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49. Charles Joseph, my brother closest by birth, in 2001 laid out tools on the floor in front of the Christmas tree in our home of origin. These treasures were from Grandpa Monlezun. Charles had these treasures refurbished and offered each grandchild a tool of their choice. He also wrote a letter,


In the past year you have experienced one of life’s most certain yet resisted elements, that of change. I have learned that many things can help us cope with change. One is an attitude of flexibility toward and an actual embracing of change. The other is knowing what it is about your history which is so worth tenaciously holding on to that change cannot take it from you.

In your present youth, perhaps you do not know that you are standing on the shoulders of prior generations. Their very lives made possible your life and their work made possible the betterment of the next generation.


Their lives were not perfect. They struggled with illness and death, with aches and pains, with strained relationships, with financial concerns, with faith and doubt. They struggled, too, about the meaning of life, why we are here, how to be happy, how to be faithful to their commitments and how their own end would happen. Through all this they persevered with integrity.


Please accept this small gift from your great-grandfather, Antoine Monlezun (1882-1971). While it is a physical object, it is also a symbol of a man’s life. It is a tool of his chosen trade. It fit his times, his abilities, his choices. Now is your time. You must choose the tools of your trade which accent your abilities. What will they be? Will they have integrity?


So when you go to your work each day, remember that you come from somewhere, from someone. Take pride in yourself and your work. Do it to last as he did. Regardless of your chosen profession, remember that ultimately what you do is less important then how you do it and the intention to do it as well as your abilities will allow.


Please enjoy this gift. And remember to love and support one another.

My love to you,

Uncle Charles



Antoine Broussard, 95, long-time Lake Arthur resident, died at his home at two o’clock this morning following a two month illness.

He was born in Cameron parish in 1856. He married Aspasie Miller there in 1879 and they moved to Lake Arthur in 1905. Mr. Broussard was a retired carpenter at the time of his death. The couple celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary two years ago.

Funeral rites will be held Friday morning at 9 o’clock at a requiem Mass at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Lake Arthur with Rev. W.J. Labbe, the pastor, officiating.

Interment will be in the Lakeview cemetery with the Segura Funeral Home of Lake Arthur in charge.

Surviving are the widow, three sons, Homer and Theogene of Lake Arthur and Philo Broussard of Winnie, Texas; three daughters, Mrs. Antoine Monlezun and Mrs. Paul Gaithe of Lake Arthur and Mrs. Ralph Dennery of New Orleans; 24 grandchildren; 46 great-grandchildren; one sister, Mrs. Debb Richard of Cameron and one brother, Jack Broussard of Port Arthur, Texas.

51. June 14, 1989 Jennings Daily News


February 10, 1884 – June 12, 1989

Lake Arthur – This town recently lost the oldest member of its community, a woman whose lifetime spanned over a century.

Victoria Broussard-Monlezun was 105 years of age when she died Monday in St. Patrick Hospital of Lake Charles following a brief illness.

Born Feb. 10, 1884, in Grand Chenier, she was featured in September 1987 in the ‘Americans Over 100’ section of Caring Magazine. The article provided interesting information about her life.

A member of the pioneer Broussard and Miller families, she was born to Antoine and Aspasie Miller-Broussard. The family moved to Lake Arthur in 1900 when she was 16 years old.

After meeting her future husband in the post office, they dated two years before he proposed marriage. That occurred during an excursion with friends aboard a boat called the “Olive.” At first she refused his offer of marriage. However, when he asked, “Well, Victoria, will you marry me, or will you be an old maid?’ she quickly accepted his proposal.

They were married in the mission church on Feb. 22, 1909. She was 24, and her husband, Antoine, was 26. His father, who came to this country in 1886, was from the Basque country near Tarbes, France.

Her husband was referred to as a “hard-working carpenter and a jack-of-all-trades,” and began building their home on Iowa Street two years after they married- the home they would live in their entire lives. He and his three brothers built houses in a row in a one-block area.

An active church member, he helped to build the first church. After putting the tall steeple on, he climbed it and painted it. Monlezun became a member of the Ladies Altar Society of Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in 1908.

There was no high school at the turn of the century, and Monlezun was fortunate enough to be able to complete the sixth grade. She was part of a group of 14 children-brothers, sisters and cousins-who walked two miles to school along a cattle trail.

A cattleman, her grandfather owned approximately 1,400 head. The family planted sugar cane and cotton, and had fruit trees. Once each year her grandfather took his orange crop to Galveston on the boat “Olive.” He returned with barrels of refined sugar and coffee.

Because her father believed girls should learn domestic chores such as cooking and sewing, Monlezun and her sisters, Theresa and Lucille, were not permitted to work in the fields.

Her father was also a musician and provided entertainment by playing the violin for their house dances.

An important part of their upbringing, religion was taught at home in French. Nightly prayers were recited in French as they knelt before their parents at bedtime. In order to attend Mass, every three months, the family traveled by sulky to a home 17 miles away.

Her mother’s sister was her teacher. Monlezun remembered the first poem she learned. Her mother made a new dress for her recitation. After a round of applause, she was awarded a big gold star by the superintendent.

Monlezun said she had no secrets to a long life. That she attributed to a “combination of health and happiness and turning to God for prayer and guidance in everything.” She stated, “I disciplined myself to do what is best, even if I didn’t want to do it.”

She did not use air conditioning and she hung her clothes outside on the line until she was 99 years old. Her family insisted on getting her a clothes dryer which she did not like to use because “it wears the motor out.”

At 101 she was still canning figs and pears, baking “the best oatmeal cookies ever.” She brought her custard to anyone ill and in need of comfort. She sewed by hand, often making quilts and pillows for her grandchildren, until she was 102. At 103 she was still reading newspapers and the Reader’s Digest every day. As that time she requested a native plant from the Grand Chenier area, a palmetto. A reminder of her childhood, she wanted to plant it in her yard.

She had many memories of her childhood. One of them was of her great-grandmother “smoking a stone pipe in front of her fireplace.” Monlezun was five years old. Another was of paddle boats “coming up the river bringing ice and, every six months, a visiting priest.”

During the last two years she listened to the news daily. She was also doing a little gardening – weeding and sometimes planting- and grew sassafras roots and leaves for colds. Monlezun drank the water in which she boiled her home-grown okra to “keep the blood moving smoothly through the vessels.” Although people may laugh and shake their heads, the magazine article state “Research from Louisiana State University (LSU) has since shown okra has properties of reducing coronary thrombosis.”

She ate corn flakes and milk every night, but never a heavy supper. And she had never drunk carbonated beverages. Milk was the only cold liquid she drank-daily and in large quantities. She had a “live-in homemaker who mostly ended up chasing her around, trying to keep her still so she doesn’t break anything.” However, her physician was not worried about normal activities. According to him, her bones looked like those of a 50-year-old.

