Claire Richard, aka Ma-Maw, aka my stedpdad’s mom, passed away this week. At 97, it’s customary to say someone lived a long, full life. I had no idea how full a life she lived. I only ever knew her as a retired school teacher living in Opelousas, Louisiana, so imagine my surprise when I read her obituary.
She earned her B.A. Degree at S. L. I. now U. L. L. majoring in French and English literature with a minor in Biological Sciences and P.E. While an undergrad, she received several awards from the French Consular in New Orleans. She earned a Graduate Degree in Social Work at L. S. U. She also did post graduate studies at Columbia University in New York and McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She taught French and English in St. Martin Parish for a number of years before accepting a position at St. Helen’s Hall in Portland, Oregon where she taught French in High School and Jr. College until World War II at which time, she accepted an appointment with the Justice Department, F. B. I. division in Washington, D. C. working as a translator deciphering coded messages from French into English. Mrs. Richard later joined the National American Red Cross as a social worker and director, aiding military families and German prisoners of war.
Wow. Rest in peace, Ma-Maw.