Eleanor “Ellie” Olsen Francine, 85, of Cumming, Georgia, went to be with the Lord on March 3, 2022.
Ellie was born September 29, 1936 in West Orange, New Jersey. She was the only child of Birgit and Sigvald Olsen, who were first generation immigrants from Norway. As a child she was raised in the homes of family members, as her father passed when she was 11 and her mother passed when she was 13.
She attended high school at Hillcrest Academy in Fergus Falls, MN. She went on to complete her undergraduate degree in Education at Trinity College in Deerfield, IL; it was here she met the love of her life, Morris “Mo” Francine. They married in 1960 and lived in the Chicago area, where they had three children: Jonathon, Timothy, and Peter.
Ellie worked as a lifelong educator and taught various grades, from kindergarten through 7th grade. After teaching 17 years in the Chicago area, in 1977 she and Mo moved to Stone Mountain in the Atlanta area. She continued to teach in the DeKalb County School System in Atlanta while earning her Masters of Education at Georgia State University. Although she moved to the Johns Creek area in 1985, she continued to work at Fernbank Elementary in Dekalb County, until her retirement in 2000. She was the recipient of numerous Teacher of the Year awards, including the Emory University Award for Outstanding Teaching & Community Service, which she was honored to receive in 1994.
After her retirement from Fernbank in 2000, she went on to serve as the Lower Elementary Principal at Perimeter Christian School in Johns Creek, GA until 2007. She then transitioned to be the Director of the Adventure Program at Perimeter School until her final retirement in 2013. During her time in Johns Creek, she was an active member of Perimeter Church, serving on the welcome team, as well as participating in several mission trips to Uzbekistan, Poland, and Tanzania.
In 2007, Ellie and Mo moved to the North Georgia mountains of Jasper, Georgia and settled into the Big Canoe community. They joined Trinity Church in Jasper where Ellie served as a Deacon. During this time, she was also able to travel to China with fellow church and mission workers.
Ellie was the embodiment of a Proverbs 31 woman, filled with the fruits of the spirit. She was a selfless, encouraging, and genuinely kind and caring woman with the gift of generous hospitality. She greatly enjoyed helping others and serving them with her welcoming spirit, bountiful meals, and beautiful flower arrangements. She was a gifted singer and loved being around children, both at school, as well as spending time with her three grandchildren. She shared her love for everyone, often delighting others with her continued ability to speak fluently in her native Norwegian language.
Ellie is preceded in death by her parents: Birgit and Sigvald Olsen; and sons: Jonathon Francine and Peter Francine.
Ellie is survived by her husband: Morris Francine; son: Tim (Mary) Francine of Suwanee; and grandchildren: Hilton (23), Harper (20), and Hollis (18).
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Perimeter School for the ongoing maintenance of Francine Gardens, a beautiful nature area established in honor of Ellie upon her retirement from Perimeter School. Donations may be sent to Perimeter School, 9500 Medlock Bridge Road, Johns Creek, GA 30097.