Wanting to be self-sufficient, she and her husband raised rabbits, sheep and chickens, and had fresh cow’s milk. “They never wasted anything or threw it away, including old clothes. One granddaughter still has a dress made for her when she was two years old-out of a nightgown which belonged to Monlezun’s father.

Preceding her in death were her five siblings, her spouse (who died when he was 89) and her four children-Beulah, Clyde Joseph, Lee Joseph and Alvin Joseph. She was the oldest living Gold Star Mother in Louisiana, having lost a son in a foreign war in 1944.


52. State High School, State of Louisiana Department of Education Diploma. This certifies that Joseph Lee Monlezun has satisfactorily completed the required units of high school work assigned for the State Board of Education as evidenced of scholastic attainments and good character. We therefore award this Diploma as a testimonial of graduation for Lake Arthur High School, a State approved Senior High School of Louisiana. Given this 26th day of May A.D. 1936. (Six signatures on the diploma.)



LAKE ARTHUR, LA. June 20, 1936 (Special)

Lee Monlezun, son of Mr. and Mrs. Antoine Monlezun of Lake Arthur, has been awarded a scholarship to Louisiana State University on the strength of an audition with Pasquale Aamato, associate professor of voice, and H.W. Stopher, head of the L.S.U. school of music, held in Baton Rouge.

Monlezun, one of the 1936 graduates of Lake Arthur High School, has studied voice for several years. Of more than 140 applicants who have had auditions since June 1, only 19 passed satisfactorily. Monlezun expects to enter L.S.U. in September.

During the audition, he sang “Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes,” and “Little Man, You’ve Had a Busy Day.”

Monlezun has been the Lake Arthur Agent for The Journal for the past eight years.

 (Daddy stayed only one semester deciding that he couldn’t make a living and raise a large family as a musician. His heart and mind was for business and family and was so very successful at both! He and who played by ear the banjo, guitar, organ, piano, accordion, harmonica, washboard and spoons(!), sang all through the years-Daddy sang melody and harmony! What gifts to us they are: faith, family, the business of living and making music!)


54. Vincent Business College 1937

This certifies that Lee Joseph Monlezun satisfactorily completed Business and Typewriting Course of Study prescribed for graduation in this school and is therefore to receive this Diploma given the 11th day of August in the year of Our Lord one thousand nine hundred and thirty seven at Lake Charles, Louisiana.

L. Vincent, President


55-1. From 1942-1944, Daddy wrote editorials for the newspaper in Jennings, LA entitled People’s Forum. In 1942 he was 23 years of age and single. In time, his two brothers served in the Second World War. Due to his back having been broken at age 19, he was not able to serve. It is my humble conviction that circa 1944, he found his way to serve honoring his brothers and our beloved country. He wrote from the deepest recesses of his heart with passionate belief and fervor. His youngest brother, Alvin Joseph Monlezun was killed October 10, 1944 in the Battle of the Bulge; Daddy was 27 years of age. The first and last editorialsl are as follows,


As I sit at my typewriter to bring you the first of my editorials, I don’t think about the future, but if you or I were to shut ourselves in a room and concentrate on the future – just what kind of mental picture could we draw. I venture to say that even an optimist could not look at it on the sunny side.

I only wish that I could look into the future as my grandfather did. At the age of 35, he predicted our fast airplanes and cars. He once made the statement, “This world would be ruined with the means of SPEED.” Thank God he lived to see the airplanes and cars but not the corrupt world.

Why must we live so fast? Can’t we see that it is injurious to our beloved children? After all, what have we got to live for if it isn’t for our continual work and striving to provide for their future. Surely we do not want these warlords, dictators and big-shots politicians to take them away from us when they are just at the age of enjoying life. The answer, of course, is NO but still every 20 or 30 years we have to loose the cream of the crop.

Just who are these warlords, dictators, etc.? These people are humans just as you and I but sometime or other, before their present position, they had a chance to put some crooked deal over, either by speech or in writing, to their fellow man. From this successful experience, they got swell-headed and began to get into the real swing of dishonesty. They continued to gain power and advancements by speeches and misrepresentations, until the poor ignorant public thought they were sent to us by God. After they win their goal, the poor and ignorant continue to suffer but these big-shots get the best that money can buy, such as, mansions, yachts and all the graft money they can spend – to buy more power. Who pays for this? WE DO – from the sweat of our brow. AMERICA, you, you, you and you, we MUST WAKE UP.

We must not be too hasty about making decisions. Let’s sleep and study over them before signing away our lives. Before signing any deals, be sure to look into the FUTURE and ask yourself this question, “Just what will I benefit by this decision, in the years to come and PRINCIPALLY, will little Junior and Mary benefit from my decision?”

AMERICA we must learn to say NO and not always yes. We must learn to choose our great leaders with VISION, because WITHOUT VISION, we are LOST.


55-2 PEOPLE’S FORUM Circa 1944

We, in Jennings, and the balance of our great country, AMERICA, do not want dictatorship. We must continue to make it known to the whole world that we are independent. We are not asking for trouble or either are we making trouble. We must bear in mind, that when our forefathers came to this country, they came here to make a new world of independence, a country where they could live in peace and happiness. They fought for what they received and we must continue to fight to preserve it. This home loving country belongs to us and no other country has a mortgage on it. Are we going to let them take it away from us? Friends, we must realize that our President Roosevelt is an able man. He has proved and is proving his abilities. There is no doubt a lot of you do not agree with some of his ’laws’ but surely you understand we all have ideas, but we can’t all be President at the same time.

Where a government, whether State or National becomes a basis for compromises such as suffered in Britain and France during the early period of this war, nothing can be expected by the great rank but failure and disgrace. Britain caught this treason to the interest of the people, as a whole, in time, to get rid of the principles that would serve their own selfish interests, regardless of the general welfare of the people, in time to save the great Empire from suffering the same Fate as that were suffered to France, Belgium, Holland, Norway and other people that failed to listen to the wishes and welfare of their neighborhood countries. If their so-called leaders had the welfare and interest of their people at heart, a far different story might have resulted; instead of the shame and disgrace that those splendid people are now the victims of. This should be an example to all free loving people the world over, especially our own United States.

This fellow Hitler made promises to the people of Germany during their weakness and despair and at their time of depression after the First World War. This is the reason the German people expected the doctrines of this man to lead them out of their troubles. What were the results? To the writer’s opinion, their troubles have only begun. This is what we Americans must guard against. We must not become depressed over the war situation. Let’s keep our chins above the water. After an individual looses his courage, things begin to happen mighty fast. Remember when you yourself became discouraged over some personal situation – how your mind began to wander, how your body and soul became weak, how you lost weight because you couldn’t eat. Well, suppose this were to happen to all of us at the same time? Just what kind of predicament would we be in? Let’s remain optimistic and repeat the pledge daily: I pledge allegiance to the Flag, of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands; one nation under God, indivisible with Liberty and Justice for all.

Lee J. Monlezun (Between the ages of 24 & 27!)

