Cover photo for Norma DesHotels Dupre's Obituary
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Norma DesHotels Dupre

February 24, 1942 — May 15, 2024

New Iberia

Norma DesHotels Dupre

New Iberia – Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am, on Friday, May 24, 2024, at Pellerin Funeral Home, for Norma DesHotels Dupre. Entombment will be at a later date. Rev. Ed Degeyter will officiate.

Visitation will be Thursday, from 5:00 pm until 8:00 pm at Pellerin Funeral Home, and will continue Friday, from 8:00 am until 11:00 am.

A rosary, led by the Men’s Rosary Group, will be prayed at 6:00 pm, on Thursday.

Norma Dell DesHotels Dupre, aged 82, passed away peacefully at her residence in New Iberia, Louisiana on May 15, 2024. Born on February 24, 1942, in Mamou, Louisiana, she was the daughter of Millard DesHotels, Sr. and Hazel Tate DesHotels. During her childhood years, Norma enjoyed playing outside with her two brothers, playing dolls with the neighborhood kids, hunting with her father, and speaking French with her grandfather. On Sundays and holidays, Norma’s extended family gathered around her grandparents’ home for meals, storytelling, and live Cajun French music courtesy of the DesHotels clan. 

Norma was involved in many clubs and organizations throughout her school years. She served as president of the 4-H club, was active in Beta, was a member of the pep squad and volleyball team, and attended Pelican Girl’s State. She was co-valedictorian and graduate of Mamou High School in 1960. Well-liked by her peers, Norma was voted “Best All Around Girl” and “Best All Around Girl Athlete.” She went on to receive her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Southwestern Louisiana in 1964. During her college years, she was a member of Lambda Omega and The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. 

In January of 1964, she married her first husband, William David Bradford, at St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Mamou. Two children were born of this union, William Scott Bradford and Amy Marie Bradford Crochet.

Her passion for healthcare was not only a field of study but also a lifelong pursuit. She began her career as a Registered Nurse in 1964 and served as Director of Nursing from 1964-1973 at Care Nursing Home in Oakdale, Louisiana. She obtained her nursing home administrator’s license in 1970. In 1973, Norma moved as a single mother with her two young children to begin her nursing home administrator career at Azalea Villa Nursing Center (currently Belle Teche Nursing & Rehabilitation Center) in New Iberia, Louisiana. Throughout the next thirty-four years, she was a dedicated and well respected administrator to countless staff members and residents. 

In 1982, she met a gentleman from Grand Prairie, Louisiana, Gilvan Dupre, on a blind date with friends. From then on, the two were inseparable and wed on May 28, 1982 after dating only five months. 

Norma’s leadership and dedication to the nursing home setting was evident as she was a longstanding member of the Louisiana Nursing Home Association where she served on numerous boards and committees, including being the 1994 Region III Vice President Board of Directors. In 1980, she was recognized as “Outstanding Administrator of the Year.” In 1993, she was presented the LNHA “President’s Service Award.” Norma was once quoted as saying, “I believe that my 30 years of experience in the nursing home field may be valuable in guiding the direction of the long-term care industry. If there is such a thing as a true vocation, I believe this is mine. It is one of the few areas of nursing that allows you to care for the whole person and become involved with their physical, spiritual, emotional, and social needs.” She concluded her administrator career at Courtyard Manor in Lafayette, Louisiana, and retired in 2007 before moving back to her hometown of Mamou with Gil in 2008.

Norma’s commitment to her community was evident through her volunteer work and many organizational memberships, reflecting her love for philanthropy. She served as president of the Oakdale Jaycee Jaynes and Secretary/Treasurer of Les Mille Fleur Garden Club in 1969. A devout Catholic, she was a member of the Catholic Daughters of America, Ladies Altar Society, and Catholic High Mother’s Club. She was also active in the PTA, American Health Care Association, and Louisiana Health Care Association. She served on the Advisory Committee for the Cooperative Home Economics Program for Iberia Parish. She pledged to the Gamma Epsilon chapter of Beta Sigma Phi (Secretary, 1975-1976; Treasurer, 1976-1977; Program Chairman, 1976-1977; Civil Defense Chairman, 1976-1977; Librarian, 1977-1978) and to The National Honor Society of Nursing – Delta Eta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau (Preisdent,1981). 

Aside from her professional and community involvement, Norma's hobbies included painting, gardening, sewing, reading, cooking, cake baking/decorating, and hosting parties.  She had a particular fondness for traveling the world and was always up for an adventure. One Christmas morning, Norma and her friend loaded their young children into the car and drove until they found snow, ending up in Mena, Arkansas. Her travels took her across Canada by way of train, to castles in Ireland, to Cinderella’s Castle in Disney World, and to Big Ben in England. Norma prioritized staying in touch with lifelong friends from Oakdale by getting together and alternated hosting every 4th of July. She was fond of makeup, dressing to the nines, having a weekly manicure, and always having fresh flowers throughout her home. Norma was known for her infamous sugar eggs, savory oatmeal cookies, as well as her “Baby’s Behind Bread” that she learned to bake from her grandmother. In her later years, Norma could be found in casinos, sitting at a slot machine where luck was almost always on her side.

Although Norma was an accomplished professional and citizen, the roles she excelled at most were Mother and Grandmother. From sewing clothes and costumes for plays to decorating unique birthday cakes and throwing birthday parties at the pool house, there was nothing that Norma would not do for her two children and four grandchildren. She loved hosting Sunday lunches and holidays, particularly Christmas Eve-where gifts were abundant and filled the entire room. “Hey Darlin’” was the first thing to come out of her mouth when calling her grandchildren. Her love for traveling was instilled in her grandchildren as she took them to Disney World, Six Flags, beaches, along with the occasional nursing home convention and Senior Olympics. 

After spending fourteen years back in Mamou, Gil and Norma returned to New Iberia in 2020, where she would live out her final years surrounded by children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Norma leaves behind a legacy of love, character, and faith.

She is survived by her loving husband of 42 years Gilvan James Dupre of New Iberia; brother Jerome Lear (Bell) of Eunice; two children, William Scott Bradford of Gonzales and Amy Bradford Crochet of New Iberia; four grandchildren Kristen Marie Bradford (Garrett Dowell) of Los Angeles, California, Karleigh Crochet Sigur (Ryan) of New Iberia, William Alexander Bradford of Lafayette, and Kathryn Crochet White (Nicholas) of New Iberia; and her 7 cherished great grandchildren Foster, Bradford, Arthur, & Margaret Sigur and Malise, Marshall & Meredith White; numerous godchildren including Loretta DesHotels; sisters-in-law, Diane Dupre, Patricia LaFleur, and Ruby Dupre; and a brother-in-law, Harold Dupre (Debra).

She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother, Millard DesHotels, Jr.; brothers-in-law, Gary Dupre, Perry LaFleur, and Jenard Dupre.

The family would like to extend their gratitude to Community Hospice, especially Penny, Clarissa, and Zach, for their care and compassion, as well as Norma’s loving husband, Gil, who was her sole caretaker for the last few years.

Norma DesHotels Dupre will be remembered as a strong-willed sometimes sassy woman, devoted wife, a passionate nurse and administrator, and a loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother and sister. Her grace, intellect, and kindness will be deeply missed by all who knew her and will live on in her future generations. 

Pellerin Funeral Home, 502 Jefferson Terrace, New Iberia, LA 70560 (337.365.3331)

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


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