Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rita Marguerite Becnel was born Nov. 8, 1923, and died May 21, 2011. She was a native of St. James Parish.

She will be best remembered for her tender loving care of ill family members facing their last days, namely her mother Leocadie Eve Haydel, and her father, Walter Alphonse Becnel, as well as her sister, Irma Becnel Millet. Her gift of caring extended to mothering her sister’s children while their mother, Sophie B. Buck, recuperated.

Rita resided in New Orleans for 30 years while employed by Maison Blanche as a seamstress in the alteration department. Her retirement led her to Place Dubourg, a retirement community for the Archdiocese of New Orleans in LaPlace, where she lived for 13 years, generously rendering her services as chapel sacristan and serving as a minister of communion. In addition she participated in other voluntary endeavors such as annually helping to stitch a quilt and producing other crafts and Christmas gift items suitable for their annual fair. In appreciation for her generosity in lending her gifts to the service of residents of Place Dubourg, Rita was awarded the Volunteer of the Year Award in 1993 from the Diocese of New Orleans in recognition of her many services to that retirement community.

Rita moved to Lafayette to be near her sisters, Anne Comeaux and Sister Mary Magdalen Becnel, and was a resident of Bethany MHS Health Care Center since 2003.

She is survived by two sisters, Sister Mary Magdalen Becnel and Anne Becnel Comeaux, both of Lafayette, two sister-in-laws, Grace Becnel of Luling and Audrey Becnel of Reserve, and a host of nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her parents, Walter Alphonse and Leocadie Haydel Becnel, her brothers, Richard, Paul, Bernard, Fernand, Robert, Henry, Alphonse, and an infant boy, her sisters, Irma B. Millet, Sophie B. Buck and Henrietta, Brigit, Gertrude and Althee Becnel.

Services were held at St John the Baptist Catholic Church in Edgard on Tuesday, May 24, 2011. Burial followed at the St John the Baptist Catholic Church cemetery in Edgard.