Francine Bonjour

19th March 1953 – 19th November 2001
My mum, Francine, was diagnosed with breast cancer during the summer of 1999. She had a mastectomy, and after 3 months of chemotherapy, was declared cancer-free. She realised that there were things she had always wanted to do with her life, and so she started a Psychology degree, a life-long dream. Her plan was to get a Bachelor’s degree and then go on to a Master’s in Clinical Psychology. However, the summer after her first year, the cancer came back in full-force. It was in her other breast, the lining of her lung and some of her bones. She again underwent chemo, but it had moved to her brain. By the time they found the tumour, it was too late. Three weeks later, she died.
She died with her head held high, hanging onto God, trusting in Him and hoping in Him. She kept telling us that she didn’t want to leave us and she was worried about how we would cope with her death. Even to the end she was always thinking of others. She had such strength even in that last week when we knew the end was close. It was beautiful to see her.
We had a Celebration service for her a week later at High Street Methodist in Harpenden, England and over 300 people came. It was an amazing time of thanking God for this wonderful woman who had touched so many lives, and being grateful that we knew that she was with Jesus, cancer-free and happy.
We found out after she died, that her name means Triumphant or Free One. She truly lived triumphantly and now she is free.
She is dearly missed by Claude, her husband, her two sons, Matthias and Samuel and myself, her daughter, Marie. We all miss her presence in our lives very much.

6 thoughts on “Francine Bonjour”

  1. Francine was my wife, we were married for 27 years and we joined YWAM four years after our wedding. She was always by my side, looking after the children and also caring for so many people we worked with. She was a pillar of strength. She trusted God with all her heart and loved to serve Her Lord and Savior.

    In our years of service with YWAM, she never complained but was always smiling, encouraging, blessing and serving.

    She passed away more than six years ago and she is still greatly missed.

  2. I met Francine when she and Claude first joined YWAM in Lausanne. We quickly realized we had the same birthdate…so through the years we kept touch on March 19th. Today I think of her and remember our special friendship, her lovely smile and her sweet spirit. Thank you Lord for allowing our lives to cross and for the assurance that we will once again celebrate together. Francine, I miss you in a special way today…. Marie

  3. March was really mum’s month. It was Mother’s Day, her birthday and the month when her favourite flower, the daffodil, grew everywhere and was sold in every single flower store in abundance! So we always brought home many daffodils for her to enjoy.
    March is still mum’s month!

  4. Francine was my special DTS buddy…we always sat next to each other in the classroom. The friendship forged during the DTS & DTS outreach remained firm until the day she went home too soon to be with our Heavenly Father.

    Francine was my hero. I saw her as a model wife, excellent mother (just look at her children and see how great she was)and fantastic friend.

    Laughter was always near the surface, but it didn’t mean Francine was shallow. Just the opposite. I still miss her wisdom and friendship.

    Ila Howard.

  5. Francine and Claude were my small group leaders at a DTW at Holmsted in 1982. Claude then had the pleasure of being leader of my small group when I joined for the DTS in May 1983. Although Francine wasn’t leading a group then, she was often with us for activities. So, when I came with my family back to Holmsted in 1986, we were already friends. Francine was such a beautiful person, always with an encouragement ro a hug if needed. She had a wonderful sense of humour and a beautiful smile.

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