Funeral services set for Marie Gani Stoma

Marie Gani Stoma passed away on Friday, July 17, 2009 at 8:40 a.m. in the comfort of her own home surrounded by her beloved husband, Joe B, her children and her grandchildren. Marie's happiest moments were spent in her home and it was her wish to remain there until the end of her life.

Funeral services will be held 3:00 p.m. Sunday, July 19, 2009 at Saint Michael’s Catholic Church. The Rosary will be prayed at 6:00 p.m. Saturday. Visitation may be observed on Saturday from 4:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.; Sunday from 9:00 a.m. until time of service.

Entombment will follow in the Woodlawn Mausoleum.

Marie was the epitome of a true Southern gentle woman, who truly "walked in beauty" throughout her lifetime. She was physically beautiful, but it was her extraordinary internal beauty that was evident from the beginning; she was outgoing, friendly, warm, loving and uniquely gracious to all in her path. She was born of Lebanese parents, Esmai Cory and Abdo Gani, in Lake Charles, Louisiana on July 15, 1923. Marie moved with her family to Houston where she attended Sam Houston High School and was voted "most beautiful" in her senior class.

At a very young age, Marie had a dream for her life. Not interested in attending college or pursuing a career, her dream was to find and marry her perfect husband, have a large family and surround them with love forever. Marie spent a lifetime thanking God for allowing her to realize her dream. On April 28, 1947, she married the love of her life, Joe B. Stoma, Jr. at Annunciation Catholic Church in Houston, and their sixty three year adventure began. She reiterated to Joe B time and time again that she simply wanted “to have a lot of children and play house." Joe B moved his young bride to De Ridder, Louisiana for a short time before settling in Crowley, Louisiana, where they resided together until her death,

Marie and Joe B had nine children: Becky (Rod) Steven, Laura Rowe (David) Ward, Patricia (Larry) Sinclair, JoAnne (Michael) Montgomery, Madeleine (Mark) Crawford, Jacquelyn (George) Gitschel, Harvey (Emily) Stoma and Richard (Lisa) Stoma. Marie was predeceased by her son, Joe B Stoma, III. She felt blessed to have had 24 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren.

Marie dedicated her life to her children, with nothing more important than providing for their needs on a daily basis and teaching them how to care, not only for themselves, but for all others in their path. She instilled in her children the importance of family and taught them that through hard work and determination all things are possible. She treasured her children above all else; they were her constant source of pride and joy. Her abiding wish was that they should experience the same level of happiness that she had known in her life.

Marie possessed a special warmth and kindness that she shared with everyone she met In fact; her 86 years were spent giving her love to others. The "open-door policy at the Stoma home" was a standard set when Marie and Joe B's children were very young and continued into their adult lives. School friends knew they were always welcome at the Stomas, and that whether announced or unannounced and whether one or a pack of 10, they would be welcomed and treated to a wonderful meal. During college years, those lucky enough to be invited to visit on the weekends became the envy of the school.

The beautiful Stoma home that Marie created was always shared with family and friends. It was well known that if one wanted to experience an extraordinary evening,, the place to be was at the home of Marie and Joe B.

Marie’s open-hearted generosity of time, energy, creativity and resources were shared with the Catholic Daughters of which she served as a member.

Marie's favorite hobby in life was her garden. Rarely a day passed that she didn't go to the back of the house to oversee her treasured flowers and herbs.

Marie was predeceased by her sisters and brothers, Sadie Stoma, Albert Gani, Louise Eddy, Vickie Farris, Helen Stoma, Dorothy Farha and Harvey Gani. She is survived by her beloved husband Joe B, eight children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Her Grandsons will serve as pallbearers: Rodney Steven II, Brandon Steven, Johnny Steven, John Rowe IV, Aaron Sinclair, Leith Stoma, Trevor Stoma, Joe B. Stoma, IV, Richard Stoma Jr., Bradley Stoma and Maximus Gitschel.

Marie's proudest accomplishment was being a good daughter, wife, mother and grandmother. The measure of her success is exemplified in a quote from her children: "Thank you, Mother, for always being there with a beautiful home for us, constantly filled with love. Our memories of family meals together, joyful holidays, your gems of wisdom, and gentle reminders to help others will stay with us forever. Life without you will never be the same. You will be with us every day, and we will always strive to make you proud."

Memorial donations may be made to: Hospice of Acadiana, 2600 Johnston St., Ste. 200, Lafayette, LA 70503-3240 or Houston Children’s Charity, 5177 Richmond Ave, Suite525, Houston, TX. 77056.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Geesey-Ferguson Funeral Home, Inc.

of Crowley.

Friends may express their condolences at HYPERLINK "http://www.geesey-ferguson.com" www.geesey-ferguson.com

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