Naomi Terry Pruyn Ward Anderson died peacefully in her sleep and went to be with her Lord Jesus Christ on December 18, 2020, at the age of 102, after a very brief illness. She was born in Abbeville, Louisiana on April 6, 1918, to William E. Terry and Marie Aiffee Boudreaux Terry. The family moved to Texas and she graduated as Valedictorian of Littlefield High School. The family relocated to Baton Rouge in the 1920's. She earned both her undergraduate B. A. and her M. A. from L.S.U. in the late 1930's and married Perry Patrick Pruyn. A daughter Barbara was born in 1941 and a son Michael in 1945. She began her banking career in the early 1940's and retired some 25 years later as an officer of the former Fidelity National Bank. Naomi married W. Leroy Ward, Jr. (the love of her life) in 1966 and the couple's travels included New York, Europe, the West Coast and Mexico. They most enjoyed weeks and weekends spent at their vacation home in Montrose on Alabama's Eastern Shore, entertaining friends and family, and watching her grandchildren run up and down the dock and pier, shrieking with glee. She made fast friends with the grizzled old proprietor of a seafood market on Mobile Bay, by bringing him many bottles of both red and green Tobasco. She and her daughter watched in amazement as he chug-a-lugged a whole bottle of the green and pronounced it as the real thing. In between gathering the bounty from the area's famous Jubilees, she was kept supplied by that fisherman with the freshest of seafood, so that her ice chests were always filled with dozens of boiled crabs and shrimp. She had an inherent sense of style, was a guest model for the former Goudchaux's at such charity events as Mad Hatters. and in the 1970's was named to Baton Rouge's Best Dressed List. Each of her former homes were warmly, stylishly and comfortably furnished, as well as beautifully landscaped by her hand alone. Those homes and gardens were on tour for such charitable organizations as Quota Club. She and Leroy also hosted the annual Christmas parties for the directors and officers of Fidelity, and one Soiree fund-raiser for LSU's Anglo-American Art Museum. The decorations for such events were based on blooms from her own gardens. She had "two green thumbs," could grow anything, and kept a small greenhouse at one property. The baby carrots, tomatoes, pole beans, and okra grew so quickly that one nearly had to start all over again once the first picking had finished. Her roses were magnificent; and each July the pale pink Near East crepe myrtle blossoms were so thick that the grounds looked like Fairyland. She continued her garden regimen at later, smaller homes; and her neighbors were amused to see her pink "Gilligan" hat bobbing up and down each morning as she weeded, planted and pruned. In more recent years that hat was firmly attached to her head as she whizzed by astride a mobility scooter with a large trash basket cleverly mounted on the back. She was a past President of her neighborhood Garden Club. Several years after Leroy's death she married Budd F. Anderson. She was a competent golfer and was a former member of the Ladies Golf Associations of both the Baton Rouge Country Club and the Country Club of Louisiana. Naomi was a marvelous cook--the lucky few who sampled her Crawfish Etouffee pronounced it the best ever. As her eyesight slowly failed, she relied on the cooking skills of her caregivers, her family and friends, who just happened to have an oversupply of trout, gumbo, spaghetti, cheesecake, etc. She could still eat anything she wanted and never gain an ounce. Her favorite meals, in addition to the family's traditional holiday dishes (her Mother's cornbread dressing) included Barbara's vegetable soup and blueberry pancakes, and Mansur's charbroiled oysters and planked redfish Cocodrie. Formerly a voracious reader, she recently enjoyed cablevision's music channels, which kept alive her fond memories of the 1930's and 40's. She lived her life on her own terms and enjoyed it to the fullest. She is survived by her daughter Barbara Elaine Pruyn Gill and son-in-law James H. "Jimmy" Gill of Baton Rouge, and son Michael Wayne Pruyn of San Francisco. She is also survived by her grandson James H. "Buddy" Gill of Austin, Texas and granddaughter Laura Elaine Gill Showalter (Brian) of Brashear Texas. Naomi's ten grandchildren include two adored adult grandchildren who had come to visit Christmas week for the past several years: Katherine "Kay" Showalter of Dallas, Texas, and Lee Showalter of Scottsdale Arizona, plus Lauren, John, James, Adam, Ruth, Robert, Mary and Steven Showalter of Brashear, Texas. She enjoyed the company of the cutest most attentive friends ever: Carol, Katherine, Linda, May Beth, Merri, Sue and the late Jeanne. They were always bringing her special treats and remembering birthdays and holidays with cards, flowers and balloons. Naomi was predeceased by her parents, her siblings Juanita, Roma, Marie and William E. Terry, Jr. and Carmelite Terry Simmons. She was also pre-deceased by former husband Perry Patrick Pruyn and by husbands W. Leroy Ward, Jr. and Budd F. Anderson. The family wishes to thank long-time caregivers Patricia Jackson, Catherine Dukes and Audimishel Offerd for their untiring and loving care. We also thank her physicians Terry Sanders, P. A., Dr. Mary Dobson, Dr. Kevin Babin and Dr. Tara Jarreau, along with the very competent nurses and staff of Heart of Hospice. At her request, no services were held. Rabenhorst, Government St. was in charge of arrangements.
Published in The Advocate from Jan. 7 to Jan. 8, 2021.