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Marcelle Fillols Callens

1921 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Marcelle Fillols Callens Obituary
Marcelle Fillols Callens passed away peacefully on January 8, 2017. She is survived by
her daughters, Michele Wuescher and Rose-Marie Browning, their spouses Peter Wuescher
and Michael Fletcher, her grandsons Christopher Fletcher and Allen Wuescher and his wife
Lucie Wuescher, and their three children, Charlotte, Andre, and Joseph Wuescher, her great
Mrs. Callens was an inspiring survivor and cherished mentor. She was born in Castres,
France. As a young adult and new mother, she survived the Nazi occupation of her beloved
France. After the war she survived immigrating to the US without knowing English.
Extremely gifted and superbly trained both in New Orleans and in Paris, she opened
Marcel's French Beauty Salon and became a most sought after hairdresser by many a New
Orleans debutante and several Mardi Gras Queens. Struck down and immobilized by the
rare and debilitating Gillian Barre Syndrome (GBS) in 1962, she survived, but she had to
relearn the use of her arms and legs and hands and feet, and how to walk again. Determined
to surmount, she did, but was unfortunately left permanently disabled. Still, she began to
drive again, to live independently, and to travel again. In 1968 she accompanied her flight
attendant daughter on an around-the-world vacation.
A voracious reader of both French and English, she began hosting soirees for Tulane
University graduate students interested in perfecting their spoken French and learning
more about French culture. In 2005 Katrina stole away her life in New Orleans and she
relocated to Redondo Beach. Fiercely independent Mrs. Callens continued, as she had for
decades, to live alone. Although she survived, she was deeply saddened for many years
over being unable to return to her cherished New Orleans lifestyle. Happily visiting her
great grand children in Houston two years ago,she found herself trapped with them and her
daughters, their husbands, and her grandson and his wife in their beautiful Houston home.
They watched in horror as the Memorial Day Flood filled the entire bottom floor of the
house with 12 feet of water! She survived yet again.
Marcelle Callens, with her daughter and care giver by her side,recently passed away very
peacefully in her Redondo Beach apartment following a brief illness.
Private memorial services were held in Hermosa Beach. Interment will take place in May
in her home town: Castres, France. A mass was celebrated at Our Lady of Guadalupe on Feb
21, 2017.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to her favorite charities: the GBS/CIDP
Foundation International…. and/or the National Shrine of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos
Published in The Beach Reporter on Feb. 23, 2017
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