Frances Rizk

Obituary of Frances Rizk

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Frances Rizk, a loving mother and grandmother, and a warm and generous person, died at home in Princeton on August 3, surrounded by her three children. She had recently celebrated her 90th birthday in style, her wit and sparkle intact until the very end. 


Born in Brooklyn, NY to John Bolin and Mary O’Neill, Fran grew up surrounded by extended family who took care of her when she lost her mother at age 10.  After graduating from St. Albans High School in Queens, she completed two years of study at Queens College. She worked for American Can Company then sought a more adventurous life by joining Colonial Airlines as a stewardess.  This allowed her to travel to many fun destinations around the globe and began her love of travel.


She met Edward Rizk, the Lebanese delegate to the United Nations, in New York and the two were married there in 1957 at the Greek Orthodox cathedral.  Thus began a more than 40-year marriage that took them to many places around the world.  After New York City, they moved to London, where Eddie was the Arab League Ambassador to the United Kingdom.  Fran attended several teas at Buckingham Palace, watched tennis matches at Wimbledon, made many new friends and spent summers in the mountain village of Broummana, Lebanon surrounded by Eddie’s extended family.


In 1966, the family moved to Lebanon and settled down in Beirut.  The next decade represented Lebanon’s “Golden Years” and they all lived full lives amidst friends and family, moving among the family’s several homes.  Fran remained as active as ever: She was President of the American Women’s Club in Lebanon, Vice President of the country’s mental hospital, a board member of the local YMCA and Vice Chair of an arts festival in the Bekaa Valley, all while raising her three children.


In 1976, Lebanon became racked by civil war. Eddie foresaw that this would go on for a long time and urged the family to relocate to the US to build their lives there.  They first moved to Ithaca, NY where their oldest daughter Nayla was accepted to Cornell. Fran was a big fan of Cornell Hockey and they held season tickets for the four years they lived there. In 1980, they moved to Manhattan. For the next two decades, Fran and Eddie enjoyed life on the Upper East Side combined with summers at their home in the hills above Cannes in the South of France.  Everywhere they were, family and friends were welcomed with open arms.


As Eddie, 19 years Fran’s senior, grew older, they moved to Princeton, NJ to be closer to their son, Amin Rizk and his wife Kim.  In 2000, Eddie passed away and Fran moved into a new addition built onto Amin and Kim’s house in Princeton.  She spent the next 20 years living with them and helping them raise their family, while seeing her daughters and their families as often as she could.


Fran’s life in Princeton was full.  She was a docent at Drumthwacket, a member of the Present Day Club, and enjoyed many evenings at the McCarter Theater.  She also enjoyed going with friends to the Philadelphia Ballet and museums in NYC.  Fran continued to travel with friends and family on trips to Asia (Japan, China, Vietnam), Egypt, England, Ireland (where her mother’s family came from), Italy, the Caribbean, and Ecuador and the Galapagos. She also traveled back to Lebanon. 


Fran is survived by her three children Nayla Rizk (Robert Tarjan), Aline Rizk, and Amin Rizk (Kim), her grandchildren Peter McCall (Lucy), Andrew McCall, Alexandra McCabe, Ens. Christiane McCabe, Natalie Rizk (John) and Katherine Rizk.  She was also blessed with three great grandchildren, Mary and Luke McCall and Wynona Rizk.  Fran will be missed by her many relatives and good friends around the world. She will be laid to rest next to her husband, Edward, at the Princeton Cemetery. Services are private and under the direction of Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, Princeton.

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