Francois Henri Parlier
January 8, 1926 – February 7, 2021
Francois (Frank) Henri Parlier
On Sunday, February 7, 2021, 30 days after his 95th birthday, Frank Henri Parlier, husband, brother, father, grandfather, uncle and friend, died at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Virginia after a hard-fought battle with COVID-19.
Frank was born on January 8, 1926 in Paris, France, to Roger Valentin Maurice Parlier and Gertrude Van Rensselaer Dana Parlier. He had an idyllic childhood in Paris and the South of France until World War II began. On May 19, 1941, Frank, his twin brother Michel, his sister Madeleine and his mother Gertrude fled France to the United States on board the SS Exeter I. As they crossed the Atlantic Ocean, they traveled near the famed German warship, “Bismarck” which was under attack and subsequently sank on May 27, 1941.
The twins returned to France in 1944, when they were 18, to join the Free French Army. They served under Charles de Gaulle in France and Algeria as members of the French Air Force. Their job was to drive trucks filled with bombs and fuel to the airfields behind the front lines.
After the War, Frank and Mich returned to Charlottesville, Virginia, and reunited with their mother and sister. Frank attended the University of Virginia, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in 1949 and his Law degree in 1952. Frank moved to Georgetown, Washington, D.C. where he met his wife, Felicia Bonelli. They married after only six months on October 20, 1956, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C.
Frank passed the Virginia State Bar in 1953. In 1954, he accepted a position with the National Labor Relations Board in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Their first child, Dana, was born there. From there, they moved to Tampa, Florida, where their second son Peter and daughter Michele were born.
Following an assignment in Miami, Frank was transferred to the NLRB field office in Pittsburgh. Finally, in 1973, the family settled in Falls Church, Virginia. They spent the next 47 years on Surrey Lane in Holmes Run Acres. Frank worked in Washington, D.C. at the NLRB’s headquarters until his retirement. He served as deputy associate general counsel, Division of Advice, for almost 20 years.
In 1984, Frank received his 30-year service award from the NLRB. In 2004, he was honored for 50 years of membership in the Virginia State Bar.
Frank belonged to the Trinity Cathedral in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, where he volunteered regularly as an usher. He was also a dedicated parishioner at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Washington, DC.
Frank had many interests. He volunteered at the National Museum of Natural History and helped famed Ornithologist, Bruce Beehler with his book, “The Birds of New Guinea.” He loved classical music and played cello in his youth. He was creative, loved art and architecture, and he had a vast knowledge of history and literature. He was a voracious reader, respected and believed in nature and science, and loved to travel. He was a true renaissance man.
Frank loved the ocean, rivers, mountains and all aspects of nature. In the summers, he and his family went on camping and boating trips to explore nature, swim, fish and water ski. Frank and his extended family also went on numerous trips to ski resorts, Cape Cod and St. John, USVI.
Frank loved beaches and fell in love with the natural beauty of Chincoteague, Virginia. His dream summer home, "Nautilus" was designed by his brother Mich, an architect. The design was based on the cephalapod’s structure.
Frank was instrumental in helping establish the Community Tennis Association of Chincoteague Island, which continues serving the residents of the community today.
As an avid skier, Hidden Valley, Pennsylvania held a special spot in Frank’s heart. It was there that he taught his children to ski. Frank instilled a love of skiing in his family that has been passed along to succeeding generations.
Frank also played squash, golf, cross country skied and loved bike riding. He was an accomplished tennis player, and he amazingly played tennis and then pickleball into his late 80’s.
Frank loved his scotch at drink time, watching sports, politics, celebrations with Champagne, Chesapeake Bay crabs and raw oysters.
Frank will always be revered by his loved ones as the backbone of his nuclear and extended family. He took care of his family with love and devotion. As the family’s patriarch, Frank was always at the ready to lend a hand, literally, or with moral support and guidance.
Frank was preceded in death by his mother Gertrude Parlier, his father Roger Parlier, his sister Madeleine Hill, his brother Michel Parlier, and many uncles, aunts and cousins in Europe and the U.S. Frank is survived by his wife, Felicia Parlier; his three children, Dana Parlier, Peter Parlier, Michele Parlier Falvo, Daughter in law Karen Parlier, Son in law Franco Falvo, his four grandchildren, Cristiana, Francesca, Peter, Jr, Nick; his brother Henri Parlier; his sister, Claire DeClety, niece, Gita Givertzman and family, and nephew, Guillaume Parlier
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the family will hold a small, private service in the near future, and will host a celebration of Frank’s life after restrictions have been lifted.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations, "In Memory of Frank Parlier" be made to the Music Fund at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2430 K Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20037. Below is an embedded link to access St Paul's direct website to make donations in Frank's name.
- St. Paul's Episcopal Church Music Fund