The very day that I was typing the above for you, I received by post a newspaper clipping (November 2004) from our son titled, “ULM (University of Louisiana at Monroe) Students React to Re-election of Bush.” Different students were queried as to the election, their voting and being a part of history. “Regardless of the outcome, Antoine Ponton (Lake Charles speech communications senior) realizes a student’s patriotic duty. ‘As American citizens we need to support and respect our president, because it is our responsibility as citizens,’ said Ponton. ‘The democracy has spoken.’”


56. November 12, 1991 “Letter to the Editor”

Dear Louisiana,

My name is Alvin J. Monlezun and I was born in Lake Arthur, LA in 1920. During my teenage years, I was known by my family as being interested in books, while my brothers and friends played and pursued other interests. In my readings, in about 1935, I read of far away places and little known people as well as international developments. I learned that the sure way to inflame any group of people who are doing without either employment and/or national pride is to suggest that those conditions existed because of the presence or practices of another particular group. I made notice that during the early 1930’s, this was especially the case in Germany and that the eloquent man utilizing this misguided technique was Adolph Hitler, and his target group was the Jews. Now, I did not know any Germans or Jews at the time, and I even had to look on a world map to find Germany, so all of this was mostly intellectual curiosity in little Lake Arthur.

Upon graduation from high school, I entered LSU and there began to realize that this Hitler fellow was known by more people than I first thought, and that his ideas were beginning to cause problems for the Jews in Germany. By the time I graduated in August of 1941, this kind of talk had enflamed nations and already killed thousands. You see, I was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army ROTC program and America was on the eve of WW ll.

The next four years are now pretty well a matter of history. But history for too many people seems to be a collection of dates and dust. My own death is perhaps forgotten. I died in combat on October 10, 1944 and am buried along with 12,000 of my American comrades at Henri Chapelle Military Cemetery in Belgium.

We died believing that our deaths could play a part in ending the virus of hatred which had spread worldwide. We also died so that the world would never again give credence to the language of hate regardless of what guise in which it was presented. We know that the world has long survived many petty, self serving politicians but the world almost did not survive Adolph Hitler. We certainly did not.

Therefore, from our graves, we ask that the citizens of Louisiana reject any person whose words and deeds make a mockery of our sacrifice.

1st Lt. Alvin Joseph Monlezun, Killed in Action (K.I.A.)

Charles Joseph Monlezun, Nephew of Uncle Alvin

Lake Charles, LA


57. Mrs. Lee Monlezun,

Your little boy, Lee, sings so very sweetly. Everyone enjoyed hearing him sing “Baby Face” at our Carnival. So I’d like to have him sing “When You Wore a Tulip” for our American Educational Week program, to be given during the week of November 6-12. Will you please let him sing for us? He knows the tune of “When You Wore a Tulip” already, as he sings this tune to a little song about driving a car.

I’m sending you the song, page 9. Please teach it to him and get him to sing it plenty at home so he will know it well.

I’ll let you know later what day the program is to be, so you can be sure to come, It will be during the day at school.

I thank you.

Miss Lockwood (4th grade teacher.) Circa 1953

 58. A column from The Crowley Signal 1949 entitled ‘Along Rural Route with

Joe Werner.’ This is too-o wonderful!

Mr. and Mrs. C.L. Hensgens (This is Coney, ’s Brother!) live on a huge 840 acres rice farm three miles west of Lake Arthur on the Morgan Plantation right on the lake front and you talk about a beautiful place; there is a fine rice crop as background and the blue lake water in contrast! It must be a gorgeous sight when the rice is in full head and I surely intend to see it this fall, believe me. They have 350 acres in rice this year, 500 in fine pastureland.

The Hensgens have no children but they sure do have everything else. A flock of 100 small and large chickens, 110 Black Angus cows and three bulls make up one the largest herds I’ve seen yet. Besides they have two saddle horses which are pets of the pair.

Mr. Hensgens’ rice is all up and he can rightfully boast of a good stand. He feels crop prices this year will be just about what they were last year and feels there has been sufficient rain to date.

Their five-room home is attractive and neatly kept with many very pretty flowers, trees and shrubs around the place.

In addition to all his duties in connection with his flocks, herds, rice and so on, Mr. Hensgens has just recently bought 90 per cent of ownership in the Pigtail, a custard stand in Rayne.

We welcome these fine folks to the fast-growing lists of Signal subscribers and know they will enjoy getting this popular, folksy newspaper six times a week.

Mr. and Mrs. Lee J. Monlezun live right in Lake Arthur with their nice family of four bright youngsters. Mr. Monlezun operates the Magnolia bulk plant and is an income tax consultant, bookkeeper and handles a good bit of rental property. He has a filling station also and right next door to it the Bluebird stand, a venture in which his brother-in-law, C.L. Hensgens, is also interested. These two men are also partners in the Rayne Pigtail custard stand.

Their lively family includes Lee J. Jr., age 7, Robert J., 5, Charles J., 3 and Bernadette, a cuddly two year old. They are cute and talkative and all of them are musical, liking singing particularly. That interested me especially, of course, as me and my kids try to do a little singing now and then.

They have ten healthy chickens which they keep just for big family’s enjoyment.

Lots of nice trees and worlds of shrubs and flowers make their great big 12-room home very pretty and it is certainly a grand comfortable home for this nice big family.

It’s nice to know that the Monlezuns will enjoy getting and reading The Signal from now on and we know from what everybody tells us that the youngsters will be reaching for this popular, newsy paper when it arrives for the pictures and comics and later, when the youngest ones begin to read, for the news of the folks they know all around the area.
59. “Hon, As years have gone by, you will never know how many pairs of shoes you have put on the children. Not so much on weekdays for you were to busy but on Sunday morning so we could all go to church which you take pride in doing.

So here is a remembrance. Here are the shoes Charles, Bernadette, Constance, Malcolm, Alvin, Ione and Veronica wore at 3 months. Something to cherish for the rest of our lives. Gertrude “

( Mom had our little Buster Brown Sunday shoes bronzed and they and her card with the above words at Christmas 1959 rest on Arthur Avenue. Dominique was born in 1960; Lee J. and Robert’s pair is also there!)


60. Dear Customer, February 24, 1961

It is with great reluctance that I take time out to write this letter to all of my customers, some thousand in number. Things being as they are, however, and being at the same time very anxious to do my part in keeping the economy of the country sound, I believe it is time for us to re-evaluate our position, now that we are being told that the fat years are over and the lean years lie ahead.

Since I entered into my present business in 1945, during what were known as the boom years, at first I did not find it difficult to expand. And even as late as last year, I sought to extend myself always with the good of the customer in mind, as well as my own natural anxiety for the welfare of my family. Whatever I thought would serve the needs of the customer, I did not hesitate to add, nor have I hesitated to be of service to all of you when you were in need. I have never known it to be easy to say “no” to anyone, simply because I believed that I was merely the custodian of what I owned and the better I used what I owned to the advantage of others, the more I would receive in return. For that reason, trucks, tools, and heavy equipment were always ready to serve you.

