Lucille Babineaux, late Louisiana governor's mom, dies

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NEW IBERIA, La. (AP) — Lucille Fremin Babineaux, matriarch of a large family that included Louisiana's first female governor, died Monday, two weeks before what would have been her 103rd birthday.

Babineaux and her late husband, L. Louis Babineaux, had seven children, 24 grandchildren and 36 great-grandchildren. Counting spouses, the family totaled 105 people, said her son Erroll C. Babineaux.

“She has a small house — 24-hundred square feet (223 square meters) — but she always wanted holidays at her house so all the grandkids could get to know each other,” he said. “I think that says a lot for her style.”

Lucille and Louis Babineaux, who died in 2001, were married 59 years. They created The Home Rug Cleaning and Floor Company in 1945 and ran it together.

Babineaux is survived by five children, 21 grandchildren and all of her great-grandchildren.

Her children included Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, who was governor when Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the state in 2005. B lanco died of cancer in 2019.

Babineaux's eldest son, L. Louis Babineaux Jr., and his 5-year-old daughter drowned in 1975.

Babineaux attributed her long life to strong faith in God, Erroll Babineaux said.

Until six weeks ago, Babineax said his 102-year-old mother lived on her own. “Then we had sitters for her.”

She died at home with her family.

Visitation will be Sunday from 4 to 7 p.m. and Sept. 26, starting at 8 a.m., at Pellerin Funeral Home in New Iberia. Babineaux's burial Mass will be at 11 a.m. Sept. 26 at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in New Iberia, with burial in Holy Family Cemetery.