Jacqueline Billeaudeau Labat passed away peacefully on February 6, 2018. A wonderful wife, mother, adoring grandmother and teacher, she truly possessed joie de vivre that radiated to everyone around her. She was born in Mamou, Louisiana, and was very proud of her Cajun heritage. She impacted lives around the world. Her energetic spirit, her acceptance of everyone and her humor brought happiness and enjoyment to all she met.
As was written in her favorite book, Le Petit Prince, “In one of the stars, I shall be living. In one of them, I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars will be laughing when you look at the sky at night. And when your sorrow is comforted, you will be content that you have known me. You will always be my friend.”
Jacqueline spent 48 years with her husband, Wade, her high school sweetheart, raising and bringing joy to her children and three grandchildren. Her God and her family were always first in her life.
Jackie earned her bachelor of science in French education from Louisiana State University in 1967. She also earned a masters of education from LSU in 1968. A 1964 graduate of St. Joseph’s Academy, she began her ministry of teaching at SJA in 1970. She taught all levels of French and also served as assistant and associate principal while continuing to teach. She was chairperson of the SJA foreign language department for 25 years and was the long-time moderator of French Club. She will be remembered as the disciplinarian with a heart. She retired January 31, 2018, after 47 years of ministry.
Throughout her ministry at SJA, she was highly active in the American Association of Teachers of French, American Council of Teachers of Foreign Language, Friends of French Studies at Louisiana State University, Louisiana Foreign Language Teachers Association, Council for the Development of French in Louisiana, France – Louisiane and the Association Louisianaise des Clubs Français des Écoles Secondaires (ALCFES).
Jacqueline was recently named Officier des Palmes Académiques for distinguished contributions to French national education and culture. She previously attained the rank of Chevalier des Palmes Académiques. The honors are bestowed by the Ministry of National Education of the French Republic.
“If I had it all to do again, with every profession in the world laid out before me, I would still choose teaching,” Jacqueline said recently of her career. “It’s a wonderful, wonderful job.”
Jacqueline is survived by her husband, Wade Labat; daughters Michèle Labat Wilks (Matthew) and Christine Labat; grandchildren Ryan and Camille Wilks and Libbie Labat; sister Lee Billeaudeau Davis; sister-in-law Wendy Labat Payment (Tommy); brothers-in-law Cyrus Labat (Karen) and Errol Labat (Kathy); father-in-law Edmund Labat; and numerous nieces, nephews, Godchildren, friends and her SJA family.
Visitation will be on Friday, February 9, from 5 to 9 p.m. at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church. Rosary will be recited at 8 p.m. Visitation Saturday, February 10, at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church from 12 to 1 p.m. Funeral Mass at 1 p.m. followed by burial at Resthaven Gardens of Memory. A reception will be held after burial at the Our Lady of Mercy Parish Activity Center.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jacqueline’s name to the SJA Foundation, 3015 Broussard Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70808.
My condolences to Wade and the Labat family. Jacqueline was an amazing lady and will be dearly missed by many.
Marvin BorgmeyerBaton Rouge, LA
I am so sorry for your loss. Praying for you and your family.
Andria MonceauxSan Antonio, TX
Mrs. Labat was such an amazing mother to her girls (and to all of her students), an inspiring teacher, and a fabulous role model. She will be forever remembered and loved and missed so very much!!
Jennifer Smith SteferoThe Woodlands, TX