Michele Z. Whitlock

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Michele Z. Whitlock passed away on May 2, 2013 in her home in Colorado Springs. Although she defeated breast cancer in 1972, she succumbed after a 1 ½ year long battle with emphysema, lung cancer and lymphoma. She was 80 years old. Michele Zephyre Whitlock (Schwarzstein) was born May 11, 1932 in Paris, France to Leon Schwarzstein and André (Girard) Schwarzstein, who both preceded her in death. Michele lived with her family in Paris until the World War II Nazi Germany Occupation began in June of 1940. The Schwarzstein family was of Jewish faith, and several family members, such as her father, Leon, her uncle Roger Girard, and a niece O'Dette Girard and nephew Simon Girard were cataloged and sent to concentration camps. Her mother, André, was determined to avoid this fate for herself and Michele, and both were allowed by the governance to convert to Catholicism and remain in Paris. Michele traveled to and lived at a Catholic convent outside Paris until the occupation ended in 1944. She was then reunited with her mother and father. Leon had survived his internment in a work camp located in North-Eastern France, and was freed when the camp was liberated by American and Allied Forces. Unfortunately, the other aforementioned family members were exterminated. The family then learned that while alone in Paris, her mother André had secretly worked with French "Underground" operatives to undermine Nazi activities while she worked at her Aunt Rozette's ladies boutique in Paris. Once back together, Leon continued his work as a cabinet maker after recovering from his internment, and Michele completed her seminary schooling and attended the University of Paris. In 1959, Michele met her future husband, David Cotton Whitlock, of California, during his United States Air Force assignment in Paris, and they married that year. This union produced a son, David Daniel Whitlock, of Colorado Springs, CO, who survives her. The family relocated to Colorado Springs, where she remained the rest of her life. She and her husband divorced in 1984, and she never remarried. Michele enjoyed collecting antiques, and the study of ancient cultures and societies such as the Roman and Mongol Empires. No funeral services are planned at Michele's behest, and she will be cremated. Memorials in Michele's name can be made to the (www.cancer.org) or the charity closest to your heart.

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Published in The Gazette on May 5, 2013
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