Knowing that every business man who sells on credit has many problems keeping the business going and this business of its very nature always involves an investment of thousands of dollars, I shall take this opportunity to address myself to both my cash customers and those whose accounts are kept up to date, as well as those who are now in arrears.

My sincerest thanks go to those who are current in their payments. They constitute the backbone of every good business. The owner, as well as the little man who must ask for credit, owe a great debt of gratitude to these because they help us all to keep going.

Our economy is built, however, upon credit, and by and large the biggest part of American business is built on credit. On our own books we have $40,000.00 of credit, $30,000.00 of which is now sixty days or over past due. At this time of year we should have not more than ten or twelve thousand dollars on the books because we are now approaching planting season, when many farmers will be seeking credit to put in their next crop. Unless I am able to collect at least $20,000.00 of this, I will be hard put to make advances. Naturally I am interested in my business because it is my livelihood, but I cannot continue the business unless the bills are paid so that my own credit will be acceptable.

It is not of infrequent occurrence that we will find customers who have bills over due for a year or more, who will seek advances, even though they have made no effort, or even given an explanation for their delinquency. Such must be refused further credit. We feel that most of the accounts on our books are good and we also feel that this appeal will not go unheard and that most of our customers will do everything in their power to respond. I need all the money that these customers can arrange to bring me, so that I can continue to be a good servant to all.

With all good wishes and a prayer that all things will work out for our mutual benefit, I remain, sincerely yours,

Lee J. Monlezun, Sr.

Dominique Joseph, the tenth child, was one year of age in 1961. Daddy was in the process of acquiring, what came to be, a total of ten businesses, The Lee J. Monlezun Interests, Inc.!
61. The Meaning of A Vocation. August 30, 1965

Mom was scheduled to speak at a Catholic Daughter meeting prior to the drowning that claimed two of her children in May of 1965. She requested Lee J., Jr. to assist her in writing these stunning words. She had had in religious formation two sons at Immaculata Seminary in Lafayette, LA and one daughter, myself, who was an ‘Aspirant’ with the Sisters of Divine Providence at Moye High School in Castroville, TX. Her third son was attending Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans, LA.

“In broad terms, a vocation is a particular calling to a specific role in life. Like many of us here tonight, our vocation is truly one of a wife, mother or housewife as we are referred to by so many. However, tonight our thoughts turn to those who freely give of themselves in a religious sense and enter the religious life in our complex society. Some of you have had or will have sons and daughters who will answer a religious calling of our Lord and enter either a seminary or convent and there prepare themselves to someday meet the spiritual needs of their flock.

Far too many times, we as members of a parish think or are lead to believe that our giving up our sons and daughters is an eternal loss. However, how far from the truth can one be. To give a son or daughter back to Almighty God is the greatest of gifts we as human beings can offer Him Who gave them to us.

A story is told of a mother of a priest who was greeted at the pearly gates by the Blessed Mother. Mary slowly bowed and opened wide the gate of heaven for a mother who like herself upon Calvary’s height gave back to God that which was God’s.

Some vocations to a religious life come early in life while others still take time.

And we as Catholic Daughters should do all within our power to foster a young religious seed in our young people – for many have and will be called – but only few are chosen!”


(The four eldest children each felt a personal call to religious life however none remained. We are married with children and continue to live out our vocation in a myriad of ways and remain so very grateful to and Dad for the opportunity afforded us to spend the exquisite time that we did in spiritual formation. That time was transformational! We have numerous friends in religious life and former religious, seminarians and religious sisters that we continue to gather with to this very day!)

62. DADDY IS FIFTY IN 1967! 

“One fine day some fifty years ago

Antoine and Victoria really made a show!

For on that day, the twenty-fourth of April,

A tiny infant, Lee, was laid in a cradle.

His honest boyhood gained him fame

And all the town knew the wavy-haired boy’s name;

It was from him they got their vegetables,

His little red wagon never emptied of eatables.

He grew to manhood and married Anna G.,

I guess it was the muscles or the hair that was so curly.

He was employed by everything from slot machines to cooking

But in the year of ’49 things really got to booming.

The business grew to Interests and the family grew to Ten,

Nothing was too much to ask, when it was asked of him.

He was a public servant, from their cars to fishing trips,

And now I think he wants to try a little cement mix.

So here he is at 50, 2 more daughters, a grandson too,

So Daddy – all we’re trying to say is, we are proud and we love you!”

Happy Birthday! Constance Victoria, Fifth child, second daughter age 17!

63. Kay Gautreaux-Dugruise is my first cousin and Daddy’s Godchild. She sent me an email November 2, 2002. “Had to share this with you. I was praying the rosary before a large “Mary” chapel in St. Joseph Co-Cathedral (Thibodaux, LA). It is very inspiring with all of the stained glass windows and such. Had a thought about how Aunt Gert’s passing was simply a ‘transference of laps.” Veronica and Alvin sat patiently on Mary’s lap for awhile, then when Uncle Lee came along, they rested on his lap, and now with Aunt Gert there, each parent has a child on each lap…taking turns of course! Doesn’t that present a beautiful sight!”
64. ‘Monlezuns Have 10th Child’

Mr. and Mrs. Lee J. Monlezun, Sr., of Lake Arthur are the proud parents of their tenth child, Dominique Joseph, born Tuesday, September 20, (1960) at 1:15 pm at Jennings American Legion Hospital.

Mrs. Monlezun has delivered six boys and four girls, all born at the local hospital.

They are Lee J. Jr., 17, delivered by Dr. L.E. Shirley, Sr.; Robert J., 16, delivered by Dr. Heinen of Lake Arthur; Charles J., 14, Anna Bernadette, 12, Constance Victoria, 10, all delivered by Dr. Richard of Lake Arthur; Malcolm J., 7, Alvin J., 6, Ione Marie, 4, Veronica, 19 months, and the latest, Dominique, J., all delivered by Dr. Harold Sabatier.

Mr. and Mrs. Monlezun have lived in Lake Arthur since their marriage in August, 1941. Mr. Monlezun is one of the town’s leading businessmen, operating bulk oil, butane and sporting goods businesses.

65. May 14, 1961, Our Lady of the Lake Bulletin, Lake Arthur, LA


We shall have the crowning of the Blessed Virgin on Wednesday evening at 7:00 pm. We expect all of our parishioners to attend. We charge our children to be present and all members of the sodality.

Each year the Catholic Daughters present as award to the Catholic Mother of the Year. The presentation of the award this year will be made to Mrs. Mazie Marceaux at the crowning ceremonies. Hence all Catholic Daughters and her friends should be present to see her receive the citation.

