Celine Marie Durand Willis
A memorial Mass will be offered for Ms. Willis at St. Martin de Tours Church on Saturday, February 28, 2015, at 10 o’clock a.m. Father Gary Schexnayder will officiate.
Celine Willis, 89, died on Sunday, February 15, 2015, at Greenbriar Community Care Center in Slidell, Louisiana. A longtime resident of St. Martinville, Ms. Willis grew up at Pine Grove on Cemetery Road, beside the former Pine Grove Canning Plant founded by her parents. An extremely creative person, she was an outstanding seamstress who made elaborate dresses and costumes, including Mardi Gras Queen dresses for two of her daughters. Ms. Willis was also an excellent cook and gardener, and was very interested in food for healthy living. A lover of beauty with a natural talent for aesthetics, she refinished furniture, enjoyed interior design, and helped design the décor for many family and community events.
The Catholic faith was very important in her childhood home, and prayer was a major part of her life in her later years. Among her friends and extended family Ms. Willis is most remembered for her gregarious nature and generous spirit. She was known for offering immediate assistance to friend and stranger alike.
Ms. Willis was preceded in death by her parents, Louella and Leonce Durand Sr.; her sisters, Melba Duchamp, Louella Durand, Frances Landman and Marie Claire Gahn; her brother, Leonce Durand Jr.; and her beloved son, Patrick Willis.
She is survived by three sons, J. Burton Willis Jr., Phillip Willis and John Willis and wife Stephanie; three daughters, Elizabeth Zimmerman and husband Paul, Marilyn Hogan and husband Chuck, and Emily Brumfield and husband Keith; her daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Broughton Willis; her grandchildren, Beau Broussard, Kaitlyn Willis Primeaux and husband Dustin, Bethany Willis, Colin Willis, and Chase Patrick Willis; her great-grandchild, Brooklyn Broussard; her sisters, Grace Bienvenu, Doris Zappi, Rita Voorhies and Emelina Wetzel; her brother, Larry Durand; her sister-in-law, Florence Durand; her brother-in-law, Arthur Landman; and numerous nieces and nephews.