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Sculptor and Stone Worker Mimi Servant Dies

May 22, 2007 — Longtime St. John resident Mimi Servant died Monday at Roy L. Schneider Hospital on St. Thomas after a short illness.
Servant, whose real name was Marie-Therese but who was known to all as Mimi, was 74.
Servant and her recently retired husband, Rene Servant, moved full-time to St. John in 1978. They bought property in the Coral Bay area in 1971 and started building their house in 1974.
"It was amazing the way she built those stone walls," said neighbor Sandy Mohler.
Servant was a tireless worker who, in addition to her stone work, put her artistic imprint on their home and their vacation villa, Calypso. She was also an avid sculptor.
Mohler and others spoke about Servant's creativity, artistic ability and love of plants and flowers. She was known for landscaping with native plants.
"Her artistic talent covered such a wide spectrum," said former neighbor Emily Cena.
Merry Nash and Lee Morris worked at Islandia Real Estate, where Rene Servant worked as a Realtor for many years. They mentioned the hand-decorated Christmas trees that Servant made each year for the Islandia office.
"It was an Islandia tradition," Nash said.
Servant was typical of the people who moved to St. John decades ago, Mohler said.
"She's the old spirit of Coral Bay — people who came here and created something out of nothing," she said. Mohler called Servant a strong and "purposeful" woman.
Servant was unafraid of heavy work, and was often seen up on the roof cleaning gutters or scrubbing out the cistern, Cena said. In fact, local stone masons gave her a nickname: "Heavy Duty."
"She took that as a great compliment," Cena said.
A native of Brittany, France, Servant met her husband while the two attended hairdressing school in Paris. Rene Servant was there on a post-U.S. army visit to his homeland. They were married for 56 years.
"I asked her to marry me seven times, but she thought I was kidding," Rene Servant said.
Although the two met at school, their romance flourished after he fell off his motorcycle in front of her, he said
"She said, 'You damn fool,'" Rene Servant recalled.
The two honeymooned on his motorcycle. After they moved to the United States, Servant leaned to speak English with her children. She became an American citizen on the first day she was eligible.
"She was so proud of being an American," he said.
Rene Servant attributed his achievements to his wife. "Mimi is really the reason I've been successful," he said.
In addition to her husband, Servant is survived by her son, Gaston, who lives nearby on St. John. Another son, Christopher, died in an accident when he was 14.
Rene Servant said memorial service plans are pending.

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