Obituaries

Roselyne de Viry Frelinghuysen

Mrs. Thomas T. K. Frelinghuysen (Roselyne de Viry) of Princeton, NJ, died on February 27, 2014, in Princeton. 

 

Roselyne was born on May 20, 1920, in Thonon-les-bains, France. She was the daughter of Baron Joseph Humbert de Viry and the former Delphine de Foras, and granddaughter of Count Maximillien de Foras. Because her grandmother the Countess de Foras was American, she spent much of her youth in New York and Lenox, MA, at the homes of her grandmother’s American sister, Emily Spencer. She attended the Spence School in New York and completed her education at a convent school in France. She lived with her great-aunt Emily at Shipton Court in Lenox, now the Seven Hills Inn. In the early years of WWII, with men drafted, she pitched in to maintain the house, tending the animals and helping maintain wood fires because of the scarcity of fuel.

 

Roselyne later volunteered for service with the Free French forces under U.S. Army command as an ambulance driver and translator. (Chanel had designed their uniforms.) She traveled by troop carrier ship to Africa and moved on to Italy, participating in the Anzio landing and the liberation of Rome. Then she was deployed in France, where she drove on mined roads. Once, at a fork in the road, unsure of her directions, she prayed to St. Christopher to guide her and drove on. The jeep after hers took the other fork and exploded.

 

After her demobilization, Roselyne returned to New York and worked in an art gallery, where she met her husband, Thomas T. K. Frelinghuysen, a sculptor. (Mr. Frelinghuysen died in 1974.) They lived on his farm in Holmdel, NJ, and raised three children—Theodore, Kinney, and Denis—as well as show dogs, cats, several race horses, and an African grey parrot.

 

They later moved to Princeton, where Roselyne was active in dog shows, the French Club, opera, and the Garden Club. She had a zest for life and enjoyed a curious mind, always eager for conversation, whimsy, wit, and a good laugh. She was an active member of the Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence through her ancestor George Read.

 

Roselyne is survived by her sons, Denis de V. Frelinghuysen of Darien, CT, T. Kinney R. Frelinghuysen of Richmond, MA, and Theodore Frelinghuysen of Nevada; their wives; and ten grandchildren.