Three years ago, we awarded Mrs. Jules F. Broussard, Sr., as representative of elderly pioneer mothers; last year Mrs. Gertrude Monlezun was selected among the middle aged mothers. It is hard to select among so many, but all are selected for their attitude, not only to their families, but also for their good work in the Church and in community life. Moreover their habits in religion play a great part in the selection. An outstanding Catholic Mother is one who knows how to extend her maternal influence outside that of her home; she is also one who knows how to meet adversity in any shape or form and overcomes it. An outstanding Catholic mother is one who is modest in her behavior; one who receives the Sacraments frequently; one who attends Mass, not only on Sundays, but frequently during the week; one who is devoted to her children, as well as to the children of others.

Our prayers and hope is that these awards will serve to inspire all of our mothers as to the importance of motherhood and what it stands for. Our congratulations go to Mrs. Marceaux and with them the fervent prayer that God will bless her efforts and ennoble her character all the more for his greater honor and glory.

66-1. ‘Lee Monlezun Jr. Graduates from Seminary Studies’

(Lake Arthur Sun, June 1961)

Lee J. Monlezun, Jr., was graduated from the high school department of Immaculata Seminary in ceremonies held in Lafayette Saturday morning. Bishop Maurice Schexnayder was celebrant of the graduates’ Mass, and the sermon was delivered by Rev. Charles Zaunbrecher, a cousin of Lee J’s mother.

Those attending the graduation from Lake Arthur were Mr. and Mrs. Lee Monlezun, Sr., and children, Robert, Charles, Bernadette, Malcolm and Alvin; Mr. and Mrs. Antoine Monlezun, Mrs. Joseph Hensgens, Mr. and Mrs. Herman Berken and children and Anthony Hensgens, Jr.

To honor Lee J. and their daughter, Bernadette, who finished the eighth grade at St. Maria Goretti School, the Monlezun’s held open house Sunday afternoon. Guests were the graduating class of Lake Arthur High School, Bernadette’s classmates, the Sisters of St. Benedict and several of Lee J’s classmates from the seminary, Mr. and Mrs. Coney Hensgens and son, Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Hensgens, Mrs. Joseph Hensgens and Mr. and Mrs. Herman Berken and children.

Refreshments of punch, sandwiches and cake were served to two hundred guests who called during the day.

66-2. ‘Lee Monlezun, Jr. Attending Harvard University’

(Jennings Daily News Summer 1961 and 1962)

Lee J. Monlezun, Jr., of Lake Arthur has been accepted for summer session at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. Lee Jr., received his high school education at Immaculata Seminary in Lafayette and has completed one year of pre-med courses at McNeese State College. He plans to take subjects this summer which will further his medical studies.

Harvard, one of the oldest universities in the United States, is often in the news, and even more so of late, since it counts President John Kennedy as one of its alumni, and many of the men appointed by the president to cabinet posts and other important positions are graduates of Harvard. The largest university library in the world is at Harvard, and among libraries in this country, only the Library of Congress and the New York Public Library are larger.

While at McNeese, Monlezun maintained a 3.0 average and was very active in extracurricular affairs. He was elected senator of the freshman class last year; sang tenor in the men’s quartet; and worked on numerous projects of the Newman Club. He was student director of the Rally Wranglers, a small band which performed at all McNeese football and basketball games, and sang featured roles in the college’s production of Carousel and the Lake Charles production of The Messiah. He is a member of Delta Theta Chi, social fraternity and this spring was elected secretary-treasurer of the society for medical students for the year 1962-63.

The Monlezuns received a letter from Lee J. recently and here is what he had to say about Harvard, “I am writing this letter while sitting on the bank of the Charles River under a giant shady oak. It is truly one of the most beautiful and quietest spots I have ever seen in my life. A writer would be lost for words if he would ever try to describe the scene. Here students gather on the banks and talk. Since I arrived last Friday I have never stopped walking. Harvard University is by far the greatest University in America. For example, you could walk for miles and never get out of the shade. Once you set foot into the Harvard Yard the hussle and bussle of the streets outside the wall suddenly stops and your senses behold a quiet and calm atmosphere towered by the giant oaks and spruce trees and by the century old red brick buildings covered from head to toe by climbing Sherwood green vines. Truly this is a place where knowledge dwells.”

66-3. ‘Lee J. Monlezun Jr. in Harvard Chorus’ (Lake Arthur Sun)

We hear from Lee J. Monlezun, Jr. that he is singing tenor in the Harvard Summer School chorus of 200 voices, both male and female. The chorus is directed by Iva Dee Hiatt, professor at Smith College for Women. The chorus presents two concerts during the summer and the first is set for today at Sanders Theatre on the Harvard Campus.

From the chorus, a Madrigal Group of twenty voices, five soprano, five alto, five tenor and five bass are chosen and Monlezun was one of the five tenors chosen for this special group. The Madrigal group sings “a capella” that is, without accompaniment and is given this name after the roving singers who entertained the public in Europe during the Middle Ages. Some of the selections to be given by this group today are Flora Give Me Fairest Flowers, Rest Sweet Nymphs and the Silver Swan.
66-4. ‘Local Youths Among Cadets Recognized’ Jennings, LA

Several local students were included among the outstanding cadets of the McNeese State College Reserve Officers Training Corps who were singled out for recognition Thursday with the annual observance for ROTC Honors Day at McNeese.

Jeff Davis student among the 24 senior cadets who will receive their commissions in the regular Army either at the end of the semester or upon completion of a tour at ROTC summer camp is: Cadet 2nd Lt. Lee J. Monlezun of Lake Arthur was cited as the junior student who contributed the most through leadership to advancing the standing of the ROTC unit. Monlezun was awarded the Association of the U.S. Army proficiency medal in this connection.
66-5. ‘Monlezun Wins Student Body Post at McNeese’ (May 14, 1964)

Lee J. Monlezun, Jr., of Lake Arthur will take the oath of office as president of the McNeese State College student body during the annual student Senate banquet at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Lake Charles Country Club. He has been named to “Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities, is serving as president of the school’s Newman Club received the Mr. Newman Award and is a member of the Blue Key honorary society. Monlezun also holds membership in two national military fraternities, the Pershing Ware Rifles and the Scabbard and Blade.

67. ‘Two Presented Top Scout Award’ 1 April 1965 Jennings Daily News, LA

Two Jeff Davis District Boy Scouts attained the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor held at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3686 hall here last night. They were Lee J. Monlezun, 21 and Charles J. Monlezun, 17.

The Monlezun boys are the second and third sons to attain the Eagle Scout rank in the Monlezun family. Robert J. Monlezun, 19, became an Eagle Scout in 1963.

The Monlezuns have 10 children: six boys and four girls. Lee J., a senior at McNeese State College is the eldest.

The mother of the new Eagle Scouts received a pin and necklace denoting her son’s honors.

68. ‘33 Students Finish ’59-60 Term with Perfect Attendance Marks’

Thirty-three Lake Arthur public school students completed the 1959-1960 term with perfect attendance records. Heading the list was Charles J. Monlezun, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lee J. Monlezun, who finished his eighth straight year without an absence.

