WASHINGTON -- Edith Mae Wartelle, 86, passed away on April 29, 2018 at her home in Washington, Louisiana surrounded by her family. Lafond-Ardoin Funeral Home of Opelousas is in charge of all arrangements. A “Celebration of Life” will be held on Saturday, May 5th at 1:00 p.m. immediately followed by the service at 2:00 p.m. in the Lafond-Ardoin Funeral Home Chapel.
Edith Mae was born on April 27, 1932 in Lebeau, Louisiana at her maternal grandparents’ home. She grew up in Lemoyne, Louisiana but moved at a very early age to Palmetto, Louisiana where her parents opened Budden’s General Merchandise Store in 1934. She graduated from Palmetto High School in 1951 and went on to major in elementary education at what was then Southwestern Louisiana Institute (now UL) in Lafayette and graduated in 1955. She then taught at Port Barre High School (where she had actually starting teaching before her graduation due to their need for an elementary teacher), Washington High School (where she also coached the high school girls’ basketball team to the school’s first District 2 Girls’ Class B championship in 1956), and Palmetto High School.
Upon her marriage to Phil Wartelle of Washington, she briefly lived in New Iberia, Opelousas, and then settled down in Baton Rouge where she raised her family and taught at Hollywood Elementary, Villa Del Rey Elementary, and Bellingrath Hills Elementary.
Following her retirement after teaching 26 years and her husband’s retirement from EXXON, she and her husband returned to Washington to live in her husband’s family home. She took great pride in her family and expanded her enjoyment of gardening and playing bouree. She became very active in the Washington Garden Club where she found endless enjoyment in working with the Garden Club on projects such as the registration of live oaks in and around the area with the Live Oak Society, the preservation and beautification of the Church Landing Cemetery (also known locally as the “Yellow Fever Cemetery”), and was active in their Arbor Day tree planting. She always loved people and made friends everywhere she went with her infectious smile and her love of conversation. She compiled many scrapbooks and binders of information about the Budden and Wartelle families and the towns of Washington and Palmetto and their colorful histories. The teacher in her made her approach every project with the feeling that she “was going to be graded on it”. Her love of people and their stories was boundless.
Mae is survived by her husband of 61 years, Phil Wartelle; her two sons, Webb Wartelle and wife Leah of Baton Rouge and Felix Wartelle of Washington; one daughter, Edie Wartelle Balderree and husband, John of Grapevine, Texas; and adored grandson Collin Balderree and two step grandsons Jordan Haddad of Albuquerque, New Mexico and Brett Haddad of Sydney, Australia and his three children Harly, Harper, and Koa. Mae also leaves behind her two sisters, Laura Budden Allegood of Washington and Bertha Budden Reed and husband Kenny of Opelousas; her two brothers, Marx (Sonny) Budden and wife Eldine of Palmetto, and Guyton Budden and wife Vernita of Palmetto. She is also mourned by a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Mae was preceded in death by her parents, Allen (Chuck) and Rita Boudreaux Budden of Palmetto, her mother and father-in-law, Felix (Phil) and Josie Quirk Wartelle of Washington, and her sisters-in-law Rita, Catherine, Claire, and Ann.
The family would like to thank NSI Hospice of Lafayette and the numerous friends and relatives who have supported the family during this time.
Mae’s family has requested that, because of her joy of reading and her love for her former students and fellow teachers, donations be made to the Bellingrath Hills Elementary Library for reading materials. Please make checks payable to Bellingrath Hills Elementary and reference Edith Wartelle. You may either mail the checks to the school at 6612 Audusson Drive Greenwell Springs, LA 70739 or make a deposit in her name at the Red River Bank – Central Branch in Baton Rouge.
Felix, I know what you're going through is not only that of sorrow but also of comfort and peace that your momma is no longer in any pain. Many hugs my friend and prayers to you and your family.
Lisa PurserHouston, TX
So sorry for your loss. Sending prayers to all of the family.
Jeri OrtegoCarencro, LA
Sincere and deepest condolences to the Budden and Wartelle family.
Wilma Chelettewalker, LA
It was such an honor to get to know Ms Mae and the Wartelle family. I wish I’d had the opportunity to meet her during her more vital years...from all the stories I’ve heard, it was certainly my loss! She handled herself with grace and poise during her last, most vulnerable days. She was a beautiful person inside and out, and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to care for her and learn from her in the last days of her life. Though she did not know it, she was a teacher to the very end as she was an ongoing example of what it is to be a gentle, Southern lady. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Shannon GuidryOpelousas, LA
My deepest sympathy to the Budden and Wartell families. Edith Mae was such a wonderful lady. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
Dorislyn Jackson BustilloShreveport, LA
So sorry for your loss. Your tribute to her outstanding life is a testament to what a wonderful person she was. Beautifully written by those who loved her the most. Condolences for your loss.
Cathi WilliamsPrairieville, LA
So sorry for your loss. We will try to make it for the memorial service.
Bryan and Mary LegerSulphur, LA
Our sincere & deepest condolences from Peggy and I to the entire Wartelle and Budden family. May our prayers help console you in this of mourning.
Perry M. & Peggy Romero LegerBaton Rouge, LA
So sorry for your loss. Such a dear friend and neighbor when we were raising our kids in Baton Rouge. We all shared so many happy memories.
Isabel and Wayne GathrightMaumelle, AR
Sorry for your loss. Mike and I loved her sense of humor.
Dianna WartelleWashington, LA
Phil, Webb, Felix and Edie
I am so sorry to hear of Mae’s passing. I loved her very much we always enjoyed each other as neighbors in Greenwood Sub. Baton Rouge. Wartelle family you were very special to the Faust family.
Joan FaustAlbany, LA
So sorry to hear of your dear mother's passing. Wishing you all lots of love during this very hard time.
LeeAnn BalderreeMalakoff, TX