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Joelle Holm

SHARON — Joelle Holm, 91, a longtime resident of Sharon, died peacefully on March 27, 2019, at her daughter Ingrid’s home in Portland, Ore., surrounded by family.  

She was predeceased by her husband of 55 years, Axel William Helmer Holm, in 2004.

Joelle Marie Madeleine Lemarchand, born in 1927 in Marseille, France, lived through the German occupation during World War II and survived the destruction of her family home in a bombing raid.  After obtaining her baccalaureate in Aix-en-Provence, she moved to Stockholm, Sweden, to work in the French office of the joint allied mission. There, she met her future husband, Axel.  

Axel’s occupation as a consular officer for the U.S. State Department took them around the world — from France, Greece, Ethiopia, Mexico and Somalia, to Wales, Norway, Libya and Tunisia.

Their four children were born in four different world capitals, Paris, Athens, Addis Ababa and Mogadiscio. 

With her resourcefulness and decorative acumen, Joelle established lovely homes for her family in far-flung places. Her charm, elegance, wit and facility with languages made her a big plus in Axel’s foreign service career.

Axel and Joelle retired to Sharon in 1980, where Joelle blossomed as an entrepreneur and greatly enjoyed working at the former Salisbury Antiques Center. She loved Sharon, and after such a peripatetic life, considered it home.

Besides her daughter Ingrid and husband, David Rabin, of Portland, she is survived by her daughter Melinda and son William and his wife, Anne, of New York City, and her daughter Stephanie and her partner, Kit Ward, of London, England, as well as her seven grandchildren; her cherished god-daughter, Isabelle Juhasz, and niece Joelle Descovich of Paris, France; her beloved cousins, Maryvonne Strauseisen and Monique Charpentier; her sister-in-law, Claire Kunkel; as well as many other loving cousins, nieces and nephews.  

Donations in Joelle’s memory may be made to your local hospice care team. The family will hold a private memorial service at a later date.