Jacqueline Marie Elisa Bonnin Kurup
August 29th 1937 – June 2nd, 2021
Jacqueline “Jackie” Marie Elisa Bonnin Kurup passed away peacefully on Tuesday, June 2nd, at Marcus Neurological Center, Boca Regional Hospital in Boca Raton, Florida, after a sudden and unexpected massive stroke.
Jackie was born August 29th, 1937 in Paris, France, the only child of the late Marcel Henri Bonnin and Jeannette Dalmais Bonnin. She was preceded in death by her parents and her beloved grandmother, Marie Elisa Sendzoul.
She is survived by her loving husband of 60+ years, Michael Kurup; her children, Martha Toquinto, Marie Hemsath, and Marc Kurup; her sons-in-law, Jeff Toquinto and Chris Hemsath; her grandson Darryl Toquinto and wife, Candice and their children, her great-granddaughters Valyn Jac and Emery Dot; her grandson Dominic Toquinto and wife, Megan; and her two granddaughters, Rachel Hemsath and Lauren Hemsath, who all deeply grieve her loss. She is remembered fondly by her extended Kurup family and her many friends and neighbors.
While Jackie was born in France pre-World War II, her father joined the French Army soon after the war started (as all did), leaving his home and family to protect France and was later imprisoned for five years by the Nazi army. During this difficult time, Jackie’s mother and her Jewish grandmother (whose papers were falsified) worked in Paris but sent Jackie to the more peaceful yet also dangerous Loire Valley to live with her Great Aunt from age 2 to 7. They hid in caves as the Nazi’s came through burning nearby villages. Being a young child, Jackie remembered these days of living on a farm as a lot of fun, while her family rarely knew if each other was safe.
Americans stormed her father’s prison camp in 1945 and rescued him. When the war was over, Jackie was raised traditional French Catholic, spent a glorious childhood in school and camping throughout France with her parents and grandmother. She learned to ski in the Alps and took trips to Italy with school friends.
Jackie earned the equivalent of a Bachelor’s Degree and her Teaching Certificates from the University of Paris. She worked as a kindergarten teacher in Paris. Jackie and Mike met at the Club Touquet in Paris on Thanksgiving Eve 1959, while Mike was an American GI stationed at Orleans, France. Mike would take the train into Paris to meet Jackie as often as possible. They married on February 11th, 1961, in La-Ferte-St.-Aubain, near Mike’s Army base. Their meeting was a miraculous one, as Mike was born and raised in the Fiji Islands, an entire world away, making his way to the United States and joining the U.S. Army serving as a post-WWII peacekeeper.
Jackie immigrated with her new husband to San Francisco, California. While her parents in Paris were very sad to see them move so far away, they were accepting of her and her American GI husband moving to the US as Americans had saved her father from the Nazi prison camp. She was very brave to move 6,000 miles away, not knowing anyone and not able to speak English. Jackie and Mike got together often with his Fijian cousins and she learned how to cook Indian Curry. Her daughter Martha was born, her first girlfriend for life and translator – followed three years later by Marie, also her best friend, and three years after that by Marc, still her baby. She learned English by watching the “I Love Lucy” show while Mike was working and going to school. Jackie, being a single child and her Mother and Father also being single children due to both World Wars, was enamoured by her three children, was always by their side, doted and spoiled each of them.
In 1970, Jackie and Mike moved with the kids from Mountain View, California, to Syracuse, NY, for four years after Mike earned his B.A. and M.A. at San Jose State to study at Syracuse University on a fellowship that fed and housed all five members of their young family. Afterwards, the family moved to Maryland, Jackie worked as a kindergarten teacher for the Rochambeau French International School, a French Government Elementary, Middle and High School in Bethesda, Maryland, for 26 years, while Mike worked for the Federal Government in Washington, DC. Jackie retired in 1999, and volunteered to teach French to 3rd graders in the local Montgomery Village, MD schools, including her own grandson, Dominic.
When Mike retired in 2002, the couple moved to Boynton Beach, FL, for the sunshine and to be closer to their daughter Marie and her young family. Living in the Tuscany Bay community, they made many friends, attended dances and parties, BBQ’s and of course, Jackie went to the pool daily. In 2018, Jackie and Mike downsized and moved to St. Andrews Residence which is a continuing-care community.
Jackie’s first love was and always has been her family. She enjoyed spending as much time as possible with each of her grandchildren, especially for overnight visits where she could thoroughly spoil them. Early on, she loved ice skating, cooking, and camping with family and friends. Her favorite events were her son’s and grandchildren’s sporting events. She was extremely patriotic of her adopted USA and extending her pride in being an American to her son and two grandsons who all served in the US Military. She enjoyed her swimming pool daily, water aerobics, yoga and exercising, dancing at every opportunity and parties, eating out at restaurants on the beach, reading magazines on health, watching classic movies, and meeting people who spoke French.
Her family is grateful for the love and care Jackie received from St Andrews’ nurses and staff, and for the many friends that have reached out to our family with their kind sentiments about Jackie. She was a caring and devoted wife, a loving and fiercely proud Momma and an ecstatic “Neema” who revelled in anything her successful grandchildren accomplished, and she remained very excited about anything her young great grandchildren do.
On Tuesday June 15th, a Memorial service will be held at 12:00 noon. Guests will be received at 10:30am. Finger foods and refreshments will be served.
A link to the live online streamed service will be on the Funeral Home's website: http://www.gpanochfunerals.com. Afterwards, there will be an escort to the South FL Veterans Cemetery in Lake Worth for a Memorial service there starting at 2:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers, the family would be grateful for donations that can be made to UnicefUSA in her memory.
Jackie will be terribly missed by her family and friends who will never forget all the joy she had for life and the never-ending love she shared daily with each of us.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH SERVICE LIVE (Link will be active just before services starts)
Professional arrangements by:
Gary Panoch Funeral Home
6140 N. Federal Highway
Boca Raton, FL 33487
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