November 14, 1931 – March 18, 2021
In Memory of Hermine "Mimi" Pauwels
On March 15, 2021 Hermine "Mimi" Pauwels went to sleep in Jesus and awaits his soon return.
Due to the incredible impact Mimi had in a variety of roles in the City of Claremont, her biography has been read after a moment of silence during Claremont City Council Meeting. If you would like to watch its located
The years in Algeria
Mimi was born in Béni-Saf Algeria on November 14, 1931. She was one of 7 children born and raised in North African which was French territory up until 1962. Algeria was not an easy place to live and lacked some of the basics, including modern health care. One of her older sister passed away at the age of 18 and Mimi almost lost her life after contracting typhus. Mimi had a close bond with her sisters and brother Marie, François and Antoinette which continued throughout her life. She met her husband Jacques when he was on active duty in the French Navy during the Algerian war. It was love at first sight and the two were married June 12, 1959, a marriage that lasted over 62 years. After the war they both left Oran, Algeria and returned to France.
The years in France
After the French-Algerian war the colonists returned to France. From 1961 to 1963 the family lived in France and their first child Eric was born in Versailles in 1961 then the family moved to the city of Orleans where Jacques was a colporteur. By august 1961, the entire family moved to the Adventist Seminary in Colognes, France. They lived in a small French village near the Swiss border where Mimi worked as a secretary for 3 years Geneva Switzerland.
Coming to America
Life was different for Mimi in France, after living most of her life in the warm sunshine of the Mediterranean, France seemed colder both in climate and hospitality to colonists who returned from Algeria. Her younger sister Antoinette was already in America and returned to visit them in France and invited them to the US. The offer seemed very appealing to move to California as Mimi and Jacques were open for a change in culture, warmer weather, and opportunity to raise their family and live the “American dream.” In 1965, Mimi moved to Loma Linda and lived close to family. Michel their second son was born on August 21, 1965, in Redlands, California. Mimi began learning English by working at Heritage Gardens in Loma Linda. It was during this time that her colleagues who had trouble pronouncing Hermine gave her the nickname “Mimi” which lasted until this day. In January 1969, the family moved to Irvine, California, where they both worked at UC Irvine. Mimi worked at the University Housing Department while Jacques was a Teaching Assistant. At this time, the family became a member of the Newport Harbor SDA Church. Afterwards Mimi took a new job as a Dental Assistant for three years working with Henry Martin, DDS, in his offices at Westminster. By August 1975, the family moved to Claremont on the campus of Webb School of California, where Jacques accepted a teaching position and Eric was enrolled at Webb as a student. Mimi was active at Webb and tutored many students in French, she also worked at the Ontario-Montclair School District and retired in 2005. Mimi and Jacques retired in 2005 and continued to live in the Claraboya section of Claremont. After her retirement she
travelled to France, Boston, Northern California, and Arizona, she really enjoyed her last trip to Sedona AZ and the colors of the painted desert. Mimi enjoyed attending church services and potlucks at North Hills SDA. She was a loving wife and mother and will be missed by all.