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YOLO COUNTY NEWS

Obituaries

Frances Cook Lawyer

May 5, 1953 — March 11, 2020

Francie Lawyer passed away on March 11 after a short battle with esophageal cancer at age 66. Her family and friends will miss her greatly.

Frances Ann Cook was born and raised in Marin County in Mill Valley. She had wonderful memories of her childhood with her parents, Bob and Lori Cook, and older sister, Linda. As a teenager, she decided to get rid of her heavy and hard-to-transport string bass and traded it for the comparably light and pocket-sized flute, starting a life-time relationship with an instrument in which she would excel. She graduated as the valedictorian of her Tamalpais High School class and set off to pursue her interests in science.

365体育投注She attended UC Davis starting in 1971, majoring in genetics. Francie spent her junior year abroad at the University of Edinburgh. One of her Scotland colleagues, Duncan, had a roommate at Davis from his freshman and senior years, Artie Lawyer. Through this connection, Artie and Francie met, played flute and clarinet duets together, fell in love, and started a life-long partnership in 1975. Francie and Artie were married on May 29, 1976.

Francie and Artie spent their first four years at Yale in New Haven, Conn., where Artie was in graduate school. Francie worked in the laboratory of Frank Ruddle, where new techniques of molecular and cellular biology were being developed. During these years, Francie also took flute lessons from Daniel Nyfenger and played in the Yale ensembles.

365体育投注They returned to the Bay Area in 1979 for Artie’s postdoc and decided to focus their career opportunities around Francie’s sought-after skills in laboratory techniques. Francie joined Cetus Corporation working in the new and exciting area of genetic engineering. She worked on many projects at Cetus, which became Roche Molecular Systems. Ultimately, Francie was on the team that was key in the development of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) — used to amplify DNA and now widely used to identify small amounts of specific DNA for “fingerprinting.” Francie authored several publications and was an inventor in the patent for the DNA polymerase molecule, the “Molecule of the Year” and “Patent of the Year” in 1989 and 1990, respectively.

365体育投注Francie lived the ultimate work/life balance — always centered around her family. Her son Lewis came into her life in 1983, followed four years later by her daughter Emily. After 10 years living in the Montclair hills of Oakland, Francie “retired” from her science career and moved with her family to Davis, where they have lived happily ever since.

365体育投注Francie immediately started connecting with her new community, first with the “coffee group,” a group of women who, like Francie, had recently left professional careers to focus on their family and community. Ultimately, Francie became active in many organizations, becoming president of the Davis Bridge Educational Foundation, the Friends of Mondavi and the Willowbank Club among other focuses.

365体育投注Importantly, Francie was able to rekindle her love for the flute and piccolo once in Davis. She has been an active member of numerous flute ensembles including, Flutes!, the Camellia City Flute Choir and FluteSong4, and has played in several regional orchestras, building a strong group of flute-friends that have enriched her life.

365体育投注Her smile, her warmth, her humble brilliance, her wit, her calm stability, her fundamental belief in doing the right thing and the deep love that she had for her family will live on in our memories. She was an impressive gardener and cook. Finally, as a mom and grandmother, Francie was the best. She was nurturing, patient, joyful, supportive, thorough, thoughtful and above all, loving.

Francie is survived by her husband Artie, her son Lewis and his wife Laurie and their daughter Telia Lawyer of Cambridge, England, her daughter Emily and her husband Andrew and their daughter Penelope Wainacht of Crockett, Calif., and her sister Linda Schmidt of Davis.

A celebration of Francie’s life will be postponed until later this summer due to the current challenges with traveling and congregating. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Cazadero Music Camp.

365体育投注We will miss her forever.

CalMatters


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