Monique Oliel, 92 passed away July 29th at Venice Regional Hospital, Venice Florida. A long time resident of Longboat Key.
Monique Oliel, 92 passed away July 29th at Venice Regional Hospital, Venice Florida. A long time resident of Longboat Key. She is predeceased by her parents: father, General Pierre Steenberghe, mother Valerie Steenberghe (de Hague), sister Lillian Calymene, ex-husband Serge Oliel, and their daughter Patricia Oliel.
Born in Belgium in 1929, graduated stenography school in 1948. She worked for a law firm in Brussels, before she married in 1955. Newly wed, she moved to Downingtown Pennsylvania, where her husband was assigned the job of mechanizing the bread making for Pepperidge Farm.
Over the years, and many moves, she supported her husband’s endeavors involved in the making of a new line of cookies for Pepperidge Farm. She and the children were often the “tasters” of the cookies, now known commercially as the Milano, the Bordeaux, and the Brussels. Later came Godiva Chocolates, and Goldfish.
Her family moved all over the East Coast of the U.S. with a shorter assignment in Europe. Monique tended to each home with great care. She was a devoted mother, an excellent cook, and an extraordinary hostess. She made friends where ever she and her family resided, and saw to it that the social calendar was always full. She never missed a birthday, or holiday with a card.
She was a devoted mother, an excellent cook, and an extraordinary hostess. She made friends where ever she and her family resided, and saw to it that the social calendar was always full.
Monique was a fantastic planner, and meticulously put together the families annual month long summer vacation. A new European destination each year, which first and foremost started with her family visit to Belgium.
In 1975 her youngest daughter Patricia (17) had renal failure, and Monique donated her kidney. The surgery was a success, and Patricia lived to be 61, passing only 4 months before her mother.
Monique had a fierce curiosity for learning, loved both foreign language, of which she spoke 5, and traveling, particularly abroad. She traveled to many counties, and continents collecting souvenirs, and taking a copious amount of photographs.
When she moved permanently to Longboat Key in 1987, her grandchildren affectionately called her “Beach Grandma.”
Monique decided to start a Belgian Club. Its main goal was to gather French speaking Belgians at local restaurants over French/Belgian cuisine, speaking only French, or attempting to. The group met monthly. She was the organizer of the reservations, without the internet! After decades of organizing, and an untold number of meal gatherings, she was honored by the Sarasota Chapter of the Chaine des Rotisseurs.
She will be greatly missed by me, her daughter Chantal Ferland, and husband James Ferland. Grandchildren: Timothy Martin and Gregory Martin, brother in- law Robert Calymene, nieces, Dominique and Pascale Le Grande, and many seconds cousins.
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