Flower Purple

Denise Thionville Langlois

September 15, 1933 ~ April 14, 2022 (age 88)

Tribute


With courage and deep faith, and surrounded by love and affection, Denise Thionville Langlois passed away peacefully on April 14, 2022, after suffering from heart disease. Truth be told, her heart was permanently broken in 2005, with the loss of her beloved husband Pierre. The two moved to New Orleans from Pointe-A-Pitre, Guadeloupe (in the French West Indies) in 1968, along with their five sons, and were blessed with a sixth shortly thereafter. Her 88 years on Earth revolved around family. She was known by many names: Nysette, Maman, Mom, Mimi, and Grandmere were among the favorites. She was a matriarch with a heart of gold. Fiercely French, she loved everything French, especially perfumes, Champagne, Montrachet and creme brulee. Everyone loved that she was so French, and attributed her sharp and quick wit to this persona. She was always ready to listen and provide encouragement, comfort or a glass of Champagne. She often said, "I’ll always listen, but I don’t give advice."
Her devotion to her family took her to graduations, weddings and other family celebrations across the United States, well into her 80s. In 2018, she even made it back to Guadeloupe to surprise her cousin Anne Marie Boulogne (Nany), who has been like a sister to her since early childhood, for Nany’s 80th birthday celebration arranged by Nany’s daughters, Marie Claire Becard and Marie Pascale Martin, and Nany’s brother Claude Robin, who were her closest family on the island.
She was a voracious reader, enjoyed dancing, loved music (especially Edith Piaf, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis and Big Band), and cherished visits with family and friends. Above all was her absolute love of family coming together at her home on Christmas Eve, an event which she hosted for more than 50 years, serving her legendary and oft-copied quiche Lorraine, roast with a carrot in the center, chocolate mousse, and rolls that always seemed forgotten in the oven a little too long.
She was born in 1933, on the island of Guadeloupe in the French West Indies as the only child of Guy and Denise Thionville, who both predeceased her. She was an excellent student at l’Externat Saint-Joseph de Cluny and Le Pensionnat de Versailles in Guadeloupe, and finished her studies in France at the Lycee Notre Dame de Sion in Marseilles, where she met her lifelong friend Daly Jourdan-Barry. She then assisted her father in his business and participated in the receptions he hosted as Consul of the Netherlands. She even was introduced to Queen Juliana during a visit to Guadeloupe. She married Pierre Jean Langlois in October 1952. They started their family in the island sun of Guadeloupe, where the Langlois’ and Thionvilles’ had lived for several generations.
She was Pierre’s loyal partner and confidante in business, every day working side by side with him in their General Motors dealership and after, in their appliance distribution business. She came home after long days at the office to share dinner and sit down to do homework with her sons. While in Guadeloupe, they enjoyed hosting General Motors business galas, or receptions given in Pierre’s capacity as Consul to the Netherlands, travel to New York for business meetings, dancing, drinking petit rhum punch and vacationing with family and relatives on the beautiful island beaches, in the pristine countryside of Vernou, or at Les Saintes.
Seeking greater opportunities for their children, they landed with the entire family and her lovely mother, Denise, in the United States and continued their legacy in the town of River Ridge, quickly adapting to the New Orleans culture. There she reconnected with her cousins Rene Thionville and Paul Thionville who welcomed the family. Pierre and Denise built an atmosphere of family loyalty and love. They threw wonderful parties for friends and family and were welcoming neighbors. They took annual memorable vacations to Destin with sons and girlfriends, and her sister-in-law Helen (Tele) and her husband Mel Ross, with their children Robbie (who sadly predeceased her) and Michael, to recreate the Guadeloupe beach vacations. She later said it was a vacation for everyone except her since she had to do all the shopping and cooking, but she would not trade the memories. She somehow managed to run a household, raising six boys, and eventually also caring for her mother, all with joy and without complaint. She raised her sons to respect and care for each other and the family. She welcomed all of her daughters-in-law and loved them like a mother. Always one to put family first, she even cared for all of her grandchildren at one time or another, and even some of the great grandchildren.
Denise is survived by her six sons and their families who were the epicenter of her life: Pierre (Patti), Jack (Catherine), Raymond (Michele), Francois (Laurie), Bernard (Stephanie) and Philippe (Tina). She is also survived by grandchildren: Jonathan (Beth), Nicholas, Jennifer Metzger (Andrew), Danielle (Dan Leuck), Lauren (Tom Kaiser), Jack II, Marielle, Raymond (Mallory), Brigitte Burke (Donovan), Jean Pierre (Partner, Jacqueline Bradley), Nicole Tiefel (Brad), Thomas (Lauren), John Paul (Maria), Ryan Beadnell (Sophia), Alexi, Sabrina, Taryn Lazarone, Trey Lazarone, Gabrielle and Alyssa. She is also survived by loving great-grandchildren whom she admired and loved dearly: Emeri, Hudson, Mason Metzger, Kynsey Metzger; Quinn Leuck, Vivienne Kaiser; Brooke, Madison, Michael Burke, Robin Burke, Liam Burke, Connor Burke; Oliver Tiefel, Maxwell Tiefel, Weston Tiefel, Alana, Brielle, Taylen Thornton, Ivy Thornton, Nathan McCluskey, Harper Beadnell, and Izaiah McCormick. She also cared very much for her former daughters in law, mothers of some of her grandchildren, Gail Fontenelle who sadly predeceased her, Mary Gannon, Holly Hughes and Gina Lazarone. She had a special connection to her niece, Marie Claire, who lived with her for over a year and was like a daughter to her. She also was fond of Daly's daughter Isabelle Roux who lived with her while attending university.
The family would like to thank those who helped her with her care, personal and spiritual, Suzanne Norton, Lindy Sells, Carla Segura, Mitch Bourque, and Marta Arzate.

A celebration of her life will be held on Saturday April 30, 2022 at St. Matthew the Apostle Catholic Church, 10021 Jefferson Highway, River Ridge, LA, with viewing at 10:30 A.M. followed by Mass at 11:45 A.M. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the charity of your choice in her memory.

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