We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Affordable Funeral Home, LLC
DIANNE BATISTE DUCRE
A CELEBRATION OF LIFE!
LACOMBE – Dianne Batiste Ducre, 85 died unexpectedly early Monday morning on May 30, 2022, at Slidell Memorial Hospital. She was born on February 27, 1937, in Lacombe, Louisiana, the daughter of the late James “June” Batiste and Lydia Atlow Batiste. She was delivered into this world by her grandmother, Mary Atlow, Midwife, that she grew to love and adore.
Dianne graduated from St. Tammany High School in Slidell, Class of 1959. A year later, she married her high school sweetheart “The love of her life— only man that she ever loved,” our Daddy John Melvin Ducre, Sr., on October 27, 1960, who preceded her in death on August 28, 2019. She had four children, Ronald Batiste, Melonie Ducre Johnson, John Melvin Ducre, Jr. and Julliette C. Ducre. In addition, she had a stepson Wendell Cousin (that she called “Son”) and a daughter-in-law Sheila Brooks (that she called “Daughter”) and loved them like her very own. Dianne has a host of grandkids and great grandkids, including her nieces and nephews that she absolutely cherished.
Dianne was preceded in death first by her sister Margaret Batiste, then later her father June, then her brother Junior Batiste, and later her sister Mary Eleanor Batiste Parker, afterwards her sister Dorothy Batiste, and then her mother, Lydia, and lastly her brother and best friend John Dee Batiste.
Dianne worked as a Psychiatric Aide II - Ward Supervisor at Southeast Louisiana Hospital (SELH) in Mandeville, Louisiana for thirty-two (32) years where she retired on February 12, 1999. She helped children who were either mentally or physically abused, or either had developmental issues and/or mental illness. The team of doctors, nurses, co-workers, patients, etc. loved her so much that they nicknamed her “Mama D” because she had a mothering spirit of genuine love, care and concern for anyone whom she encountered. Our mom loved helping children in need and in fact she even wanted to adopt a little boy named “Ricco” who was physically abused by his parents and was placed in foster care where he was also abused there and had developed psychological developmental issues from the abuse, but the state prohibited adoption by state employees. She often wondered how Ricco was doing and whether he was still alive. Many years later, she learned that he was murdered in New Orleans and her heart broke. She had a huge heart and empathy for others. Anyone who knew our Mama could testify in that regard. She prayed for a lot of people not just in Lacombe but anywhere. All her friends and family had to call on her and tell our mom their problem(s) and she would pray to the East and in many cases their prayers were answered.
After spending nearly thirty-two years working on the children’s unit, Dianne realized that it was time for her to rest and take care of herself and start enjoying life. She felt that she had completed her assignment and wanted to live out the rest of her life serving the Lord, praying, worshipping, helping people, spending time with her family and loving and spoiling on those beautiful grandkids and later great grandkids that she absolutely adored. And she did just that!
But, as time went on, and the years went— as she started getting into her senior years, Dianne would often reminisce about her time spent working at Southeast Hospital by telling the most captivating stories about her experiences while working with employees and patients. Her stories were often long but— funny and worth the wait! However, our Daddy being the funny guy that he was would often joke and say “That’s enough, let that go. I’m tired of hearing about Southeast Hospital over and over.” And he would start grinning and laughing under his breath thinking she did not see that. And our mom being the funny lady that she was— always had a clap back and that would be “Oh, shut up Melvin! I’m not talking to you.” And then after they argued for a minute or two— they would both laugh and move on to the next conversation as if that moment never happened.
But working at Southeast Hospital is where our mom learned to find her own independence and strength as a woman. She loved that job and even considered going back working part-time but quickly snapped back to reality as she realized how much she enjoyed not having to get up early in the morning. And that the only thing that she had to do other than taking care of herself, was cleaning her house, taking care of her husband (well dad took care of himself) but she nursed him back to health when he was sick. She loved going shopping and buying whatever she wanted. Walmart and Zales were her favorite stores. She understood her purpose in life and a major part of that purpose was spending time with her children and grandkids. That’s where she got her most enjoyment. Our mom would often cook our dad’s favorite foods such as seafood gumbo, okra gumbo, smothered potatoes, spaghetti and meat sauce, smothered cabbage with rice and the list goes on and on.
Towards the end of our Mama’s life, the one thing that gives us comfort is knowing that she had an opportunity towards the end of the pandemic to spend time on multiple occasions with her great granddaughter Savannah that she so adored. No doubt about it! That baby lit her face up like a Christmas tree. And baby Savannah took an instant connection with our Mama too— blowing her Grandma D kisses.
“We called her Mama, but what we should have called her was “Mama T” for tiger because she tried to protect her children as a tiger would its cubs. Although our Mama would sometimes hold on to us a bit tight, there was a reason for it and here’s her story.
At the age of fourteen years old, our Mama was walking with her brother John Dee and her cousin Rosine— she was in the middle— going to the “Picture Show” that was under a big tent located where Affordable Funeral Home is today. Mom was in the middle when a speeding drunk driver ran into her— lifting her body off the ground extending her up into the air that landed her body on the ground and broke just about every bone in her body. Miraculously, her brother and cousin were not injured. But our Mama suffered a traumatic injury and spent nearly three (3) months at Charity Hospital in New Orleans in intensive care. Doctors told her mother that she was not going to make it and needed to call the priest to give our Mama her last rites. She said that she could hear them talking but could not speak. She heard her mother tell those doctors that “They are not God and that it’s not so until God says so.” She said her mother stayed at the hospital at her bedside with her cousin Patricia Pierre for months taking care of her and praying for her. Mama also recalled while in that hospital when she was awake Jesus came to her bedside appearing on a white horse dressed in white garment and told her that “The Lord is not ready for you yet and that she would be healed.” And, then Jesus disappeared.
Not only did our Mama healed, but she also learned to walk again. She returned home and her cousin Patricia helped her mother take care of her. Mama missed two years of school because of her injuries. Not only did she walk again, she went back to high school and earned a high school diploma. Doctors told her mother in the hospital that “IF” she survived that she would never be able to have children because her pelvis was crushed. Not only did our Mama have children, but she also had four (4) C-sections.
In closing, when you think about our mother that we call “Mama,” think about a survivor, think about a warrior, think about a tiger, think about a champion and most importantly, think about a “Woman of God.” She would often say the rosary 3-4 times a day. She watched Christian mass on television which gave her hope and peace in the name of our lord and savior Jesus Christ and Jesus returned on that white horse early Monday morning on May 30, 2022, and called his beloved child of God home. Amen