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Florence J. "Joan" LaFrancis, 73, of Moretown, passed away in the comfort of her home following a long illness on Saturday, December 23, 2006. Born in Dorking, England, on March 24, 1933, she was the daughter of the late Alfred J. and Florence Grace (Hawthorn) Chivers.
Florence spent part of her youth growing up in Dorking while her family took in children from London to escape the bombings during WWII. After the war ended, her family made their permanent residence in Queensland, Australia. She enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force, met her future husband Edwin LaFrancis and married on December 21, 1963, in Victoria, Australia. Since her husband was enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, he was reassigned to Tokyo, Japan, enabling her to travel to parts of Asia and be a Red Cross volunteer for injured Vietnam War soldiers who were returning home to the States.
Florence is survived by a daughter, Michelle LaFrancis and her husband, William Durrell, and their son, Jed, of Moretown, as well as nieces, nephews and extended family. She was predeceased by her husband in November 1997, a brother, Richard, and two sisters, Violet and Audrey.
Memorial services will be held this spring at a date and time to be announced. For those who wish, memorial gifts would be appreciated to the Mad River Valley Ambulance Service, P.O. Box 305, Waitsfield, VT 05673, or to Central Vermont Home Health and Hospice, 600 Granger Road, Barre, VT 05641. The family is being assisted by the Perkins-Parker Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Waterbury.