Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Requiem in Pacem Deeny

Willadene "Deeny" Rawley went to her eternal home on June 1st. She was my sister-in-law's mother-in-law. The grandmother of my nephew Joe Rawley, who is a television reporter for WRNO in New Orleans and former producer at WAFB in Baton Rouge. "Deeny" was a wonderful person who served the Diocese of Lake Charles in a big way. Here is her obituary :
Willadene (Deeny) Vincent Rawley, 91, passed away at 12:15 p.m., Monday, June 1, 2009, in her home, with all of her family present.
She was born in Oakdale, LA, on Feb. 23, 1918 to Floyd Vincent, Sr. and Ina Bordelon Vincent. The family moved back to Lake Charles when she was 6 months old. She was a member of a pioneer Southwest Louisiana family, being a descendent of Pierre Vincent, who migrated from St. Martinville to settle at what is now Vincent Settlement. Deeny was educated at St. Charles Academy, graduating in 1935, and she then attended Vincent’s Business College. Deeny was a legal secretary in Lake Charles for 39 years, and is a charter member of the Lake Charles Legal Secretaries Assn. In 1968, she was named the “Legal Secretary of the Year” for the state of Louisiana.
Deeny was one of the leading volunteers who served the Cathedral parish in a number of different roles. When the Diocese of Lake Charles was established, she became Bishop Jude Speyrer’s first secretary, assuming that position on March 1, 1980 and retaining it until June of 1984, when she retired for the second time. She was a member of the Cathedral parish’s pastoral council, as well as secretary of that body. She was a lay Minister of the Eucharist for many years, a member of the Ladies Altar Society for the parish, and of Court Lady of the Lake 695, Catholic Daughters of the Americas. She further served the diocese by being a member of the Advisory Board for the Lake Charles Seamen’s Center, while also serving as secretary for the Lake Charles Heart Assn.
In 1984 the diocese recognized Deeny’s service to the church by decorating her with the Devoted Service Medal, and in 1991 she was decorated with the Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice award from Pope John Paul II, and received the Diocesan Evangelizer of the Year award in 1997. Deeny carried on a tradition of church service which had been built up over several generations in Southwest Louisiana.
Mrs. Rawley was predeceased by her parents, Ina Bordelon Vincent and Floyd J. Vincent, Sr.; sister, Mrs. Vida Vincent Pumpelly; brother, Floyd J. Vincent, Jr.; husband, Lt. James X. Rawley. She is survived by one son, James X. Rawley Jr.; daughter-in-law, Lynne Meole Rawley of Lake Charles; grandson, Joseph N. Rawley of New Orleans; sister, Ione M. (Tookey) Vincent; niece, Jane Pumpelly Brumby and husband, David; nephew, Glenn Pumpelly and wife, Audra; brother-in-law, Robert J. Pumpelly, all of Lake Charles, as well as numerous great nieces, great nephews and cousins.
Her funeral will be 10 a.m. Thursday, June 4, 2009 at Immaculate Conception Cathedral. Msgr. Harry Grieg and Fr. Aubrey Guilbeau will officiate. Burial will be in Orange Grove Cemetery. Visitation will be at Hixson Funeral Home in Lake Charles on Wednesday from 3-9 p.m with rosary at 6 p.m. Visitation will resume Thursday morning at 8 a.m. and continue until time of service. Words of comfort may be shared at


Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for this post. I met Deeny two times only and she made me feel as if she had always known me. What an incredibly loving lady. Your family is in my prayers.

Alfred said...

Dear Jimmy & Lynne,
I was so saddened to learn of Deeny's death. My prayers are with y'all in this time of such great sorrow.
I met Deeny in Dec, 1961, when she 'took me in' while I was courting Susan (nee Weeks). Ours was a 'long-range' courtship since I lived in Beaumont (Lamar U.) and Susan lived in Lafayette (USL). I guess it paid off 'cuz Susan & I celebrated our 44th anniversary on May 31, the day before Deeny passed away. She was a great lady and will always hold a place of fond affection in our hearts. ~ Al Ozenne, DDS

Anonymous said...

Just got word today 061409 my internet connection was down since May 25th. Deeny was one of the neighbors that always had a glass of water and a few minutes to talk to you if you needed an audience. She let us use her backyard for playing. My parents, Bob and Dottie Weeks, always had us include
Mrs. Rawley in our evening prayers.
She was the kind of person I wish all our grandchildren could grow up with as a neighbor. We are praying for the repose of her soul and for those feeling the loss of this family member.
Bobby Weeks