Mary Crist Fleming dies at 98

29th January 2009, Comments 0 comments

Founder of The American School in Switzerland died Tuesday in Montagnola.

MONTAGNOLA - Mary Crist Fleming, founder of American schools abroad, died Tuesday. She was 98.

Fleming died peacefully Tuesday at her home on the campus of The American School in Switzerland in the southern Swiss town of Montagnola, her son-in-law Michael D Aeschliman said Wednesday.

Born in 1910 to school founders and directors Haldy Miller Crist and Frances Leavitt Crist in Boston, Fleming graduated from Harvard University in 1933 with a degree in French.

She traveled widely in Europe and in 1944 established Frog Hollow Country Day School in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, which she directed until 1955.

In 1956, Fleming founded The American School in Switzerland, according to the school, "as an experiment in international education designed to give students strong preparation for American colleges and universities, with the additional dimension of exposure to cultures and training in languages other than their own".

She went on to found several further schools including The American School in England in Thorpe, Surrey.

In all, about 25,000 pupils passed through Fleming's schools and summer programs, Aeschliman said.

Fleming is survived by two daughters, a son and four grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held in Montagnola, Switzerland, on 1 February.

[AP / Expatica]

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