Sydnie Durand
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Sydnie Mae Maraist Durand

ST. MARTINVILLE - A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m., on Friday, October 14, 2011, at St. Martin de Tours Catholic Church in St. Martinville, for former Louisiana State Representative, District 46, Sydnie Mae Maraist Durand, 77, who passed away on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at the Heart Hospital of Lafayette.

Fr. Austin Leger will be the celebrant of the funeral Mass and conduct the services. Scriptures will be read by Georgie Blanchard and Shirley Akers. Gift will be presented to the Altar by her granddaughters. Interment will follow at St. Michael Cemetery in St. Martinville.

Sydnie Mae studied environmental training at the University of Southwestern Louisiana and worked in the Lafayette oil industry for 37 years. She began her career in public service by serving on the St. Martin Parish Police Jury, District 4, for 3 terms, beginning in 1980 through 1992. In 1992 she became the first woman elected to serve as a State Representative for District 46, serving until 2008.

During the span of the 16 years in which she held her term in office in the Louisiana legislature, Sydnie Mae served as the Chairwoman of the House Health and Welfare Committee, and also served on the House Executive Committee. She was appointed to serve as a member of the Children, Families & Health Committee of the National Conference of State Legislature's Assembly on State Issues, the Fiscal Affairs & Government Operations Committee of the Southern Legislative Conference, Committee on Tax Structures, Women's Policy and Research Commission, Regional Trauma Patient Care Statewide System Task Force, Governor's Commission on Disability Affairs, and the Louisiana Women's Policy and Research Commission. She also served on the boards of Southern Mutual Help Association, Louisiana Interagency Task Force on the Future of Family Medicine, Task Force on the Future of Family Medicine, and the Acadiana Area Health Services District, as Chairman.

In 2001 she was the recipient of the AANP Louisiana Award for Excellence for Nurse Practitioner Advocates; 2002, the Fleur De Lis Healthcare Leadership Award; and had received the Friend of Physical Therapy Award, in 2003.

Survivors include her son, Alcee J. "Chip" Durand, Jr. and his wife, Lucy, of St. Martinville; her sister, Hattie "Sis" Bourque and her husband, Phillip, of Morgan City; two grandchildren, Brittany Deshotels and her husband, Bret of Washington, LA, and Whitney Durand of St. Martinville; and one great grandchildren, Finn Deshotels of Washington, LA.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Alcee J. Durand, Sr.; and her parents, Sidney and Hattie Belaire Maraist.

The family requests that visiting hours be observed from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Thursday and continue on Friday at 7 a.m. until 10:15 a.m.

A Rosary will be recited by the Catholic Daughters of the Americas at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

Pallbearers will be Bret Deshotels, Jeff Durand, Edgar Durand, Keith Durand, Joseph Jay DeCourt, and Jody Badeaux.

Honorary pallbearers will be Senator Fred H. Mills, Jr., Representative Mike Huval, and her Legislative Assistant, Sally Dugas.

Honor Guard will be provided by the St. Martin Parish Sheriff's Department.

Memorial donations may be made in her name to a charity of your choice.

Pellerin Funeral Home, 112 New Market St., St. Martinville, LA 70582 (337.394.9121), is in charge of arrangements.

To view on-line obituary, sign guestbook and view video tribute, go to

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Published in The Advertiser on Oct. 13, 2011.
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