Memories of Celie Cabane, longtime EUU member from Paris

Celie Cabane died on February 16 at the Hopital St Louis in Paris. She was 71 years old. She had been undergoing  treatment for cancer for many years but never stopped her psychotherapy practice, using Voice Dialogue.  

Celie was active in the early years of the Paris fellowship when her children, Olivia (Alice) and Guillaume, participated in RE. She organized a discussion group for a few years, a dream group, and led Voice Dialogue workshops for UUFP and for EUU. She also led a workshop on dreams at the ICUU European Summer Week for families in Klingberg, Germany, in the mid 2000s.

She had a dynamic personality and an infectious laugh, and one friend mentions her as “grounded and earthy.”  Bettina Lande recalls that she and Celie organized seders for UUFP and at an EUU retreat.  In recent years she did not attend UUFP events but she kept up her friendship with several members.  Bettina wrote, ” I worked not far from where Celie lived so we could get together at short notice, most recently, when the restaurants reopened, for lunch just off Mouffetard, finding her, after all the years, as feisty and fun as ever.”

Diana Smith: What a generous long-time friend who faced difficult situations with resolve.

Celie Fox Cabane participated in early Voice Dialogue seminars in Los Angeles with the founders Dr. Hal and Dr. Sidra Stone. She and I shared facilitation skills during several Voice Dialogue summer camps in Europe and in a on-going Paris group. Celie was planning on introducing UU people to this communication and self-development tool in her home before Covid confined us.

While developing a bilingual French-English school and raising her two small children, she was challenged by ill health and bureaucracy. She continuously sought breaking-edge solutions like voice dictation while writing her thesis or retrying several scenarios before an elevator/lift was installed in their building.

Whenever I needed to know something, I would ask Celie.

I had lunch with Celie and her husband Bernard about a month ago. She was her usual joyful, candid and lovely self.

Jackie Thomas: Celie had an amazing sense and amount of positive energy to work on projects of all sorts, help figure things out, do the work, and achieve optimum results. She did this full of goodwill, mostly smiling and joking, while never hesitating to insert her opinion! She was a doer, and accomplishment was her middle name. She was sometimes the leader and sometimes an integral team player. She excelled in all things pedagogical and made all her projects fun. She had a contagious smile and was able to work with all types of people. I knew her through UUFP and the Ecole d’Aujourd’hui, which her daughter and my oldest son, Sergio, attended. May her family rest at ease in knowing what a contribution she made to all those who surrounded her.

Gevene Hertz: John and I remember Celie very well and very fondly, from spending time with her and Bernard at EUU retreats. But not just at retreats.

They spent many summer months in Lund, Sweden, across the water from us, and Celie kindly invited us to one of the wonderful cookout garden parties they held for students and research colleagues. They also spent a weekend at our house, and we showed them around our part of Denmark. One thing that sticks in my mind was visiting Louisiana modern art museum and apologizing for the crowded grounds – Celie said that nothing in Denmark was crowded at all, when your reference city was Paris!

We visited Celie and Bernard in Paris several times. We talked a lot about her cancer and various treatments. At our last visit, for coffee a few years ago, she spoke as usual in an open way about her illness and future plans, and she made what I had feared would be a sad visit into a very inspiring and comforting one. I will always remember her for that.