Nellie “Nell” Trahan Petitjean

Rayne - Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m., on Thursday,  July 8, 2010, at St. Joseph Catholic Church for Mrs. Nellie Trahan Petitjean of Rayne. She passed away Monday, July 5, 2010, at her residence.

Internment will be in St. Joseph Cemetery #2 in the Mausoleum.  

Father Clint Trahan, associate pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Rayne, will officiate all the services.

The readings and responsorial psalm will be presented by Ms. Kristi Boylan, Mrs. Lesli Nelson and Miss Abbie Petitjean. Offertory gifts will be by Mrs. Katie Wootten, Miss Bella Wootten and Mrs. Lauren Lege. The prayers of the faithful will be read by Mrs. Lynette Frederick.

Nellie is survived by her husband of 58 years, John Allen Petitjean of Rayne; one daughter, Brenda Istre and her husband, Mike, of Jacksonville, Florida; one daughter-in-law, Jeannie  Henry Petitjean of Birmingham, Alabama; five grandchildren, Kristi Istre Boylan of Houston Texas, Lesli Istre Nelson and her husband, Chris, of Dallas, Texas, Abbie Petitjean of Birmingham, Alabama, Katie Petitjean Wootten and her husband, Zach, of Cullman, Alabama, and John Christopher “Buddy” Petitjean of Birmingham, Alabama; and one great-granddaughter, Bella Kyllan Wootten of Cullman, Alabama.

She is also survived by her extened family members, Lynette Dupuy Petitjean Frederick and her husband, James, and their two children, Lauren and Jordan.

She was preceded in death by her two sons, Keith Allen  Petitjean and John Christopher Petitjean; parents, Raoul Trahan and Bella Wingate Trahan.

Following a lengthy illness, Nell passed away at her residence in Rayne. She was a resident of Rayne all of her life except for a brief time when she and her husband were residents of Oxnard, California, and Conroe, Texas.

She was the only child of Raoul and Bella Wingate Trahan. She attended school at St. Joseph Catholic School and was a member of the St. Joseph Catholic Church.

She and her husbandJohn Allenwere married in November 1951 and moved to Oxnard, California, where he was stationed as a member of the United States Air Force.

They returned to Rayne in 1955 with their daughter, Brenda. As a young mother, Nell settled into their new home, renewing friendships, and catching up with the many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews who were always so much a part of her life and happiness.

During this time she became very active in various church organizations staying active in many up until recently when her illness just made it too difficult to continue.  The organizations included Catholic Daughters, Ladies Altar Society, Good Samaritians, and the Ladies Church Rosary Group.

Nell was blessed with two sons, Keith and Chris, born 1954 and 1960. The addition of the sons with her daughter only increased her Faith within her church that has been such a comfort to her all her life.  All during their school years, her three children always knew Mama was going to be there to help them with projects and homework always done with patient hands an encouraging voice.

In the winter of 1974, Nell , John and their young son, Chris, moved to Conroe, Texas, as a part of a job relocation for John.  During the next 27 years they made their new home and became vital members of their church and community. Nell made another change in her life. She fulfilled a long time dream of becoming a hair dresser. She worked hard learning her trade and worked as a hair dresser for 25 years.

She and John finally retired from their respective jobs in 2000 and moved back to Rayne. Again she renewed friendships with so many and became active in her church related organizations.

August of 2001 Nell was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. This became a battle that she immersed herself in with the same Faith and determination she showed through so many other difficult situations that she faced in her 75 years.

Her strong sense of family became evident when the five grandchildren came along. Trips to LaPlace or Birmingham for First Communion ceremonies, Confirmation, Graduations and all sporting events the children were involved in were not to be missed.

Pallbearers will be John C. “Buddy” Petitjean, Mike Istre, Chris Nelson, Zach Wootten, James Frederick, Chad Marks, Ryan Trahan and Ronnie Petitjean, honorary pallbearer.

A rosary was recited at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 7, 2010.

The family requested visiting hours be observed Wednesday, July 7, 2010, from 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. and continue Thursday from 9:00 a.m.. until the time of services. 

The family wishes to thank so many friends and family for the years of prayers and support.  They would especially like to thank Dr. Luis Meza and staff; Dr. Hector Robles and staff, Stat Home Health Care and St. Joseph Hospice and their staffs.

Friends may view the obituary online at

Arrangements have been entrusted to Gossen Funeral Home, Inc. of Rayne.

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