Today I thought I would write about the death of my great grandmother Marie Therese Landry Patureau. It’s time to write about my dad’s side of the family and it is Father’s Day this weekend, so I’ll write about his mother’s mother. I was going to say, “But it’s mostly about my dad,” but that isn’t true. It’s about his mother and grandmother. My father’s name was Robert Joseph Landry, Jr. Most people knew him as Bob or Pluto, or Daddy or Pappy, or Mr. Landry. He answered to all of them. I ran across the obituary of my great grandmother this week and was glad to find it. I had looked for it a while back and couldn’t find it. I also thought it would be good to combine that with some death notices that I got back in 2019 when I got together with some cousins.
I have always liked the title of this newspaper clipping from 1909. Of course, as you can see, it is not the actual clipping that I have. It is a transcription of the newspaper article. I don’t know who did the transcribing and I’m not even sure of how I got this information. I’m a bad genealogist. I don’t keep good records of where I obtain things. I find it hard enough to keep track of the things that I have, much less where they came from! I’m a better family historian. I can bring the information together, make a few digital edits, and share it in these writings that I do.
The obituary is titled “Death of a Noble Woman” and continues with the story, “In the little village of Crescent, on Monday the fourth day of October, 1909, Marie Therese Landry, wife of Dr. V. Vincent Maximilian Patureau, died at the age of 41 years and 21 days.” What I really like about this is that they actually give her full maiden name. She’s not just Mrs. V. M. Patureau. I don’t think her age is correct in what they say. On the plaque on the Patureau tomb in Plaquemine, her birth is given as Sept. 25, 1868. Cousin Sis seems to think it was in October and that she died at almost 41 years of age. I’m going with what was carved in stone!
“It is said that the death of her brother Thomas B. Landry, which occurred on the 26th of last month caused her much grief, and two days later having given birth to a child, her gentle soul took its flight back to its Creator.” I don’t know about all that. I’m sure she did grieve the death of her brother, but I wouldn’t think that it had much effect on her death. She was only 41 (or so) and she had dealt with grief before. The daughter that she gave birth to in 1909 was named Hedwidge and she was the 15th child that Marie Therese gave birth to. Marie Therese had dealt with the death of five of those offspring. Some had died at birth, and during the last two years of her life, Marie Therese had endured the death of a 22-month-old daughter and a 10 1/2-month-old son. I’m sure she was grieving the death of her children, yet she had nine living children to take care of. So I’m thinking that it is much more likely that she died due to complications due to childbirth. I suppose it would have been too indelicate to mention that in a newspaper article of those times.
“She was educated at St. Joseph Academy of Baton Rouge. She was a member of the Brusley choir until her marriage, and until her death, was a member of the Altar Society of Plaquemine.” I find it really interesting that she went to school in Baton Rouge, especially since that is where I live. I know people who went to St. Joseph Academy and it is still in operation. I wish I knew a few more details of her time there. Did she live there when she attended? It is now just a high school, but previously it was from first grade to graduation. I wonder how many years she was there? She was born in Brusly and lived there during her childhood. As stated, she was in the Brusly church choir before she was married at the age of 20. I suppose she wasn’t in the choir as a married adult, but she was a member of the Ladies Altar Society.
“Mrs. Patureau was a devout Catholic, a model wife and a charitable woman, who will be sadly missed, not only by her husband and children, but by the many good people of the hamlet. She leaves to mourn her loss the following: Her husband Dr. V. M. Patureau, seven daughters, Emma, Lydwin, Lorena, Erie, Therese, Zita and Sylvie and two sons, Rommual and Vincent; a mother, Mrs. P. M. Babin of Lafayette; two sisters, Mrs. Louis Joseph Landry of Lafayette, and Mrs. Thomas M. Blanchard of Brusley, one brother Mose Landry of Cinclare. The Daily Champion extends its deepest sympathy to the bereaved ones.”
She sounds like a wonderful – dare I say noble – woman. I’m sure that in a small community like Crescent was at the time, her death was a loss for a lot of people. But my concern is for her young, impressionable daughter Erie. She had just turned 14 and she was one of the middle children in her large family. So if her mother was as wonderful as portrayed, it would have been a terrible loss for young Erie. Yet I don’t know how it affected her. I was just a silly young boy myself when I knew her. It’s not something we discussed. I just wanted to spend time with her and learn the card games she would teach me. I wish I knew more. How did her mother’s death affect her? What were her memories of her mother? And more.
I’m glad I have the death announcement of my great grandmother. It came from the Secret Collection. (hushed whispers in the background “Secret?” “What secret?”) I’ve already told you enough about the Secret Collection. If I told you any more, it wouldn’t maintain it’s Secret name! Only the Keeper knows what further treasures lie within the Secret Collection, so be satisfied that we have this piece to enjoy. Like the obituary, it gives the full name of my great grandmother. Too bad the obituary couldn’t have followed the same trend when referring to to Marie Therese’s mother. (Again with the Mrs. P. M. Babin) It also gives her age as 41 years and 21 days, but I think it was 41 years and 9 days. Sept. 25, 1868, to October 4, 1909 – you do the math.
I thought I’d share another death notice from the Secret Collection. (hushed gasps from the peanut gallery “Another treasure?” asked in awe, “That Secret Collection sure is leaky!” someone responds suspiciously) This is the death notice for Marie Therese’s brother Thomas Belisaire Landry. As mentioned in her obituary, he died just a few days before she did. His age looks close enough. I won’t ask you to do any more math! But you can tell that he was her younger brother. Marie Therese was the first child of Trasimond Landry and Belite Bujol. She was followed by Mary Catherine “Kate” Landry (Mrs. Thomas M. Blanchard of Brusly from the obituary), Thomas, Mose (or Moses), and Manette. Manette had passed away in 1904 – another death that Marie Therese had to grieve.
Marie Therese also had three half-sisters by her mother’s second husband Mack Babin. The first one had died shortly after her birth in 1880. Then came Clemence (Mrs. Louis Joseph Landry of Lafayette in obituary) and Albine. Albine had passed away in 1903 – yet another death . I didn’t mean for this to turn into a sad story, but how could it not? It’s about death. But really, everyone that she knew has died since then. It’s the way of the world. The same thing could be said about each of us in years to come.
Uh, oh, I feel like I crossed a line with that statement. Forget I said it. I’ll turn this back around with something I heard on the news tonight: Never give up! Just keep moving forward doing the best that you can do.