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Mary Catherine VanValkenburg Fourroux
(April 21, 1923 - October 2, 2008)


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Mary Catherine (VanValkenburg) Fourroux Feisty, spicy and witty to the end, Mary died on Thursday, Oct. 2, 2008, in Plaquemine, where she had resided since 1945. She was born on Staten Island, N.Y., and moved to Plaquemine following her marriage in 1944 to James C. "Jimmy" Fourroux, who died in 1970. She was a devoted wife and generous mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She is survived by two daughters, Marylyn F. Breaux and Eileen Catherine Fourroux, both of Plaquemine; son-in-law, Joseph A. Breaux, Plaquemine; six grandchildren, William E. Breaux and wife Suzanne, of Marrero, Robert A. Breaux, of Plaquemine, James J. Breaux and his wife, Cherie, of Monroe, Timothy A. Breaux, of Arlington, Va., and Mandy Lynn Childress, of Plaquemine; a grandson of her heart, Michael Sean O'Malley, of Las Cruces, N.M.; and, great-granddaughter, Rileigh Catherine Childress, of Plaquemine. She is also survived by her brother-in-law, Penrose J. Alonzo, of White Castle; a sister-in-law, Mrs. Ruth Fourroux Bourgeois, of Plaquemine; nieces, Ann Laurie Alonzo Blanchard, of Brusly, Penny Alonzo Mills, of White Castle, Mary Frances Bourgeois Tolleson, of Covington, and her namesake, Mary Catherine VanValkenburg, of Slaughter; and nephews, Donald and George Alonzo, both of White Castle, Robert Bourgeois, of Ventress, and Eddie and Johnny VanValkenburg, both of Baton Rouge. In addition to her husband, Jimmy, Mary was preceded in death by her parents, Eugene E. and Mae Gillis VanValkenburg; two brothers, John D. and Edgar E. VanValkenburg; two sisters-in-law, Mrs. Janet VanValkenburg and Mrs. Doris Fourroux Alonzo; a brother-in-law, Carlton Bourgeois; and a nephew, Michael Bourgeois. Mary taught second grade at Plaquemine's St. John Elementary School (St. Basil's Academy) from 1953 to 1963 and described those years as the happiest years of her life. She was strict but enjoyed her students, remembered them all fondly and gave many of her students "pet" names that she used from then on to refer to them. She jokingly liked to take credit for all their successes and reminded them of her early involvement in shaping their lives when she would meet them around town. She retired from the Louisiana Department of Pubic Safety in 1983, where she managed the Plaquemine Driver's License Office in her latter years of service. Visiting at Wilbert Funeral Home in Plaquemine on Saturday, Oct. 4, from 9 a.m. until funeral service at 11 a.m., with the Rev. Cleo Milano officiating. She will be laid to rest next to her beloved husband in the mausoleum at Grace Memorial Park. Memorial donations should be directed to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105. The family is very grateful to Dr. Ruben Fabrega, Mrs. Scarlet Stelly, Comfort Care Hospice of Plaquemine, a special nurse, Kelly Gourges, Jackie Riley and Cassandra Vondo who cared for her with affection.

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