Gloria Deen Lagarde, 74, died Monday, Feb. 18, 2013, surrounded by family.
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Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until funeral time Saturday at Mt. Zion Baptist Church. A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at the church, with Pastor Lionel J. Griffin officiating.
Gloria leaves to cherish her memory, her beloved husband, Clarence Lagarde; two sons, Malcom Lagarde and Wendell Lagarde and wife, Jackie; two daughters, Dontrell Lagarde and Valencia Raymond and husband, Alex; grandchildren, Terrell Lagarde, Jade Calais and husband, Ricky, Brandon Lagarde, Janet Lagarde, Shannon Lagarde, Ryan Lagarde, Royce Lagarde, Creighton Lagarde, and Chantel Lagarde; three great-grandchildren; three sisters, Debbie Joyce and husband, Robert, Beverly Pellum and husband, James, and Brenda Raven; brother, Herman Joseph Jr.; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Annie Mae Joseph; father, Herman Joseph; and maternal and paternal grandparents.
Gloria Lagarde was born and raised in Thibodaux. Early on in life, Gloria developed a love of reading, writing and speaking. This would serve as a precursor to her life's path and purpose.
She attended Nicholls State University, majoring in English education and later received a master's degree in education (curriculum and instruction) from Southern University. As an avenue to share her passion for knowledge and learning, Gloria taught in the Lafourche Parish School System for 33 years before retiring.
Fellow educators and former students knew her as a devoted professional who served willingly and selflessly. With a pure motive, she carried that positive attitude into the classroom daily.
Following retirement, Gloria cultivated her passion for writing. She completed a novel entitled "Never Grow Old" in which she actively pursued publication until her death.
While enjoying a night on the town with friends in 1958, Gloria met and fell in love with Clarence Lagarde. The two wed on April 26, 1959, and would prove to be an anomaly, as their pairing in holy matrimony lasted almost 54 years.
Throughout her life, she found peace in cooking, surfing the internet, studying God's word, and spending time with family and friends.
Gloria was more zealous than she would admit, stronger than she appeared, and more influential than anyone realized. Her legacy surpasses even the worth of a carat of jadeite.
"For it matters not, how much we own, the cars, the house, the cash, What matters is how we live and love, and how we spend our dash." - Linda Ellis
Landry's Funeral Home in Thibodaux is in charge of arrangements.
Published in Houma Today & The Daily Comet from Feb. 21 to Feb. 22, 2013