Chantal F. Bearnson
10/13/1938 – 10/10/2021
Chantal was born Countess de Descallar in Pau, in the southwest of France. In 1940, her parents made the decision to send her and her mother to North Africa while her father went to the resistance. She grew up in Morocco, became a registered nurse from Bordeaux, her dream was to work with Dr. Schweitzer in Africa, but he passed before her final graduation.
She went to live in Paris and London, but she never felt really at home, so she went to New York City. She used to say “you can walk a few blocks on Broadway and hear a dozen different languages.”
Her father was an ingenious architect and built all kinds of buildings from a mosque to a dam. His daughter got the inspiration to design so she went to the Parsons School of Design and graduated.
She met, fell in love and married her first husband, Robert Strauss. They both had a wonderful life of travel and fun. She had to give up her title when she became a citizen, which she gladly did to travel through airports with her husband. He passed away in Santa Fe just before their 30-year anniversary.
Her best friend convinced her to visit Santa Fe in 1989, while she drove from Albuquerque, she thought she was driving from Casablanca to Marrakech. New Mexico is so similar to Morocco, she used to say, “I travelled all around the world and finally came home.”
She designed and built her dream home, started to paint like everyone else in Santa Fe.
She was very hurt by the death if her husband, but seven years later she met, fell in love and married her second husband Timothy Bearnson. Both loved the outdoors, so they got a trailer and explored all the beautiful southwest.
Chantal loved all animals especially cats, she volunteered at the Santa Fe Shelter for 5 years, then at felines and friends, an exceptional organization.
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