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Elizabeth Chalifour

Elizabeth Chalifour, 87, died March 25, 2010, at her home in Anchorage.

A celebration-of-life service will be held at 6 p.m. April 19 at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, 2222 E. Tudor Road.

Frances was born Feb. 25, 1923, in Leominster, Mass., to Frank and Eva Foss. In 1949, she met Frank George Chalifour of Brooklyn, N.Y., an electronics technician. The couple married on Feb. 25, 1950, in Syracuse, N.Y. Together, Frank and Frances established a successful photography business, The Children's Studio. They celebrated their 60th anniversary this February.

In August 1963, while working for General Electric, Frank accepted a transfer to Alaska and the couple, with their four oldest children, ventured up the Alaska Highway to Anchorage. In 1965, they opened The Anchorage Children's Studio, specializing in black-and-white photography and hand-colored portraits by Frances. They raised their five children together in Anchorage.

At 52, Frances returned to college, earning her master's degree in psychology in 1978 from UAA, with her doctorate nearly completed in 1981. She also earned her liberal arts diploma in theology in 1981 by distant learning from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn.

Frances was an active advocate of domestic pets' rights, a longtime member and leader of the Alaska Kennel Club, trainer and avid dog show competitor in the '60s and early '70s. In 1971, she was asked by the city to rewrite the Anchorage borough's animal control ordinance to protect animal rights; it was adopted by the city.

Frances served for two years as president of the Alaska chapter of Toastmasters International and was extremely well read, with a profound literary soul. In 1982, she used her family's experience with the 1964 Alaska earthquake in a speech to win international first place in Sydney, Australia. She spent many years involved in the local Toastmaster chapter teaching others self-expression, confidence and poise.

Throughout the many accomplishments of her life, the dearest to her heart were her love for her family and her love and service to her Lord. In 1959, she was received as an associate of the Sisters of St. Margaret's Convent in Boston. She served alongside the sisters through prayer support and contribution throughout the rest of her life. She served her God through Calvary Episcopal Church in Syracuse and then St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Anchorage. Among her many services to the church, she was active in the alter guild, was one of the first women to become a lay reader at St. Mary's, was a devoted link in the busy prayer chain praying for those in need, and coordinated the Lay Eucharistic Ministry each Sunday to have communion taken to those in need at home or in the hospital.

Her hobbies and pastimes included photography, chess and Scrabble; the breeding, training and showing of championship Great Danes; public speaking; psychology discussions and counseling; acrylic landscape painting; family genealogy; learning new words daily; classical music; her cherished church participation and relationships; and, especially, the joy of family activities and spending time with her grandchildren.

Frances is survived by her husband of 60 years, Frank George Chalifour Sr. of Anchorage; her five children, Gary Christian of Palm Springs, Calif., Faith Elizabeth of Anchorage, Frank George Jr. and his spouse Elizabeth of Melbourne, Australia, Paul Francis and his spouse Helena of Chugiak, and Peter Gerard of Chugiak; eight grandchildren, Daryl, Devyn, Deana, Derek, Dylan, Damen, Aimie and Brian, and five great-grandchildren, Alexander, Raymond, Ryken, Isla and Mara.

A special thank-you is directed to Robin Nixon, who helped care for Frances, and the many other care providers who watched over her throughout her final years.

Memorials may be made to St. Mary's or the Alzheimer's Association.

Source: Anchorage Daily News, 11 April 2010



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