Charles, who is 13, hasn’t missed a day of school since starting in the first grade. He plans to attend Immaculata Seminary at Lafayette in September.

Good attendance runs in his family as last year the Monlezuns had six children in various schools and five showed perfect records in attendance.

69. In October 8, 2000 Mom was preparing to celebrate what would be her final Germanfest in her beloved Roberts Cove, LA. She died November 28, 2000. I requested of my friend Nancy to make a wreath of flowers for Mom to wear in her hair as this is part of the costume many of the Cove ladies wear at this festival. My dear friend lovingly made this treasure by her talented hands with heart and wrote a letter.

In Celebration of Roberts Cove, Louisiana

To My Friend Bernadette,

As I sat making this wreath, much like your family, it just kept getting bigger:

2 white gardenias and Dad

10 yellow roses the children

19 red roses the grandchildren

5 pink dogwoods the great-grandchildren

2 pink dogwood blooms the “soon-to-be great-grandchildren”

Baby’s breath a sign of move children to come

Three ribbon colors, holding the circle together – The Trinity!

Enjoy and celebrate, your family has given much to the garden of life, leading and lighting. Love, Nancy

Both of these treasures hang on Arthur Avenue! My two eldest nieces had this wreath highlighted in a prominent place at their wedding receptions! Wonderful!
70. Mom was a Pink Lady serving at the Jennings American Legion hospital. Her area was the gift shop and the juice cart and was present and accounted for every Tuesday. The only reason that she would not report would be an event with her family and then would find a substitute for her duties. She particularly loved pushing the juice cart around the hospital for it brought her into contact and conversation with many a patient, family and friend. She knew how to listen, she knew how to be empathetic for she knew pain and loss first hand. During her wake 29 November 2000, seven pink ladies walked up to her coffin each holding a pink rose. They hugged us and said that they had something to read,


Day breaks and the sun sends its rays to warm the earth, We will remember.

Day comes to a close and the stars sparkle in all their glory, We will remember.

We will remember how you touched our lives and gave us your gift of sharing and caring. We will remember how you touched our hearts and gave us the gift of your love.

We will remember these things and many more because it is in remembering that your spirit lives within us. We will continue the journey you started so many years ago sharing the gifts you gave us with those we meet along the way. So, dear friend, rest in peace. Your work continues through us, your Pink Lady sisters. Sisters not by blood, but by choice. Author Unknown

Given in loving memory of Gertrude Monlezun who served 3616 hours during a 22-year membership in the Jennings American Legion Hospital Pink Lady Auxiliary.

They then gently placed their pink roses in a vase on a stand next to where she was truly resting in peace!

This treasure is framed and lovingly has a special place on Arthur Avenue on the wall above our baby bed where the ten of us laid.
71. My “Mom” Monlezun,

“I stood silently,

Gazing at the large stone that bore her name.

My salty tears began to flow

Like a never-ending fountain.

I suddenly realized she felt no more pain,

She would suffer no more,

And she could take care of me forever.

Now, she was truly my guardian angel”.

Katherine Anne, Third Granddaughter, age 18 in 2000.

72. “Today is Sunday and Easter is tomorrow I am so happy because a lot of our family is going to be there at mamas house and when I go to her house I fell so happy because I know that she is holding all of us in her arms even so that mama is not on earth but I know she is watching all of us down here on earth and she is all of our great awesome gardien angel and all of our best and wonderful friend. When we have a problem and we ask for her to pray for us she most defetly is and all of my other mama and papas in Heaven are praying for all of us for every step that we take and then one day when we die we can meat them and do the same for all of the other generraion that we have.”

Suzanne Louise Monlezun, the youngest granddaughter, age 9, handed to her Aunt Bernadette on 27 March 2005, Easter Sunday!!!

73. Book ~ ‘The Visible Church’ ~ The Parishes of the Diocese of Lake Charles, LA in

Words and Pictures, Hadson Solis, Artist and Truman Stacy, Author. Jubilee Year 2000

Our Lady of the Lake Church, Lake Arthur, LA,
|Because its position on the Mermentau River gave it access to water transport, Lake Arthur and its vicinity were settled earlier than other towns on ‘the prairies.’

The first settlement in the area was called Lakeside, and grew up on the south shore of the in what is now Vermilion Parish. One of the first settlers was Atanas Hebert, who settled on the south side of the lake in 1811. Another pioneer was Hiram Andrus, who moved in north of the lake in an area now called Andrus Cove, in 1832. Andrus possessed a Spanish land grant which gave him title to most of the land between the lake and Jennings.

Lakeside developed a post office, a hotel, a newspaper and several stores, and was publicized as a place of orchards and rice crops. Two hard freezes, however, killed the orchards and crops. Newcomers brought in by the railroads began to settle on the north side of the lake in what was then Imperial Calcasieu. The lake had been called Lac d’Arthur, for Arthur LeBlanc, who lived on the north shore, so the new town became Lake Arthur.

The first Catholic priests of record in the area came from Texas. One of these was the Rev. P.F.Parisot, who traveled to Imperial Calcasieu from Galveston in 1852. In his journal he described his trip up the Mermentau on a “coaster” from the Gulf of Mexico, and that “going up the river I baptized a number of infants on both banks.”

A few years later a chapel was built in Lakeside, dedicated to St. Theresa, Priests from Abbeville visited to perform marriages and baptisms to confirm Catholics in the area.

In 1891 Our Lady Help of Christians Parish was established in Jennings with the territory that included most of what is now Jefferson Davis Civil Parish. The founding pastor was the Rev. Cornelius van de Ven, but within a year he was transferred to Lake Charles.

He was followed by the Rev. Joseph Peters, who took Lake Arthur under his wing. Father Peters was engaged in building a church in Jennings, but came to the lake on weekends to say Mass in St. Theresa Chapel. Roads were mere cow paths, so the trips were made by boat and horseback.

Meanwhile Lake Arthur was growing as land merchants traveled through the Middle West singing the praises of the “Eden of the South.” Many settlers came from Iowa and Kansas to make their homes on the lake.

In addition the Andruses and the Heberts immigrants from France were among the early mainstays of the Church.

Eugene, Jules and Paul Gaithe were sons of Louis Gaithe, who came from France via New Orleans. Joachim, Emile, Theodore and Antoine were sons of Dominique Monlezun, who emigrated from the French Basque region. The Broussard clan, one of the largest of all, was early represented in the history of the Mermentau area.

In 1922 Lake Arthur itself was large enough for the Most Rev. Jules B. Jeanmard, Bishop of Lafayette, to establish the Parish of Our Lady of the Lake.

The founding pastor was the Rev. William E. Allen, who first said Mass in St. Theresa Chapel. Church historians relate how “he came by boat, landed at our wharf, and walked to the chapel, often battling winds, rain and the cold. Later he had a second-hand care, and drove over whenever the roads were passable.

