Beverly Ousse Darby

Arnaudville – A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at 3 p.m., on Tuesday, April 27, 2010, at St. John Francis Regis Catholic Church in Arnaudville, for Beverly Ousse Darby, 80, who passed away on Sunday, April 25, 2010, at Meadowbrook Specialty Hospital in Lafayette.

Interment followed at St. John Francis Regis Cemetery in Arnaudville.

Father Keenan Brown officiated at the Funeral Mass. Scriptures were read by Sarah Stagg and Lauren Darby. Giftbearers were Lacey Darby, Julia Murphy, Presley Darby, and Anne Marie Stagg.

Beverly, the daughter of Wallace and Edna Deshotels Ousse, was born on October 1, 1929, in Rayne. She attended St. Joseph Catholic School and graduated in 1946. She later earned her Bachelor of Science Degree at S.L.I., in Home Economics in 1950, while working part-time during summers and semester breaks at Mervin Kahn’s Department Store in downtown Rayne. All of these experiences prepared her to be a wife, homemaker, career woman, business partner and a mother of five. It was at S.L.I., now University of Louisiana at Lafayette, that she met the love of her life, Melvin B. “Joe” Darby, marrying in 1952.

Beverly’s first job was an Associate Home Demonstration Agent in Vermilion Parish for the L.S.U. Extension Service. She worked closely with the 4-H program, depending on her education, but also on her experience as president of the Acadia Parish 4-H Club during her high school days. She later transferred to the St. Martin Parish Extension Service and worked in all phases of the 4-H program.

In 1954 she joined the faculty of Arnaudville High School as the Home Economics teacher, and was soon involved with the 4-H club and the Future Homemakers of America, serving as advisor. She joined the Home Economics Teachers’ Association and was active on the parish and state level.

She later resigned from teaching and began a full-time career as a homemaker and assistant in the family business, using her background in Home Economics to manage the Darby Store – a store that specialized in fashionable fabrics, patterns, ladies and children’s apparel, as well as groceries and other general merchandise items. She particularly enjoyed traveling to market to buy apparel for the store.

She was quoted as saying in a 1985 Teche News article entitled “Women can be valiant in God’s eyes,” – “Where there’s a will, there’s a way. And, as long as you realize your goals and know which ones are important, making God the center of your life, you can manage your home and a career. Homemakers have gotten smarter, they’re better planners...”

She is a woman of faith and her God was at the center of her life.

Beverly was an active parishioner at St. John Francis Regis Catholic Church in Arnaudville, serving as a Communion Minister, Lector, a member the Ladies Altar Society, the Renovation Committee, Marian Movement for Priests, and a Rosary Group. She enjoyed preparing food for church socials and for priests and nuns serving the community. Everyone was always welcomed in the Darby home; she created a warm and inviting home for her children’s friends, colleagues, and clergy.

When her first grandchild was born in 1991, she ended her work career and fully engaged her free time in her grandchildren, attending many grandparents’ events at school and various other functions.

In her free time, she enjoyed cooking and entertaining for her family and friends. Her grandchildren brought great joy to her life. She also enjoyed playing Pokeno with her close friends.

She was recently bestowed the honored of the 2009 Female Citizen of the Year Award by the Arnaudville Area Chamber of Commerce, an organization she and Joe had been a member of since 1997.

She was a wonderful, loving wife, mother, grandmother, business partner, friend, advisor, volunteer, and a role model for women of every age.

Beverly is survived by her loving husband of 58 years, Melvin B. “Joe” Darby, of Arnaudville; three sons, Joseph Darby, of Arnaudville, John Darby and his wife, Michelle, of Arnaudville, and James Darby and his wife, Gretchen, of Dallas, Texas; two daughters, Joy Murphy and her husband, Johnny, of Sunset, and Jackie Stagg and her husband, John, of Tulsa, OK; one brother, Edwin “Teedie” Ousse and his wife, Julie, of Lafayette; and ten grandchildren, Jacob Murphy, Lacey Darby, Joshua Murphy, Sarah Stagg, Lauren Darby, Jack Stagg, Julia Murphy, Anne Marie Stagg, Steven Stagg, and Presley Darby.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Wallace I. and Edna Deshotels Ousse; and two brothers, Wallace and Johnny Ousse.

The family requested visiting hours be observed from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Monday, April 26, and continue at 8 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 27.

A rosary was recited at 7 p.m. on Monday. 

Pallbearers were Jacob Murphy, Joshua Murphy, Jack Stagg, Wallace Ousse, Jr., Edwin “Butch” Ousse, Jr., and Johnny Murphy.

In lieu of flowers, the family requested that memorial donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

Pellerin Funeral Home of Arnaudville was in charge of arrangements.

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