Gail DeJean Lavis passed away in the presence of her husband and children at Ochsner Hospital on December 7, 2021, at the age of 85. Gail was born in Opelousas, Louisiana on April 7, 1936. She was a beauty and a scholar. She graduated from the Academy of the Immaculate Conception where she was salutatorian and the homecoming queen. She graduated from Louisiana State University with a BA in English and History and was a member of Kappa Delta Sorority. Following college, she was Miss Opelousas. She wrote musical advertisements for a local radio station and later taught elementary school in New Orleans. She met the love of her life, Dr. Charles Edward Lavis at St. Louis Cathedral at a Catholic Young Adult party. This meeting began a 60-year romance. Gail’s husband Charles and her five children and 10 grandchildren were her world.
She was a eucharistic minister at St. Francis of Assisi Church in New Orleans. She was fascinated by the arts. She volunteered for The News Orleans Museum of Art, the New Orleans Philharmonic, and the New Orleans Opera Guild. She played the piano, and studied drawing, painting and sculpture at New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts for 30 years. She never stopped learning and thought books were treasures. She loved fashion and dining out. Every Saturday night, she had a standing date with Charles to dine out and listen to live music.
She is predeceased by her father William Lawrence DeJean: mother, Thelma McKeever DeJean and sister Marilynn DeJean Leeper. She is survived by her husband of 58 years, Dr. Charles Edward Lavis and her five children, Susan Lavis Hufft (Patrick); Charles Edward Lavis, Jr.; John Lawrence McKeever Lavis (Yvonne); William Clay Lavis and Sarah Lavis Carrington (David). She is also survived by her 10 grandchildren: Parker, Sarah, and Abby Hufft; Charlie and Rachel Lavis; Savannah Thomas, Evangeline and Clay Lavis; and Caroline and Lauren Carrington. She is also survived by niece Liz Leeper, nephews Billy and Jimmy Leeper and countless cousins including Netzy Durfey and Autumn Pattee.
A funeral mass will be held on Friday, December 10, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. in the St. Landry Catholic Church, 1020 N. Main St., Opelousas, LA at 10:00 am. Burial will follow at Bellevue Memorial Park Cemetery, in Opelousas, LA.
Family and friends are invited to sign and view the online guestbook at www.lafondardoin.com.
LaFond-Ardoin Funeral Home of Opelousas, 2845 South Union Street, Opelousas, LA 70570 (337-942-2638) has been entrusted with the funeral arrangements.