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Welcome to the memorial page for

Anne Marie (Harl) Poinsatte

October 18, 1931 ~ October 6, 2016 (age 84)

Anne Marie Poinsatte, 84, of South Bend, IN passed away from Parkinson’s complications on October 6, 2016 surrounded by her beloved children.   Born in Paris, France on October 18, 1931, she grew up in the harrowing years of World War II.  Anne Marie spent most of her childhood in Paris, except from the age of 8 to 11 when she went to live in Nimes in the unoccupied zone, where she went to school and helped to care for her aging grandparents.  An adventurer at heart, she lived in Madrid and Sweden after finishing her studies in Paris, moving to the United States in 1956 to attend the University of Notre Dame for graduate work.  She followed her father’s footsteps, as he had graduated from the university with both a BA and MA in Journalism in 1918.  Anne Marie earned a full scholarship and was one of the first female graduate students at Notre Dame. She earned her Master’s degree in English and American literature in 1960.

During her first year at ND, she also began teaching at Saint Mary’s College, where she soon met a young professor, Charles Poinsatte. They married March 2, 1957 in Notre Dame’s Log Chapel.  A bright, motivated student, Anne Marie nurtured three young children with Charlie’s full support while earning her Ph.D in Romance Languages and Literature from the University of Chicago. She commuted three hours each way by the South Shore train several times a week to attend her classes in Chicago.

 She was a French professor at Saint Mary’s from 1964 to 1969, then at Indiana U.-South Bend from 1970 to 1996: she was beloved by her students, staying close to several throughout the years.   Anne Marie always kept her native country deeply in her heart, and was very close to her family in France.  She was especially devoted to her younger sister Claire, who struggled with chronic illness, and made yearly visits to France to take Claire on excursions. She spent most summers and sabbaticals in Paris.  Anne Marie and Charlie loved to travel, and were determined to show the world to their children through extensive travels in Europe and the US.  Additionally, she and Charlie traveled worldwide throughout their marriage.

 Anne Marie dearly loved her grandchildren.  She truly enjoyed spending time with the children at her home on Juday Lake; their memories include her playing with them in the sand and in the water where she’d routinely swim.   Her vivacious smile, laugh and brilliant blue eyes brightened our days.  Mom’s excellent French cuisine delighted her guests; her cheesecake was second to none. Anne Marie lived life with an exuberant, amazing spirit. She inspired us by confronting her Parkinson’s with resilience and strength. Even though her illness eventually left her unable to move and communicate, she managed to smile for her loved ones. She was dearly loved by her family, and will be tremendously missed. 

Her parents were the late Louis Patrick and Delphine (Ainaud) Harl. She was preceded in death by her husband Charles, brothers Jean-Marie, Robert, Ernest and her sister Françoise.  She is survived by her sister Claire.  She is also survived by her children, John Paul (Mary Anne) Poinsatte of Chattanooga, TN; Françoise (Tom Volkhausen) Poinsatte of Boulder, CO and Laureen (Greg Jones) Poinsatte of South Bend and seven grandchildren: Kaila and Kelsey Poinsatte-Jones; Justin, Rachael, and Joanna Poinsatte; Taran Volckhausen and Tasia Poinsatte; her beloved nieces and nephews in Fort Wayne and in France; with thanks to her niece, Françoise, and her nephew, Jean Benoit Harl who so lovingly hosted her in France. 

Special thanks to her many caregivers Terri, Chris, Michelle and Jay over the past several years, Heartland Hospice, and especially Laureen and Greg, whose home she has shared for the past 4 years.

A funeral Mass celebrating her life will be held at Little Flower Catholic Church in South Bend on Saturday, October 29 at Noon.  A visitation will be held in the Church from 10-12 just before the service.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Sacred Heart Parish or the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

Charitable donations may be made to:

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown MD 21741-5014
Tel: 1-800-708-7644

Sacred Heart Parish
104 Sacred Heart Parish Center, Notre Dame IN 46556
Tel: 1-574-631-7511

 Service Information

October 29, 2016

10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
St. Therese Little Flower Catholic Church
54191 N. Ironwood
South Bend, Indiana 46635

Funeral Mass
October 29, 2016

12:00 PM
St. Therese Little Flower Catholic Church
54191 N. Ironwood
South Bend, Indiana 46635

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