Monique Brancart Lehner

Monique Brancart Lehner died on Jan. 4, at age 91, after suffering for several years with Alzheimer's. She moved to Hastings in 2015 to live with her  daughter and son-in-law.

Monique was born on July 26, 1930, in Schooten, Belgium, to Reine and Arnold Brancart. At the time, Arnold was working for Caltex (Texaco) in Switzerland, but the couple returned to Reine’s family home for the birth. Soon after, Arnold was named director for the Middle East, and the family moved to Alexandria, Egypt. Monique grew up in Alexandria, then Saigon, then Long Beach, Calif., during the war, and then back to Egypt, this time in Mahdi (Cairo), where she attended the Cairo American School, and where she was the junior diving champion of Egypt. She was considered too young for Smith College when she graduated, so Monique went to a Swiss boarding school, Prealpina, for one year. 

In 1947, she met her husband-to-be, Philip Lehner, aboard the Queen Elizabeth. Monique was traveling with her family to the States, where she would attend Smith College; Philip and his father were returning from a business trip. Monique and Philip dated for three years while she was at Smith, and married in 1951. They moved to Philip’s home town of Hingham, Mass., and lived there for the next 64 years. 

While raising their five children, Monique studied architectural history. Later, she served as president of the New England Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH), and on their national board. While her children attended Milton Academy, and for years after, she served as a trustee of Milton. With Minxie Fannin, she co-founded Fannin-Lehner, a historic preservation consulting firm. Monique also lectured on oriental carpets, and worked as a historic color consultant. She loved to travel with Philip, and visited most of the world and had friends on five continents. Monique enjoyed her time in Hastings, going to chair yoga at the James Harmon Community Center, visiting Untermyer Gardens, attending Grace Episcopal Church, and lunching at Center Restaurant. 

Monique is survived by her five children and their spouses: Christine Lehner and Charles Branch, Carl and Sandra Lehner, Michael and Monica Lehner, Peter Lehner and Fritz Beshar, Brigitte and Hal Kingsbury; 15 grandchildren and their spouses: Reine Hewitt and Michael Brownstein, Tristram Hewitt and Nika Seidman, Myric Lehner and Majda Radovanovic, Jessica Lehner and Ivan Piotrowski, Walter, Erica, Caleb, Peter Kim, Christian, Madeleine, Nadine, Eliza Lehner and Porter Diehl, Marina Lehner and Philip Greengard, Matthew Kingsbury and Katherine Nagel, and Dylan Kingsbury; and five great-grandchildren: Leda, Ignatius, Minerva, Auben, and Amalia. She was predeceased by her husband, Philip, in 2013, and by her younger brother, Claude Brancart, in late December 2021. 

There will be a service in Hastings in the spring or summer, when circumstances allow. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to www.untermyergardens.org or hinghamhistorical.org

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.