Cover photo for Laura Houeye's Obituary
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1927 Laura 2023

Laura Houeye

August 26, 1927 — November 8, 2023

Laura Houeye, aged 96, was called home on November 8, 2023 in Naperville, Illinois.

Laura was born on August 26, 1927 and grew up in north Louisiana, Baton Rouge, and Lafayette. She graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Home Economics and later studied interior decorating at the Schaeffer Design School in San Francisco. In 1952, Laura married Emmett Houeye at Live Oak Plantation in St. Martinville, Louisiana, where they lived for many years while raising their children. They later moved to nearby Lafayette, and, after her husband’s death, Laura lived in North Carolina near her older daughter and for the past seven years in Naperville, Illinois near her younger daughter.

Laura was a loving, giving wife and mother, and her primary focus was her family, but she also worked professionally as an interior decorator for many years. In addition to her professional pursuits, she ensured that the family home at Live Oak Plantation was always beautifully decorated while also being very livable and comfortable for a family with four active children. The home was often featured in lifestyle magazines such as Southern Living. Laura also planned and hosted wonderful gatherings for family and friends, including beautiful holiday parties for adult friends as well as legendary birthday parties for her children. Laura loved to travel and planned many amazing family road trips, with visits to historical sites as well as to ones of natural beauty.

Laura was an expert seamstress and designed and created beautiful clothing and home accessories for her immediate family as well as for extended family members and friends. From professional-level draperies to tailored men’s suits to Sunday dresses for her children and all of the cousins, Laura’s creations far exceeded anything available in retail stores.

Laura was a pillar of Jenkins Memorial Baptist Church in St. Martinville. In addition to teaching children’s classes and leading the girls’ youth group for many years, she worked closely with the architectural team in developing the plans for the current church building and parsonage and led the interior design for both buildings.

Laura was an extraordinarily selfless person who served those around her throughout her life. One example of her selflessness is that every Christmas she would anonymously give Christmas gifts to all of the children in the St. Martinville public school who would not otherwise receive gifts. Each fall, she requested the names of children in need from the teachers, purchased and wrapped gifts for all of the children, and delivered them to the teachers to give to the children “from Santa.” Laura was also a member of the Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.) Sisterhood, an organization focused on providing educational opportunities for female students worldwide.

Laura cared for her family members throughout her life, from providing an absolutely wonderful childhood for her children to being a regular sitter and playmate extraordinare for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was also the primary caregiver for her mother, Louise Gauthier, during the later years of her mother’s life.

Laura was greatly adored by her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and will be deeply missed. She is survived by her daughters, Blanche Houeye Garrett of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Lilah Houeye (James) Rabe of Naperville, Illinois; her son, John Arthur (Angele) Houeye of Lafayette, Louisiana; her grandchildren, Rebekah Anne (Graham) McDowell, Christopher Robert Garrett, James Robert Rabe, John Raymond Rabe, and Joshua Chase Houeye; her step-grandchildren, Jamie Rabe (Cary) Quiring and Joshua Daniel (Jessica) Rabe; her great-grandchildren, Craig Robert McDowell, Madison Hallie McDowell, and Ryan Joseph McDowell; and her step-great-grandchildren, Sara Diane Quiring, Mark Bradley Quiring, Logan Nathaniel Rabe, and Alexandra Rachael Rabe. Laura was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Emmett Erwin Houeye, and her son, Robert Erwin Houeye.

A funeral service will be held at Jenkins Memorial Baptist Church in St. Martinville, Louisiana on Saturday, November 18, 2023 at 10:00 am, followed by a luncheon and visitation with the family in the fellowship hall of the church. After the luncheon, a graveside service will be held at Lafayette Memorial Park Cemetery in Lafayette, Louisiana at 3:00 pm.

Friedrich-Jones Funeral Home in Naperville, Illinois and Pellerin Funeral Home in St. Martinville, Louisiana are in charge of arrangements.

For those who would like to make a memorial contribution, please consider Jenkins Memorial Baptist Church in St. Martinville, Louisiana.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Laura Houeye, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Saturday, November 18, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Jenkins Memorial Baptist Church

111 Oak Dr, Saint Martinville, LA 70582

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Luncheon and Visitation with the Family

Saturday, November 18, 2023

11:00am - 2:00 pm (Central time)

Jenkins Memorial Baptist Church

111 Oak Dr, Saint Martinville, LA 70582

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Burial

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Starts at 3:00 pm (Central time)

Lafayette Memorial Park Cemetery

2111 W. Pinhook Rd, Lafayette, LA 70508

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