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.