“To get people to come to church he organized a large choir, and they came to church to practice. He also had adults play different instruments. In 1924 he gave a concert in front of the church.

The parish today serves about 650 families in the southeastern part of Jefferson Davis Civil Parish. The present church building was constructed in 1954, and has a seating capacity of 500. A new rectory was completed in 1956.

During the pastorate of Msgr. Charles DuBois the church was completely remodeled, and several additions were made. A prayer garden was established, with the centerpiece being a water fountain and a life-sized reproduction of the Pieta, which was donated by Mrs. Estella Marceaux in memory of her late husband and son.

The parish also includes two missions: St. Francis of Assisi Mission in Thornwell and St. Gertrude Mission in Andrus Cove.

Our Lady of the Lake has a Ladies Altar Society and a Youth 2000 Group.

Special parish programs include the Adoration Chapel and a “Come, Follow Me” group.

The parish also holds an annual bazaar held on the grounds originally housing the Benedictine Monastery. The bazaar is the parish’s chief fund-raiser and is attended by hundreds each year. Under a general chairman, there are about 25 booth chairman who serve annually.

Our Lady of the Lake Parish boasts a strong contingent of outstanding parishioners who have volunteered for various projects including a strong religious education program with a current enrollment of 394 students.

Eleven pastors have been assigned to Our Lady of the Lake Parish since it was established: 1922, Rev. William E. Allen; 1935, Rev. Louis de Monsabert; 1941, Rev. Gustave Berube; 1949, Rev. Wilfred Labbe; 1952, Rev. Harry Pelous; 1964, Rev. Jude Speyrer (now Bishop of Lake Charles); 1969, Rev. Charles Soileau, 1974, Rev. Charles Koche; 1075, Rev. Gerard Smit; 1983; 1983, Msgr. Charles DuBois; and 1997, Rev. Maurice Martineau.
74. July 4, 2004 Lake Arthur Sun Times by Jennifer Vallet, Daily New Staff Writer


The communities of Lake Arthur and Welsh will be kept on time thanks to a gift from a local family.

Dominique Monlezun donated a clock in memory of his parents, Lee J. Monlezun, Sr. and Gertrude Hensgens Monlezun, to the Town of Lake Arthur and another in memory of his wife Tina’s parents to her hometown of Welsh.

“I realized one day, after shopping through this Mexican aluminum furniture and lighting store that Jennings was the only town around us with a clock, and I decided it would be nice to honor my parents and late in-laws with this work of art. The community has given us so much. We wanted to do something in return to better the community.”

The clocks were purchased in Mexico and are made of aluminum. A friend of Monlezun’s painted the clocks black and clear-coated them to ensure they will keep their fashion for years to come.

A bronze plaque will soon appear at the base of the clocks inscribed with their parents names and a brief memory thought. “My sister is taking care of that part of it,” Monlezun chuckled!

Monlezun is the youngest of 10 children born to a business-minded father and a stay-at-home mother, “I complained one day about having to change diapers for my three children, “ he remembered. “My Mom put me in my place when she said, “I had to change diapers for 19 years, son!”

According to Monlezun, his father owned 10 businesses (that employed all 10 children in one way or another) in Lake Arthur at one time, and was the founder of the Lake Arthur Butane in 1945, which will celebrate is 60th anniversary next summer.

He believes the butane company is the oldest business still in operation in Lake Arthur.

“It’s also fitting that Lake Arthur is celebrating its centennial this year,” he added.

Futhermore, Monlezun honored the Town of Welsh with a clock of their own in memory of his in-laws, George and Dorothy Bertrand King of Welsh.

George King retired from Superior Oil and opened a mechanic shop in Welsh after the death of his wife.

Dorothy B. King, originally from Roberts Cove, died unexpectedly at a young age from a brain tumor.

“Tina was only 13 when her mother died and was the sixth of eight children. She then had to raise her two younger siblings. Now we have three children of our own,” Monlezun said of his wife’s courageous struggle with losing her mother and finding her own motherhood.

Tina Monlezun, now a nurse practitioner, owns the LA Health Clinic, where she and her staff service 3,000 patients, which Monlezun said he finds impressive considering the Town of Lake Arthur only has 3,500 residents.

“That’s just another example of how much we owe back to the community,” he said gratefully.

In Lake Arthur, the clock can be seen at the southern end of Arthur Avenue by the new oak tree. Welsh’s clock will be erected on South Adams Street in the near future.

75. MONLEZUN RECEIVES APPOINTMENT (newspaper clipping of 1974 with a classic; the photograph is wonderful!) BATON ROUGE, LA –

Charles J. Monlezun, a native of Lake Arthur and a recent resident of Lake Charles, has just been appointed as State Coordinator of Interdisciplinary Services to Special Education, according to State Superintendent Louis J. Michot.

Monlezun received a B.A. from Notre Dame Seminary, New Orleans, an M.S.W. in Social Worker and an M.S. in Hygiene from Tulane University. He has been certified in the theory and practice of Mental Health Consultation from Tulane University and is a Board Certified Social Worker.

He has served as volunteer counselor at various institutions in the New Orleans area and worked as a graduate student with the Tulane Schools of Social Work and Public Health. He was summer intern at Acadiana Mental Health Center, Lafayette and assisted in planning, implementing ans operating mental health satellite clinics in surrounding communities. He has been active in private practice as well as public agencies.

Before coming to the Department of Education, Monlezun was connected with the Austin-Travis County Mental Health-Mental Retardation Center in Austin, Texas was well as the Calcasieu Area Guidance Center in Lake Charles.

In announcing the appointment Michot stated, “Mr. Monlezun will serve as liaison between the Division of Special Education and the State Department of Hospitals’ Mental Health Section. He will also be holding in-service training sessions in mental health for our own Special Education personnel. We feel that he will be filling a vital position, and will do much to help us in our efforts in this area.”


Front page newspaper article, December 19, 1968. (Editor’s Note: The following Thanksgiving Prayer was written by Charles Monlezun, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lee J. Monlezun of Lake Arthur, who is stationed at Ft. Dix, N.J for four months National Guard Training.)


My Brother, it’s that time of the year again. Time to slow down, back up to take stock, and realize things. Yes, I know, these realities stare us in the face day in and day out, but well, we are a thankless people. Please be patient with us if we take things for granted sometimes.

Since I’m only me and it has taken me 22 years to find me- and I’m still not sure of anything yet – I feel I should say thank you for all the things You have sent my way. Some were seen as immediate goods, while others weren’t seen quite that way. But now that they are behind me, I understand. Naturally, You were right.

It’s difficult to know where to start when I have the task of saying “thank you” for all You have given. This is so because nothing of what I was within the past year was possible without all the previous years. But “by the grace of God, I am what I am.”

Thank you, Lord, for the grace of decision, for strength in the storm, and for the various guide posts of reinforcements.

