Landscapes 13

Rolande Roberte Poulard Faucon

November 16, 1924 ~ March 23, 2022 (age 97)


Rolande Roberte Poulard was born on November 16, 1924 in the small, rural village of Fontaine-sur-Ay, in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France.  She was the third child of Louise and Victor Jules Poulard.   She was set free from her earthly bonds on March 23, 2022. 

WWII had a devastating impact on Rolande’s life, as shown in an interview with Florida State University, Faucon Rolande R. Collection, Institute on WWII and the Human Experience.

"Rolande R. Poulard lived in Mareuil-sur-Ay, Marne, France during World War II. Rolande was 15 when the war started. At 16, the Germans began occupying France. (Rolande describes the English retreat in the Spring of 1940 in her interview). According to Rolande, the village of Mareuil sur Ay was situated along the Marne River, making the village a prime target for German bombing and transport. Once the Germans occupied the village, Rolande and her family kept to a strict curfew of lights out and food rationing. Her older brother [Eli Poulard] was sent to a German labor camp for three years where a small sum was deposited in his parents' names. Rolande also describes the deportations of Jews and non-Jews from the Gare of Epernay... a crossroad for train transports between Northern France and Germany."

Our mother would often recount the horrid tales of watching bombs as they dropped from the sky, how townspeople would seek refuge in local champagne cellars, of families identifying their loved ones after a bombing raid, and of watching as train cattle cars transported people through town to an unspeakable destination.   But then, she would also talk about the great American Liberation of her little town, Mureuil-sur-Ay, and of her grand introduction to chewing gum.  She would describe sharing homemade meals (with what little food they had) with GIs, or of their family washing hundreds of black GI socks (socks that hadn’t been washed in months) in preparation for the march towards or from battle.

She met our father in Reims, France where she was employed as a cook, sending food that had been bartered in lieu of cash payment back to her family.  She would later marry our father, Ivan Val Faucon, PFC, on October 27th, 1944.   There was no family happier than our mothers to have an American, a liberator, as a son-in-law.  Her younger sister Micheline would later follow, marrying Ivan’s best friend, Lloyd Coen, a fellow GI, the following year.

Rolande was therefore a French WWII bride, from the time known as the Greatest Generation, an era of great sacrifice. She embodied the best of the contributions that many immigrants make to our country.  With her journey, she brought hope, determination, persistence, a longing for a better life, and the offering of the very essence of who she was.  She exemplified the very spirit of this generation; living within one’s means, a sense of morality with a faithful commitment to spouse and family, and an honest work ethic.  She would become your quintessential “American Patriot.”

After our mother dedicated her younger life to raising children, she began to pursue the many talents that had lain dormant within her.  In her late 40s, she would advance her education (an 8th-grade equivalent) to pursue an AAS Degree in 1974 from Arizona Western College, later teaching French Cooking to students at this same community college.

Our mother was always enamored by the beauty around her, commenting on the colors of the sky, waters, mountains...  She would learn to paint in oils, acrylics, and watercolor and later teach her craft to passengers on cruise boats, encouraging their success as artists too.  This “occupation” later in life would take her and our father on numerous voyages across the world.

Our mother led a very full, active, and inspirational life.  She played bridge well into her 90’s at the Duke City Bridge Club in Albuquerque, gave lessons in French with the Albuquerque French Club, d'Alliance Francaise, was a member of the New Mexico Watercolor Society, and continued to submit paintings for judging at the New Mexico State Fair.

Rolande is proceeded in death by her husband, Ivan Val Faucon, and youngest son Phillip R. Faucon, her brothers Eli and Roger Poulard, and elder sister Jeanne Godfroy.   She is survived by a younger sister Micheline Coen, youngest brother Jean Poulard, her oldest son Ivan V. Faucon and his wife Barbara, daughter Carmen L. Faucon and daughter Micheline F. and husband Michael Repasky, their son Aaron, spouse Karen and child Noah, and daughter Renee, spouse Chris, and child Waverly. She is also survived by numerous nephews, nieces, great-nephews, and nieces throughout the U.S. and France.

Mother, thank you for the wonderful journey; your love, inspiration, and all the unique experiences that were enveloped into our lives were unforgettable.   Because of you, we will continue to laugh, smile, and hold our champagne glasses high into the air for another toast.                                            

Without the assistance from Casa De La Paz Hospice, negotiating the last years of our mother’s life would have been extremely demanding. The family would like to thank Briana, Marylynne, Sue, and Priest Henri Capdeville with Hospice. The family would also like to thank the staff at Healing Hearts Assisted Living in Sierra Vista; both Beverlie's, Shannon, Karrie, Pete, and Ashley.   Thanks to each of you for your professionalism, devotion, and caring.  We always felt she was safe with each one of you.

Our mother’s remains will be interred along with our father at the Santa Fe National Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers please make donations to Casa De La Paz Hospice.   (Three WWII paintings and an oral history are archived with FSU, Faucon, Rolande R. collection, Institute on WWII and the Human Experience ).

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