VILLE PLATTE, LA—Funeral services will be held at Our Lady Queen of All Saints Catholic Church in Ville Platte on Friday, Oct. 30, 2020, 2 p.m., for Helen Manuel Dupré who passed peacefully at home with family by her side on Oct. 27, 2020.
Fr. Mitchell Guidry will be celebrant of the mass and will conduct the funeral service. Burial will take place immediately following the mass at Our Lady Queen of All Saints Cemetery.
Helen was 94 years old, the youngest of eight siblings, born Oct. 17, 1926, to parents Lezy Manuel and Marie Acdueline Veillon Manuel.
Originally from Mamou, La., Helen and her family moved to Ville Platte when she was a young girl. She graduated from Ville Platte High School and married the love of her life, a local dentist, at age 22. She was a deeply devoted mother to seven children and was known as “Maw Helen” to her 10 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Helen started each day with a cup of sweet coffee milk, her hair styled and her makeup on. While family came first, she found time to pursue other passions over the years.
She had an adventurous spirit and enjoyed traveling to see family and friends throughout South Louisiana. She planned and mapped out detailed trips for her husband and kids to visit popular vacation destinations in Canada and across the U.S., including numerous national and state parks.
Helen loved to learn. She attended Louisiana State University Eunice later in life to study business administration and worked at her husband’s dental office for many years. She was an avid fiction reader and always had a stack of novels underway.
Helen may best be remembered for her culinary talents. Influenced by her French heritage, she prepared sauces, gumbos and a signature rice dressing dish that remain impossible to recreate. Depending on the season, you could find her in the kitchen shucking corn to make maque choux, smothering fresh-cut okra in oversize pots or lining up glass jars for her fig preserves. She cooked multicourse meals from scratch for big family gatherings and made it all look so easy.
When she wasn’t inside creating something delicious for everyone to eat, Helen was outside tending rows of flower beds for all to see and appreciate. She was a master at cultivating perennials. She would escape into her yard for hours, working on hands and knees, making sure every corner of her landscape bloomed year-round.
Helen was a devout Catholic and a member of Our Lady Queen of All Saints Church. As she is laid to rest, her family asks for prayers as they celebrate her life so well-lived and her legacy to be treasured for generations to come.
Helen is survived by her children, Christine Dupré Fontenot, Deborah Dupré Ardoin and husband Ted, Charles Dupré Jr. and wife Caroline, Paul Dupré and wife Margaret, Michael Dupré and wife Cindy, David Dupré and husband Richard Bernard, and Carole Dupré; grandchildren, Nanette Campbell Swart, Richard Campbell, Nichole Ardoin Vogt, Lauren Ardoin Leach, Margot Ardoin Hannaman, Bonnie Dupré Courville, Kim Dupré Fontenot, Dana Dupré Veillon, Danyelle Dupré Wax and Michelle Dupré Camalo; and 13 great-grandchildren.
She is survived by her brother, Lezy Manuel Jr. of Texas.
She is reunited in death with her husband of nearly 61 years, Dr. Charles E. Dupré.
The family requests visitation be observed at Ardoin’s Funeral Home of Ville Platte on Friday, Oct. 30 from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. A rosary will be recited at 1 p.m., followed by mass at 2 p.m.
Family and friends may view the online obituary and/or leave condolences for the Dupré family at www.ardoinfuneralhomes.com.
Ardoin’s Funeral Home of Ville Platte is in charge of arrangements.