Remembering a truly great friend and person

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 29, 2011

Rarely at a loss for words, the past few days have found me struggling to properly express the impact Marie Ory Dupont had on my family and the tremendous grief we feel over her sudden death.

Marie walked into our home and left an indelible mark on our hearts when she and Monique, my oldest daughter, met six years ago. Although they grew up only streets apart in LaPlace, it took a graduate school business class at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette to cause these two overachievers to cross paths.

Marie was… well, Monique knew her so much better than I did. Let her tell you about one of her best friends…

“The first night I met Marie we were sitting just two seats away in a class. She complimented me on my necklace, and as we started chatting she said that by my accent she could tell that I wasn’t from Lafayette. I told her I was from LaPlace, and that was all it took for us to be best friends. ?

“I wouldn’t have made it through graduate school without Marie’s encouragement and friendship. On several occasions I told Marie I was quitting graduate school. She would always say, ‘What…and leave me here?’ We would laugh, and I always promised to finish school. I’m so happy I stayed. It was during that time I started calling her ‘Momma Rie.’ She always took such good care of me, reminded me to

eat dinner on busy and stressful nights and made soup when I was sick. She was an absolute God-send to my life.

“After we both completed graduate school, Marie began her job hunt. That search didn’t last long, as a position became open at St. Charles Catholic. She was so excited to return, not just to the high school she had attended but to the close-knit SCC community she considered family. Marie absolutely lit up when she talked about new ideas she had for the school and was always proud to tell me about her students, whom she called her kids. When my little sister, Victoria, started attending SCC a few years ago, it was such an amazing feeling to know that Marie was looking out for her.

“We had survived graduate school, began to thrive in our careers as educators, and before we could catch our breaths, we were planning Marie’s wedding to Mickey. Only a year after they were married, Marie witnessed my own marriage vows to the man she had insisted I meet on a blind date.

“Every week for the past year, Mickey and Marie, Frank and I and our mutual friends, Pete and Deann, enjoyed what we called Dinner Game Night. We all looked forward to a night of good food, even better company and a healthy dose of competition.

“My last conversation with Marie was the night before her death. She came over to my house, where we talked and laughed before finishing our visit over chips and soup at La Carreta. Marie spoke of the homecoming activities at SCC the week before, and we threw around ideas about how to make it even better next year (if you’re curious…our ideas included a dessert competition). She was so relieved that her kids at SCC seemed to enjoy her hard work for that homecoming. Our night at La Carreta ended as we took a few minutes to relish in how content we were with our lives. When she dropped me off at my house, she said how happy she was that we had made time for each other that day. I am, too. I’ll be eternally grateful for that

“Our friendship had only six years to develop, but I’m grateful we squeezed so many laughs and memories into that time. Marie was absolutely the best person I’ve ever met. She was the hardest worker, always selfless and ever the servant. Her enthusiasm and passion for every single thing she did was awe-inspiring, and she would do absolutely anything to make someone else’s day better. “I miss my friend.”

Ronny and Monique may be reached at