nilsen in the late 19th century.
Atossa was in the first graduating class of Bennington College in Vermont. While in graduate school at the University of Chicago, she met and married her life-long husband, David G. French. His varied careers, from the ministry to international development, meant many moves and interesting experiences. She was a true partner and an inestimable support to her husband all through his careers while also being a devoted mother to their children. Their last assignments in international development took them to Bangladesh, Thailand, Korea and Cambodia.
Atossa continued to be the ballast and mainstay of the family as she navigated each culture with tact and grace. Atossa and David returned to their property on Lake Sunapee after their international sojourns where they continued to host family and friends from the US and abroad for many years.
Atossa is survived by her husband of 75 years, two half brothers, four of their five children, seven of their eight grandchildren, as well as six great grandchildren.
She was totally without pretense, calm and unflappable even the face of chaos. She had a wonderful spirit of adventure and curiosity about the world. She was an inveterate picker of blueberries, collector of rocks, a musician, a folk dancer, a thrift maven, a good friend and a wonderful mother. She was always up for a good game of cards or a swim in her beloved Lake Sunapee.