Third-generation San Francisco native Gail Eleanor Lamarche lost her battle with cancer at Stanford Hospital on Sept. 11, 2012. She was 79.
Mrs. Lamarche was the daughter of Walter H. and Eleanor M. Nieland. Born Aug. 18, 1933, she graduated from Lowell High School in 1951 and was a member of Stanford University's Class of 1955. She met her future husband, French native Yves Lamarche, while working for a summer at a Carmel Valley resort. They were married on Sept. 11, 1954, at St. Ann's Chapel in Palo Alto.
The couple settled for a time in Park Merced and then Novato, where they raised three daughters. In 1963, Yves Lamarche became an American citizen and the family was transferred by his employer, Bank of America, to Buenos Aires, Argentina. From Buenos Aires, the Lamarches moved to Paris, Panama, back to Paris, and then to London, where Mrs. Lamarche continued to live after the couple divorced in 1979. In London, she became an antiques dealer, known for selling and refurbishing antique scientific and nautical instruments.
In 1990, Mrs. Lamarche returned to the Bay Area after her 27-year overseas adventure to be near her elderly parents, daughters and grandchildren. She settled first in Montclair and in 2000 moved to Alameda, where she applied her antique and home staging expertise to moving, raising and rehabilitating an Edwardian home.
A true Luddite, Gail was dubious of technology and preferred face-to-face dealings to email or the postal system. She loved her Alameda garden and took great pleasure in eradicating any weeds that dared to grow there. Gail also looked forward each summer to sojourns in the Sierra Nevada.
Gail Lamarche is survived by her three daughters, Anne-Marie Lamarche, of Piedmont; Michele Lamarche, of Santa Monica; and Daniele Lamarche, of London. She also leaves behind her brother, Kirk Nieland, of Lake Oswego, Ore., and four grandchildren, Elise Menke, of Boston; Claire Menke, of Palo Alto; Alexander Menke, of San Francisco; and Theodore Lamarche, of London.
On Sept. 30, a memorial for Gail was held in the historic north London home of the poet John Keats, after which her ashes were spread on the Hampstead Heath. A celebration of her life is planned at 2 p.m. Sunday in Piedmont. Details are available by email to email@example.com. Donations in memory of Gail Lamarche to a nonprofit of your choice would be much appreciated. Mrs. Lamarche held in special regard the research of Dr. George Fisher of the Stanford Cancer Institute (http://cancer.stanford.edu/help/gift.html -- Online Giving/"Other Cancer Designations," enter "Dr. George Fisher/Colorectal Cancer Research in memory of Gail Lamarche") as well as The Stanford Fund for Undergraduate Education (giving.stanford.edu) and Lowell Alumni Association (www.lowellalumni.org/donate.)
-- Anne-Marie Lamarche