Remembrance of Francesca (1956-2022)
Francesca Latawiec, Aryaloka sangha member and mitra sister, died unexpectedly at her home in Exeter October 1.
Francesca started practicing with the Aryaloka Triratna Buddhist Community at the start of the pandemic, attending Tuesday Sangha Nights online regularly. She was immediately attracted to Buddhism and Aryaloka, soon asking to become a mitra. She became a mitra in an online ceremony in September 2020, without even having visited the center in person. Her first visit to the center was this spring as part of a community clean-up day, and she attended her first in-person retreat in August.
She became a valued member of a Sangha Wednesday night study group and had been attending mitra classes with her Dharma sisters. A loving and always positive person, she will be missed by her Sangha friends.
Francesca was born in Beverly, MA, and grew up in Danvers, where she was a member of the advanced YMCA synchronized swim team and participated in numerous school art and film projects.
She graduated from Danvers High School and Salem State College with a Bachelor of Science in geography. She also had Master’s degrees in geology from the University of Illinois and in soil science from the University of New Hampshire.
Her decades-long career in the environmental sciences involved government postings in Washington, D.C.; Boston, MA.; and Concord, N.H. She most recently served as the principal planner of wetlands for the state of New Hampshire.
Throughout her life, Francesca was an avid environmentalist, serving on local planning boards in Lyme, N.H., and Center Barnstead, N.H., where she lived for more than 30 years. She moved to Exeter, N.H., in December 2021.
Francesca is survived by two sisters, Jo Anne Fossa of Beverly, and Marjorie O’Leary of Kingston, NH, as well as her adopted brother, Glen McLaughlin of Pittsfield, NH.
A memorial service will be held at the Living Faith United Methodist Church, 2 Dane Street, Beverly, MA, on Thursday, October 13, at 11 a.m. A memorial service will be held at Aryaloka at a later date to be announced.
Donations may be made in Francesca’s honor to Aryaloka Buddhist Center.