Marlyse Kinder Fitzpatrick
September 5, 1927 – September 5, 2021
Marlyse Reine Rose Alphonsine Kinder Fitzpatrick, 94, was born in Strasbourg France on 9/5/1927. Her father, Albert Kinder was Austrian-French and her mother, Marthe S Kinder was German though she was also born in Strasbourg. Marlyse held fond memories of her musical family. Her father entertained in local night clubs playing saxophone and on Sundays played the organ at the Catholic Church. Both her father (on the piano) and uncle (playing the violin) performed with the Strasbourg Symphony Orchestra.
Marlyse and her family survived the Nazi occupation of France after the Germans stormed into Paris on June 14, 1940, Marlyse was 12 years old and Alsace had already been occupied in May 1940. France was liberated in November 1944, Marlyse was 17. In March, the following year she met and fell in love with Bill Fitzpatrick who was in Strasbourg investigating war crimes for the army. He swept her off her feet—not really sure who actually did the sweeping—none the less, they were married 8/31/1946 shortly before she turned 19 years old and moved to live with his parents in Rockbridge County, Virginia while he completed his college degree and she worked as a secretary at VMI.
With her infectious laugh, vivacious and flirtatious essence, she could be quite the charmer. She was full-of-life and a tour de force in all that she did. Her children describe her as “fearless,” “strong-willed” and “determined.” She instilled in them good values and wisdom.
While raising the children, she redefined the definition of being a “full-time homemaker.” She was always busy sewing clothes and doing other handiwork like needle point, knitting, tapestry and watercolor painting. In 1946 when Marlyse first arrived in the US, she barely knew how to boil water. But true-to-form, she mastered cooking with a French flair. As a self-taught chef she cooked fabulous meals with fish, pork loin, venison and even ratatouille for family and friends. If that was not enough, she made her own preserves, tomato juice, and filled the house with luscious aromas while baking her favorite sour dough bread. She was also a wine connoisseur, red wine especially.
She spoke five languages fluently with no accents. Never lost her love of classical music that connected her to her family in France, but made space for appreciation of the contemporary stylings of singers like Frank Sinatra, Robert Goulet, and Andy Williams.
She not only had a green thumb, her whole arm, up to her elbow, was green. She was truly a “plant whisperer.” She could make anything grow. She could root plants like nobody’s business, making her house plants and landscaped yard a sight to behold.
Always athletic, she mastered anything she took on: golf, bowling, snow-skiing, and horseback riding. She bowled until she hit 90 years old. She learned to refinish furniture and re-upholster. Pregnant at 40 and doing cartwheels at 42, she amazed all who knew her. She loved to dance. Her 4'11 frame was small of stature, but with a little help from her ever-present, high-heeled shoes, she was larger than life.
Her husband, Bill Fitzpatrick, passed in 2000. She lived alone until the end and continued to cook for herself every night, making full, delicious meals. When he was alive, Bill always took care of the finances and investments. After his death, she picked up the management of the household finances like a trained professional. She never lost her love of travel going to Morocco, Alaska, and of course trips to visit her family in France. She even traveled to China and Ireland with lady friends when she was 73 years old.
The last week of her life was one of excitement for her and also dread. She had been exposed to a positive Covid aide and had to be tested. She was excited about the party we were having for her and her granddaughter in law as they share the same date of birth, but afraid she would not be able to attend. The worse thing that preyed on her mind was that she may have infected so many others. She had finally turned the corner after 2 months of not doing well. The test came back negative on Friday and it was joy once again! Unfortunately, she had terrible abdominal pain and had to go to ER. She died with all her family around her on her birthday holding on to her and each other. Not what we planned, but a celebration of her life and that we were all there with her. She is survived by daughters: Yvonne McGuffin (Ron ), Susie Harris (Cliff), Fitz Fitzpatrick, and a son, Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick (Jan); niece, Regine Ewald (Marc); nephews, Christophe Kinder (Yvonne) and Stephan Kinder; grandchildren, Chris McGuffin (Stephanie), Tim McGuffin (Katie), Kelly Harris Moore (Adam), Chad Harris (Becca); great grandchildren, Joshua, Luke, Cade, Rose, Faith, Noelle McGuffin, Charlie Brasch, Lydia, Nate Moore; great nephews, Alexandre, Edgar, Axel; great niece, Lawrence and their children.
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
Wednesday, September 15, 2021
Marlyse Kinder Fitzpatrick
September 15, 2021
Neil wanted to apologize for not joining you all, because of his cough. He has memories of the wonderful food she
prepared, especially fish. We remember the delicious bread she brought after my surgery. What a gifted life she lived.
Our sympathy to each of you.
Steve, Beryl and Neil
September 15, 2021
Marlyse was my grandma or as we referred to her… Mamama. The things I see first when I think of her from my youth was the color green. Her house, her carpets, her wall papers, her garden and of course her train horn Cadillac. Another thing that sticks out right away with her is her big smooches. You could hear them from a mile away and she wasn’t bashful about doing it in public either.
When I got more into adulthood, she told me to start calling her Marlyse instead of Mamama. To me, this was sort of a pivotal change in our relationship. I still looked at her as my grandmother, but it felt different. It felt deeper.
We spent a lot of our time together reminiscing on her life growing up. How she toured Europe singing with an orchestra, how she lived through the Second World War happening right outside her window in Germany, and how when she was brought to America on a ship and she was one of few multi lingual women that could translate for the other War Brides. Every time we spoke about her life, her eyes would light up. She was so proud of who she was, where she came from and how her life panned out.
My favorite memory of Marlyse has to be from my wedding 4 months ago. Her wild spirit came out when my cousin Tim brought her out on the dance floor. She was dancing and having so much fun, you’d forget she was even in a wheelchair. When she left that evening, she told me it was the best night she could remember. I will hold that memory with me for the rest of my life. In the most recent last few visits, we reminisced on that day and the honeymoon to follow. She would light up just like she did when we talked about her youth.
We all knew Marlyse as one of the most independent, strong people we have we’ve ever met. She stayed active for many years whether it be traveling, golfing, bowling, gardening, or puzzling, she always had a story tell. We all knew that her love of life, our family and her independence would be the fuel to keep her here with us and that it’d
September 15, 2021
It is with great sadness that I learned of the disappearance of my aunt Marlyse. she will be part of my best memories. Regrets
Regine EWALD KINDER
September 14, 2021
French family just wanna to say how sad they are, how Marlyse was a wonderful aunt laughing loudly. She was a huge person of our childhood. Sincere condolences !
September 14, 2021
Susie, Elaine and family,
Your mom’s passing marks the end of the era of the grand dames in Westham. My own mother passed in 2017, and I feel Mrs. Fitzpatrick was the last of the great ladies who raised their families there fifty years ago. Julie and I lived about for doors down from your mom until we moved about two years ago. We never met her, but neighbors always referred to her as a gracious lady.
Please know that we’ll be keeping you and all your families in our thoughts and prayers,
Chris & Julie Klotz
September 8, 2021
In the short time that i came to know Marlyse she taught me a few life lessons. She was an amazing woman. The family has my most sincere condolences.
Lee and Rick Baldwin
September 7, 2021
We treasured our moments with Marlyse--the family gatherings and particularly Chad's wedding reception. She could light up your spirit with her smile. Our hearts are with Susie and her family and with Susie and Cliff and the rest of our family. God bless you all, and bring your comfort and peace.