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VILLE PLATTE- A Memorial Mass will be held at 10:00 AM at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church on Saturday, October 9, 2021 for Mary Alice Fontenot, 83, who passed away surrounded by her loving family. A gathering will be held at the church from 9:00 AM until service time.
On July 24, 2021, Mary Alice Aucoin Fontenot departed this world, succumbing to Alzheimer’s. Mary was born on April 15, 1938 in Chataignier, LA to Gilbert Aucoin and Carrie Billeaudeau Aucoin. She was a loving sister to older brother Preston and “baby” brother Gilbert Wayne “Winky.”
Mary grew up in Ville Platte, where she attended Sacred Heart School. Very active in the life of the school, and academically talented, she graduated as valedictorian of her class, and developed a passionate love for Sacred Heart that continued throughout her life.
She attended LSU where she met and married the love of her life and husband of 63 years, Leonard Glynn Fontenot. They graduated on the same day, she with a degree in science education and he with a degree in chemical engineering. They soon started a family while living in Bastrop, LA. An opportunity arose that enabled them to return to their roots in Ville Platte, where they chose to remain until the present.
Mary is survived by her beloved husband, Leonard Glynn Fontenot, her children Paula Babin and husband Russell, Glynn and wife Georgette, Bill and wife Michele, and Richard and wife Beth. She is survived by 10 grandsons and 4 granddaughters, and two great grandchildren. She is also survived by a brother, Gilbert Wayne “Winky” Aucoin and wife Margaret “Chicken,” and is predeceased by her parents Gilbert and Carrie Aucoin and a brother Preston.
A gregarious person, Mary never met a stranger, and had a big smile for all she encountered. Her mind was constantly at work planning a gathering, trip, or whatever project she fearlessly took on. She was happiest when surrounded by her children and grandchildren, especially during Christmas Eve family get-togethers and the annual Fontenot family trip to Orange Beach, an almost 30 year tradition.
Mary taught science and religion at Sacred Heart School for many years. Although passionate about her subject matter, teaching was an opportunity to minister to her students. Mary was absolutely dedicated to Sacred Heart School. Her involvement started when her children were young and continued well after she retired. Running into her students after they graduated brought her great joy.
Mary’s lifelong love of music began early. By age 12 she was a proficient pianist, accompanying vocalists at various events. Later, gathering around the piano with her family gave her much pleasure. She sang and played nursery rhymes with her small children, and Broadway music and popular tunes as they grew older. Friends and family members will remember her playing for annual Christmas parties. Mary also sang in the choir and played the organ at Sacred Heart Church.
One of Mary’s goals was to see the world. She and Leonard started with driving trips around the US, taking some of the children along. After retirement, they travelled abroad to just about everywhere imaginable, usually with their dearest companions, creating many fond memories.
Gardening was one of Mary’s favorite pastimes. A visit to her home was not complete without a walk around the yard to see what was in bloom. She was an excellent seamstress who could sew almost any kind of garment. In later life she painted, specializing in New Orleans buildings and Cajun cabins. Additionally she and Leonard loved Cajun dancing!
Involvement in the civic life of the community was important to Mary. In addition to Sacred Heart Church and School, she was active in Beta Sigma Pi sorority and the Evangeline Parish Tourism Committee. She was honored as 1970 Ville Platte Woman of the Year. For contributions to the Cotton Festival, including training the Cotton Pickers Singing Ambassadors and Contradanse dancing, she and her husband were recognized as Monsieur and Madame Coton. Also, Mary and her husband Leonard were recognized as Evangeline Parish Leaders in Philanthropy for the year in 2018.
Mary lived life to its fullest with much joie de vivre! Her priorities were faith, family, friends and fun!
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Sacred Heart Foundation.
Family and friends may send condolences to the Fontenot family at www.ardoinfuneralhomes.com.
Ardoin’s Funeral Home in Ville Platte is in charge of the arrangements.
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