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KIRSHNER -- MARCELLE MCLEOD Age 48, lost her valiant battle with colon cancer on November 29, 2011. At her passing, she was blessed to be surrounded by her loving family in her home in Westlake Village, California. Marcelle was gifted and multi-talented. On an intellectual plane, she possessed a remarkable memory, a keen business sense, and the ability to think and speak on her feet. Creatively, she had a gorgeous singing voice and demonstrated outstanding taste and flair for interior decorating. On a personal level, Marcelle was stunningly beautiful, with a winning personality, a mischievous sense of humor, and a compassionate, giving spirit that she shared with all who knew her. In addition to all these compelling qualities, Marcelle was an outstanding athlete-excelling in gymnastics as a child and competing vigorously in tennis and golf as an adult. With so much to offer, Marcelle would have succeeded in any profession or career that she chose to enter. Instead, she joyously opted to devote all those special gifts toward her precious children, Geneva and Giles. Marcelle was defined by the word "Mom." She was constantly available to meet Geneva's and Giles' needs. She reared them to love the Lord and to follow His guiding hand; she was active in the children's schools and inspired Geneva and Giles to excel in their coursework. Marcelle went the extra mile to ensure that Geneva had all the voice lessons, summer programs, and other opportunities she needed to pursue her passion for singing. Similarly, Marcelle traipsed from game to game encouraging Giles in basketball, baseball, or whatever sport he was playing at the time and made it possible for him to attend training camps and tournaments which would enhance his skills. She was very proud of Geneva and Giles-not just for their many accomplishments but also for the honest, caring, and dedicated human beings they are becoming. The aspect that concerned Marcelle most about her final diagnosis was leaving Geneva and Giles behind and making sure that they would be all right. Proof of that fact is evident in her successful efforts to survive until the wee hours of Giles' 13th birthday. She felt that a teenager would be better able to cope with her passing than a 12-year-old boy. "Determination" could have easily been Marcelle's middle name! Marcelle began her life's journey in Houston, Texas on February 20, 1963, when she was born to Carolyn (Cleveland) McLeod and Vaughan Watkins "Bubba" McLeod. After losing her father at a very early age, Marcelle and her older sister Kim were reared in Albuquerque, New Mexico by two loving parents-their mother Carolyn and Eric Lanphere. Their younger brother Eric joined the family along the way. Marcelle graduated from Highland High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1981 and received a Bachelor's degree in English from Westmont in Santa Barbara, California in 1985. She fell in love with California and lived there the rest of her life. Marcelle is pre-deceased by her father Bubba McLeod and her precious nephew Tommy Lang. She is survived by her daughter Geneva Grace Kirshner and her son Giles McLeod Kirshner of Westlake Village, California; by her parents Carolyn and Eric Lanphere of Albuquerque, New Mexico; by her sister Kimberly McLeod Lang of Albuquerque, New Mexico and Kim's twin daughters Margaret Kimberly "Maggie" Lang and Brittany Lanphere Lang of Scottsdale, Arizona; and by her brother Eric Lanphere, his wife Debbie, and their son Daniel, all of Corrales, New Mexico. Marcelle also leaves behind her children's father Shaun Kirshner; seven sets of adoring aunts and uncles in the states of New Mexico, Texas, and Washington, as well as several cousins and their families across the United States. In addition, Marcelle is survived by her good friend Jeff Kaake and his son Jeremy; her long-standing surrogate brother-in-law Rob Young; and devoted friends too numerous to count. Her faithful companions Mocha and Checkers, her Wheaton Terriers, also miss Marcelle-a lot. The family thanks so many people for their love and care of Marcelle. Special mention must go to the wonderful, nurturing caregivers of Buena Vista Hospice Care Services. In addition, the family thanks the faculty, school counselors, coaches, and teachers of Oaks Christian School in countless ways, but especially for their crucial role in laying down the rock-solid foundation of Christianity in both Geneva and Giles. The Truth of God's Word is forever deeply entrenched in these children, and we are so grateful that they know the Lord and have the sure and certain comfort of knowing that they will, indeed, be reunited with their beloved mother one day. Our deep gratitude also goes out to Marcelle's countless, devoted, precious friends. They built a strong fortress of support and encouragement around her, as she endured the suffering and hardships of the terrible disease, which she herself named "Goliath." Marcelle is now in Paradise. While we will miss her beautiful smile and silly, witty antics until God calls us Home to join her, we will remain forever grateful for the limitless, pure joy that she brought to each and every one of our hearts and lives. Services in celebration of Marcelle's life will be held on Saturday, December 10, 2011 at 10:00 AM at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 32111 Watergate Road, Westlake Village, California 91361. The nearest major cross streets are Westlake Boulevard and Lakeview Canyon Road. Pastor Dave Gudgel of Palo Alto, California will conduct the service. A reception will be held following the church service at the Napa Tavern Restaurant, located at the corner of Westlake Boulevard and Thousand Oaks Boulevard. Marcelle's family will scatter her ashes over the beautiful Pacific Ocean near Malibu Beach at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made in Marcelle's memory to Oaks Christian School, 31749 La Tienda Road, Westlake Village, California 91362.
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