Nancy Chevalier, French teacher

Friday, March 4, 2011; 6:46 PM

Nancy Chevalier, 75, who was a high school French teacher and later operated an independent language school, died Feb. 25 of kidney failure at Potomac Valley Nursing and Wellness Center in Rockville. She was a Rockville resident.

Mrs. Chevalier came to Washington in the late 1950s and worked for several months as a governess to the children of Robert F. Kennedy. In the 1960s, she taught French at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington County.

In the 1990s, she operated Chevalier French Classes in Bethesda, teaching French and English as a foreign language.

Nancy Lou Young was born in Danbury, Conn., and was a 1956 political science graduate of Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. She worked for the United Nations in Geneva and New York in the 1950s. In the 1970s, she received a master's degree in French from Middlebury College in Vermont.

Mrs. Chevalier volunteered at the National Alliance on Mental Illness and was a member of the Bethesda Friends Meeting.

Her husband of 35 years, former Washington Post photographer Douglas Chevalier, died in 2007.

Survivors include three stepchildren, Kim Chevalier of Ariege, France, Michael Chevalier of Salida, Colo., and Tracy Chevalier, author of the novel "Girl With a Pearl Earring," of London; and three grandchildren.

- Matt Schudel

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