Simone <I>Melchior</I> Cousteau

Simone Melchior Cousteau

Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France
Death 1 Dec 1990 (aged 71)
Burial Cremated, Ashes scattered at sea, Specifically: Ashes scattered over the Sea of Monaco.
Memorial ID 15649398 · View Source
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Simone was the wife and business partner of undersea explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Her father Henri Melchior and both grandfathers Jules Melchior (paternal) and Jean Baehme (maternal) were admirals in the French Navy. Simone's mother was Marguerite Melchior, affectionately called Guitte. She had two brothers: Maurice, and Simone's twin, Michel. In 1942, Simone's father provided financing and the manufacturing expertise of Emile Gagnan at Air Liquide to build Jacques Couteau's aqua lung. Simone was indirectly to hold the key to this significant step in diving history. She was present in 1943 at the testing of the prototype for the aqua lung, in the Marne River outside Paris. The new invention was employed to locate and remove enemy mines after World War II. Acting as mother, healer, nurse and psychiatrist to the all-male crew for 40 years, her nickname was "La Bergere," the Shepherdess. The first woman scuba diver, Simone was at Jacques's side during his major underwater accomplishments. She led him to the men and money who would build his scuba invention, she helped buy their beloved Calypso, saved the ship during a storm, and made sure each exploration achieved its objective. Simone met her future husband, Jacques, at a cocktail party in 1937. He was a naval officer of 25 and she was 17. They were married at Saint-Louis-des-Invalides, in Paris, on July 12, 1937. They had two sons, Jean-Michel Cousteau born May 6, 1938 and Phillipe Cousteau born Dec 30, 1940 and who died in 1979 in a PBY Catalina flying boat crash. She received a full military funeral, during which her ashes were scattered over the Sea of Monaco.

Cause of death: Cancer

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  • Created by: seeshell
  • Added: 7 Sep 2006
  • Find a Grave Memorial 15649398
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Simone Melchior Cousteau (19 Jan 1919–1 Dec 1990), Find a Grave Memorial no. 15649398, ; Maintained by seeshell (contributor 46784555) Cremated, Ashes scattered at sea, who reports a Ashes scattered over the Sea of Monaco..