Mary Cathleen "Cathy" Manuel, née Curtis, passed away unexpectedly on January 9, 2021. Cathy lived a full and eventful life that was at times tumultuous, but her strength and steadfast sense of self and dignity never left her and served as an inspiration to all who knew her. She was a force of nature and will never be forgotten by those who loved her. Throughout her life, with the exception of her five children, her greatest love and favorite companions were animals of all kinds, great and small. No stray dog or cat ever had a better friend in the world than they found in her.
Born on May 25, 1955 in Plainville, Kansas, Cathy moved to the Lafayette, Louisiana area with her family during her early teen years. Cathy graduated from the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Grand Coteau, class of 1974, and she recalled fondly her years at the boarding school and the bucolic setting of the campus, especially her horse and the stables. She attended college courses and worked for some years as a respiratory therapist helping to save lives and provide comfort to her patients in their moments of dire need. Her work in the medical field while living in New Orleans as a young woman is what led her to meet her first husband, Stephen Anthony Manuel, with whom she shared her two daughters. After returning to the Lafayette area years later, Cathy met and married her second husband, James “Jimmy” Manuel, with whom she had three sons. While she used her intellect and caring nature to great effect in her professional life, her longest and most prioritized occupation was caring for her family, which she did selflessly up to her last day on this earth.
She will be dearly missed by her children, Simone Manuel Almon of New Orleans, Louisiana, Briane Manuel Jones of Seattle, Washington, and Patrick Manuel, Tristan Manuel, and Dominick Manuel of Lafayette, Louisiana. She will also be missed and lovingly remembered by her six beloved grandchildren, Ezra Manuel (age 6), June Almon (age 6), Ames Almon (age 4), Amelie Almon (age 1), Josephine Jones (age 5), and Eloise Jones (age 1).
In addition to her children and grandchildren, Cathy is survived by her brother, Mark Curtis of Slidell, Louisiana. She was preceded in death by her father, Paul Dallas Curtis, her mother, Diane Dumont Curtis, and her husband, James Bruce Manuel.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation in Cathy's name to the ASPCA at www.aspca.org.
Pellerin Funeral Home (337-332-2111) is in charge of arrangement.