Marlene Ozie (Fuller) Vleisides
August 31, 1935-February 23, 2023
The world lost a bright light on February 23, 2023, but heaven gained a shining star. Surrounded by her loving family after a sudden illness, the sweetest of saints, peacefully passed from this earthly realm to the glorious realm of God’s love. Marlene moved to San Clemente, California with her family when she was ten years old. She, and her sister Arlene, were maybe the first set of identical twins to ever reside in town and they became a town novelty as twins. Everyone knew the “Fuller Twins.” They attended Las Palmas Elementary and graduated from Capo High with 34 other seniors in 1953. As teenagers, they were chosen to be Miss San Clemente together. Marlene was Miss San and Arlene, Miss Clemente.
While attending Woodbury College in Los Angeles she met Leo Vleisides who lived upstairs in the same apartment and after falling in love they were soon married and started a family in San Clemente. In quick succession they had three sons, Nick, Tim and Pondo (Leo Jr.). She became a pre-school teacher at the San Clemente Presbyterian Church preschool eventually becoming the director and retiring after 38 years. Many current not-so-young men and women in San Clemente had Mrs. Vleisides as their preschool teacher/director.
She cherished the women in her bible study, some of whom she had been meeting with for nearly 50 years. She loved playing tennis and later pickleball. Loved entertaining in her home. More than anything else, Marlene is known by all who knew her as one of the most caring, loving and gracious human beings they’ve ever known. She was the closest thing to an angel of God on the earth you could ever meet. If you met her once, you knew her.
She was known as Yia Yia (Y-eye Yuh), the Greek name for grandmother, by not only her grandchildren and great grandchildren, but also by so many others who adopted her as their second mother. The Vleisides family has received hundreds of notes and cards from those describing the influence she had on them. This matriarch of San Clemente will forever be remembered as a symbol of our town’s old-time hospitality.
Marlene is survived by her three sons, Nick (Heidi), Tim, and Pondo (Perra). Her grandchildren, Alex (Aaron), Alyssa, Andre (Stormie), Nicki, Trent, Noelle and Trevor and her three great grandchildren, Ethan, Emily and Adrien. As well, all her extended family of nieces, nephews and cousins, some of whom considered her a second mother. She was preceded in death by her husband Leo, her older brother Clyde, older sister Bethene, and her dear twin sister Arlene. Marlene represents a generation passed on. A Celebration of Life will be held in the church she grew up in, San Clemente Presbyterian Church, on Monday, March 27 at 3:30PM with a brief reception following in the fellowship hall. Attendees are encouraged to wear any bright color. Red and blue were her favorites.