Verna Mae Birckel Clouatre, born May 9, 1928, in New Orleans, Louisiana passed away Monday, October 7, 2019, at 91 years of age. She was the only child of Clarence Joseph Birckel and Leona Malbrough Birckel. A life-long resident of Baton Rouge, Verna was married to Louis (Lou) August Clouatre, her husband and best friend and her "Honey" for 55 years and is survived by her four children, Renee Trusty (husband David) of Baton Rouge; Michelle Harris (husband Stan) of Covington, Andre Clouatre (wife Giselle) of Baton Rouge and Joelle Howe (husband Lacy) also of Baton Rouge. Verna, was lovingly known as, Mimi and Mae Mae to her seven grandchildren who survive her, Lauren Trusty Diamantopoulos (husband Adam) of Houston, TX; John Trusty (fiancee Amber) of Baton Rouge; Bryn Castille of New Orleans; Patricia Harris and Elizabeth Harris both of Covington, LA; Miguel Clouatre and Antonio Clouatre both of Baton Rouge. A devout Catholic, Verna's childhood was spent in New Orleans, attending Holy Name of Jesus Catholic School until her family relocated to Baton Rouge. She graduated from University Laboratory High School in 1946 and graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music in 1951. While attending LSU, Verna was an alternate for the LSU Marching Band, a member LSU Choir and very involved in the Newman Club. A beautiful dancer, Verna taught ballroom dancing for many years at Arthur Murray Dance Studios and always enjoyed the symphony, live music concerts, ballet performances and annual outings to the Baton Rouge Little Theatre's summer musical productions, often with several grandchildren in attendance. A life-long Catholic and educator, she and Lou dedicated their lives to the vocation of teaching. Verna taught music at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic School, Shady Grove High School in Iberville parish, Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic School and Saint Aloysius Catholic School. Upon retiring from teaching, Verna was an Assistant Director of Religious Education for the Diocese of Baton Rouge and Saint Joseph's Cathedral. At the age of 62, Verna received her Master's in Theology from Loyola University in New Orleans and continued with serval hours of post masters work. Later in life and until 85 years old, Verna worked in the parish office of Saint Aloysius Catholic Church. Verna sang in the LSU Concert Choir, the Saint Joseph's Cathedral Choir, was a Eucharistic Minister, and RCIA counselor (with Lou), played the piano, organ, and guitar for many church and school masses. Mimi (Mae Mae) was the very best listener anyone could want and shared countless hours on the sofa giving her children, grand-children and numerous friends her non-judgmental, faith-based insight and wisdom. Family was EVERYTHING to our mother and grandmother--her kind, loving and gentle ways will live in all of our hearts forever. She taught us all how to live, but mostly in the end she taught us how to die. She was peaceful, exuberantly joyful, grateful and full of love and without any fear of death. Our Mimi (Mae Mae) was surrounded by her family in her final hours. We look forward to being reunited with her and our Dad (Papa) for an eternal family party in Heaven. Mom, you gave us so much love and joy. You were a good and faithful servant. We love you! We appreciate the loving and devoted care she received at The Haven, Magnolia Assisted Living and in the end at Clarity Hospice-The Crossing, and to Ronica Stamper our angel on earth. Visitation will be at St. Aloysius Catholic Church, 2025 Stuart Avenue, Monday, October 14, 2019, from 9:30 AM until Funeral Mass at 11:30 AM. Entombment will follow at St. George Mausoleum.
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Published in The Advocate from Oct. 9 to Oct. 14, 2019.