The Patureau Sisters of Plaquemine

I’ve always known that my Mee Maw had sisters, but when I was a kid I didn’t really give that much thought.  She was born Germaine Erie Patureau on Aug. 6, 1895, in Crescent, Louisiana (Plaquemine area).  Of the children that survived to adulthood, she was the 4th of 9 children.  She was the 2nd daughter of seven.  She had one sister named Marie Therese who got married, had two children, and died a day after her second daughter was born.  I don’t have a photo of the sisters with Marie Therese included.  There may be one out there. (hint, hint)

Late 50s Patureau Sisters

The Patureau Sisters of Plaquemine – (back) Lorena, Emma, Erie, Lydwin, (front) Sylvie and Zita

This is a photo of the Patureau sisters some time around the late 1950s.  It was taken in Duson, Louisiana, at one of the sisters’ home.  I’ll name them starting on the back row.  On the far left is Lorena.  She is the only one that I have any memories of.  I remember going to her house (in Opelousas) when she was an older lady.  I remember her having a pulley or ring above her bed to assist her in getting in and out of it.  She also gave my sister her sewing machine.  I also remember her funeral in 1972.  When we were riding to the cemetery I was really hungry and my stomach started churning.  By the time  we got to the graveyard, I ended up having the dry heaves.  And my wonderful grandmother who was grieving over the loss of her sister came over and helped me out. (With the assistance of my equally wonderful godmother.)  She took out some smelling salts and had me smell it and it settled my stomach immediately.  It was like magic!  I’ve never had the dry heaves since, but if I ever do, I’ll know the solution.

The next sister is Emma.  She was the one that lived in Duson.  I’ve posted a photo that includes her before (The Man in Black), but she is more famously known as the mother of Tez. (The Uninvited Guest)  I know that she was also a writer.  I remember reading through a collection of her poetry and prose when I was younger.  Sometimes Tez would recite from it.

Of course the next one is the best one of all!  That’s my Mee Maw – the woman we have all grown to love and cherish.  (I am not being partial and no descension is allowed!)  She looks happy to be with her sisters.  I’ve posted another photo of her and her sisters before, but that was before my Throwback Thursday series, which began just over a year ago.  I found this photo in my dad’s collection.  There is another one from the same day, but I haven’t cleaned it up yet.

The sister on the far right in the blue dress is Lydwin.  She is what was ungraciously called an “old maid.”  And she probably got that moniker before the age of 30.  I’m sure it wasn’t meant to be negative.  Right?  At any rate she did not get married and lived her life in the Plaquemine area.

Her sister Sylvie also lived in Plaquemine.  She is the lady in the front with the blue dress.  But she was far from being an old maid.  She and her husband Walter Marionneaux had eight children.  My dad liked to visit his cousins in Plaquemine.  They both had large families, so I’m sure it was a lively house when they visited.  Both families have continued to grow through the years, making it hard to keep track of them all.

The last one in this group is Zita.  She did not give birth to any children of her own, but she was a mother nonetheless.  When their sister Marie Therese died, Zita ended up marrying her widower and rearing the children.  A very sweet story, I think.

So there you go.  The Patureau sisters of Plaquemine.  You would be hard pressed to find a finer group of women.

 

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