Marcelle KUBOTA Obituary (2022) – Bellingham, WA

Marcelle Josephine Kubota passed away suddenly on June 10, 2022 in Bellingham, WA at the age of 90 from kidney cancer. She was born on February 20, 1932 in Paris, France, the second of four children to parents Alphonse and Elise Goutte.

As a child, Marcelle lived in Paris in an apartment on the grounds of the Hopital universitaire la Pitie-Salpetriere, a teaching hospital in the 13th arrondissement of Paris, where her mother was a head nurse and her father was a postman in the Latin Quarter. At the age of seven, when World War II broke out, Marcelle and her siblings moved to live with their grandparents on their farm outside of the Pyrenees town of Pau, where it was safer. Life was difficult with food shortages and not being able to be with her parents. Marcelle worked on the farm with her siblings and cousins, tending the animals and helping in the fields and attended school which was really only 3 miles away. After missing her parents for four years, Marcelle returned to Paris before the end of the war. She remembered the US soldiers who liberated Paris and threw them sweets from the street. When the war was over life became easier and more enjoyable as they shared many extended family dinners where they ate delicious food, told stories and sang together. Marcelle especially loved singing with her sister and listening to operas and throughout her life she sang her favorite songs in French.

Marcelle loved math and working with numbers, which led her to become an accountant, but her dream was to work as an interpreter in a Grand Hotel in Paris. Because of this dream, she went to England as a young woman and worked as a nanny for a wealthy family to improve her English while offering them her French cooking skills. After returning to Paris, Marcelle worked in a shop near the Champs Elysees.

Then one special day she met a handsome American GI named George Kubota on a blind date under the Eiffel Tower. Shortly after the meeting, George returned to the United States when his recruitment expired. They developed a relationship by mail and exchanged many letters before George returned to Paris on December 27, 1955 to propose to Marcelle and marry her. Leaving their family and life in France, the couple then moved to George’s hometown of Metaline Falls, WA, where they worked at the Kubota family’s hardware store, The Metaline Falls Trading Co., and raised four children.

It was a very different life from the big city of Paris, but Marcelle adjusted well and enjoyed living in a small town. She made good friends and enjoyed taking long walks in such a beautiful place. She was often spotted on the highway or around town and competed in the Bloomsday races in Spokane several times. She and George often played golf at the local course in the summer, played badminton with a local group, and went cross-country skiing in the winter. In their later years they enjoyed trips to Reno and Las Vegas to gamble, often making it a family trip with their children as well as some trips back to France to visit families and familiar places. And they were always happy about trips to see the grandchildren.

Marcelle was an avid Gonzaga basketball fan and rarely missed watching her games on TV while wearing her Bulldogs team swag and was vocal in letting the umpires know what she thought of her calls. A knitter and crocheter, each of Marcelle’s children and grandchildren has a blanket she made. Marcelle was an excellent cook and taught her children to prepare delicious French specialties such as cream puffs, baguettes, aioli and her grandchildren’s favorite biscuits. Over the years she enjoyed playing card games with friends and family and was always up for a mean game of Yahtzee.

When Metaline Falls became her permanent home, Marcelle became a US citizen and used the process of obtaining citizenship as a learning opportunity for her Junior Girl Scout squad. She was sworn in while wearing her uniform as a Girl Scout while her squad was in attendance.

After many years in Metaline Falls raising children, working, chopping wood, picking blueberries, and living a wonderful life with longtime friends and family, Marcelle and George moved to Bellingham, WA 3 years ago to be close to their children in old age be. In their hearts, Metaline Falls has always been their home and place of longing. Now they return together and will be remembered in a celebration of their lives on Saturday, July 2, 2022 at 1pm in Metaline Falls Town Park. All are welcome, please bring a lawn chair if you would like to sit. Feel free to share a story or memory of Marcelle or George during the celebration.

Marcelle is survived by her four children James Kubota (Linda), Christine Kubota (Michael Pietro), Marc Kubota (Sheri White) and Michele Kubota, granddaughters Jennifer Kubota, Elise and Tess Pietro, grandsons Grant and Chase Pietro, sisters in law Irene Neves and Jean Cassill, nieces and nephews,

Marcelle died her parents Alphonse and Elise Goutte, sister Francoise Lescroart, brothers Gerard Goutte and Laurent Goutte, grandson Dominic Pietro, nephew Marc Lescroart and just 3 months ago her dear husband of 66 ½ years George Kubota, Jr. She had missed him a lot and “just wanted to be with dad”. We believe they are back together now.

As a mother, Marcelle was always concerned about the well-being of the children. In her honor, donations can be made to benefit children at The Artscape Program, c/o The Cutter Theatre, Box 133, Metaline Falls, WA 99153, or to the International Adoption and Child Support Agency, with donations to either the China Program or to the China program the Cambodia program at Holt International, PO Box 2880, Eugene, OR 97402.

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Published by Spokesman-Review from June 26 to July 25, 2022.

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