Thank You for my education. This year I temporarily finished college, my formal education, only to start the informal learning process. Please never allow me to cease to learn.

And thank You for the military also. (With a lump in my throat I write this!) This situation has given me invaluable experience with personalities (besides teaching me important things like left face and right shoulder arms).

But Lord, my thank you list is indeed short if I don’t that you for the people in my life. Naturally, first come my parents; for the beauty of their example, the strength of their perseverance, their willingness to give and ask nothing but love in return, and all the good they have injected into the veins of my existence. Thank You also for all those people, know and unknown who have had sway on my life. Please let me live by that power of grace which flows into me by those around.

And Lord, since You said “ask and you will receive”, I will end my prayer of Thanksgiving with a prayer of petition. I suspect that the coming year will be even more traumatic that the one just past. I suspect too, that this next year holds in store a decision which will affect the remainder of my earthly existence and the existence of another (and hopefully more than one) human being. I ask You to guide me, that my steps will be straight, logical, thought out and prayed over.

Please give the world peace and love, my Brother. Allow us to grow in awareness of one another and compassion for those who want.

Thank You for being a good listener.

A Friend of Yours

77. 1994 CHURCH WORK…found written on scrap paper!

Pink Lady 234 hours

Choir Sat. 4:30 78 hours

Rosary for Wakes 39 hours

Folding bulletins 78 hours

Social Ministry 104 hours

Candles 52 hours

Funeral Mass 69 hours

Thanksgiving Basket 300 hours, 5 years

Lay Ministry 78 hours

  1. Trustee

  2. 1 yr trustee

  3. Baby

  4. Grand Regent

  5. Baby

  6. Baby

    1. Fraternal chairman

    2. 3 yr trustee

    3. Catholic Mother – baby

  1. Fraternal chairman

  2. Fraternal chairman

  3. Fraternal chairman

  1. Vice Regent

Gertrude Monlezun, Charter Member, Catholic Daughters

(What a treasure! What a good and faithful servant all the days of her life! I want to be just like her when I grow up!)

78. August 13, 1966 Lake Arthur Sun Times…MR. AND MRS. LEE J. MONLEZUN

Over 400 guests attended the open house given by Mr. and Mrs. Lee J. Monlezun on Saturday afternoon celebrating their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.

The couple renewed their wedding vows at Our Lady of the Lake Church that morning with the Rev. Jude Speyrer and the Rev. F. Gouaux officiating having all of their eight children present for the occasion.

Mrs. Monlezun, the former Gertrude Hensgens, wore a light blue silk dress with a lace yoke and white orchid corsage. Their home was beautifully decorated with floral arrangements sent by friends and relatives in commemoration of the event. The serving table was covered with a lace cloth and centered with a silver epergne filled with white carnations and chrysanthemums. The register table was decorated with a white arrangement of baby mums and daisies in a silver bowl.

In the receiving line with Mr. and Mrs. Monlezun were their children, Mr. and Mrs. Lee J. Monlezun, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Robert Monlezun, Charles, Bernadette, Constance, Malcolm, Ione and Dominique and also Mr. and Mrs. Antoine Monlezun. All but four of the original wedding party was present for the event. These included Mayor R.J. Bertrand, Mrs. Herman Berken and Anthony Hensgens of Lake Arthur, Mrs. William Iglinsky of Lake Charles, Miss. Rita Ney of Roberts Cove, Mrs. Henry Leonary of Mowata and Mrs. Frank Schneider of Bayou Vista.

79. This compilation was written on 31 July 2008 on the 23rd anniversary of Dad’s death but sent to you in celebration in one week of the 67thwedding anniversary of Mom and Dad, 13 August 2008!

Blessed Day on this the Feast of the Transfiguration!

How appropriate!!

(Now I must go and tend the Reiners Family Chronicle data for Germanfest 2008!!!) 

Dear Brothers Two,

(also Most Rev. Bishops Speyrer, Emeritus, my high school religion teacher (!) and Provost (LA) and the ‘Goretti Sisters’ (AR)!)
In organizing part of the 'Goretti Collection' in The Back Room on Arthur Avenue, I recently wrote a compilation of data…see below! It hangs on the wall next to the 'Collection' along with a list of the ‘Goretti Sisters’ who served over the years. Thank you, Brothers Two, for our ancestral home where many folk are learning and embracing as a family matrix in artifacts, memorabilia, photos, paper and precious objects all shared for others. I wish I could send you every comment, tear, prayer or note of gratefulness from others! Know that you are stalwart stewards and as Caretaker, diligently take care in preserving the home through the stories in gratitude, respect and awe of our parents. We are the living spirit of those who have gone before and because we can and so desire, we gather, preserve and make relevant at Arthur Avenue through the “Lee Joseph, Sr. and Anna ‘Gertrude’ Hensgens-Monlezun Business and Domestic Collection!!”
Enjoy!!! You’re encapsulated in the data!! Sayings/Remembrances/Room by Room, etc. always added to!

(Post-Germanfest is ‘Place-Based Education’ on Arthur Avenue for teachers & school children!)
Our parents sacrificed for their children’s Catholic education:

at a simultaneous juncture they had 5 children in 3 different schools!

1. Immaculata Minor Seminary, Lafayette, LA: 3 sons at the same time!


2. St. Maria Goretti Catholic Elementary and High School, Lake Arthur, LA

(1956-1989): 6 children in a row!
3. Notre Dame Major Seminary, New Orleans, LA: 1 son
4. Congregation of the Sisters of Divine Providence,

Aspirancy Program, Castroville, TX: 1 daughter
5. Our Lady of the Lake College, San Antonio, TX, summer session 1965: 1 daughter
(6. Trinity College (1985-1988) with Adjunct Professors from the

Catholic University of America and the Dominican Seminary/House of Studies,

Washington D.C. ~ same daughter!) click ‘Silent Retreat Series!’ click ‘Read! Read! Read!’

Their children’s children are receiving a Catholic education:

  1. Immaculate Conception Cathedral Elementary School, Lake Charles, LA

 2. Our Lady Queen of Heaven Elementary School, Lake Charles, LA

3. St. Peter Inter-parish Catholic School, Washington, DC


4. Our Lady Immaculate Elementary School, Jennings, LA

  1. Carencro Catholic Elementary School, Carencro, LA

  1. Saint Louis Catholic High School, Lake Charles, LA

  1. Tuerlings Catholic High School, Lafayette, LA

  1. Loyola University Law School, New Orleans, LA

In gratitude for the genesis sacrifice of my parents where six of their children attended elementary and high school, I opened on November 5, 2004 the

Saint Maria Goretti Catholic School Special Collections’ with the

McNeese State University Library Archives and Special Collections Department,

Lake Charles, LA and Archival Special Collections

(In gratefulness to and respect of Rev. Harry Pelous, Diocese of Lafayette, LA

Founder…R.I.P. Dear One!)

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