The Lovebirds of Luling, Louisiana: The Passing of Allen & Sophie Braud

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Allen & Sophie Braud on their wedding day. Today they are joined again with the Lord.

How fitting it is that my mother, Sophie Mongrue Braud, passed away this morning on this beautiful Mardi Gras Day at the age of 91. My dad, Allen Joseph Braud, passed away just 47 days ago on Christmas Day at the age of 90.

Since the day they got married in 1949, this is the longest they’ve ever been apart. I’ve always heard stories of couples that pass away just days or weeks apart. True to our expectations, Mom and Dad are one of those couples joined on earth and again in Heaven.

After Allen passed a few weeks ago, Sophie said she was ready to be with him. Both had been in failing health since Good Friday of 2013 – Yes, these Lovebirds even fell ill and began their earthly departure on the very same day nearly three years ago.

 

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Sophie Braud outside her childhood home in Luling. Years later I broke my front tooth where those two pot plants are over mom’s right shoulder. She was a cutie, huh?

The Lovebirds grew up in the small town of Luling, Louisiana on the banks of the Mississippi River about 30 miles upriver from New Orleans.  Back then the town was a dot amid the sugar cane fields, adjacent to the Ellington Plantation and sugar mill. Their childhood homes were just two blocks apart and they’ve known each other nearly all of their lives. (Dad recently recorded a historical interview about Luling) 

 

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Allen Braud serving in the U.S. Air Force during World War II. I guess the military knew he was cajun and needed his pants to be high enough so as not to get wet. Looking sharp airman; looking sharp.

They first dated in the 1930s while attending Hahnville High School and like many of the greatest generation, they had to pause while Allen served in the U.S. Air Force (Army Air Corps) during World War II.

After the war, Allen went to LSU to get his degree in Agriculture and they set their wedding date to be one day before Sophie turned 25 years old. Back then, a girl was considered an “Old Maid” if she wasn’t married before the age of 25.

One of the sweetest stories told of their wedding day is that Sophie, who lived across the street from the church, was driven from her back door, down the driveway, then around the block to the front of the church so she and her father, William J. Mongrue, could make an appropriate entrance by automobile.

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Desiree Braud, Allen Braud, Sophie Braud, William Mongrue, Ernestine Mongrue at Allen & Sophie’s wedding reception. This photo was taken in the living room of William and Ernestine. What a great looking family.

The small town American Dream was their dream come true, raising five children and dedicating their lives to our betterment.

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Sophie loved to sew. Each year Luling Elementary School had a Carnival Ball and mom would make our costumes. I wore this one to the Mardi Gras parades in 1967.

We were a station wagon family. Today, being Mardi Gras day, brings back such fond memories of Mom and Dad waking us early and loading us into the station wagon so we could go watch the parades on St. Charles Avenue.

It is difficult to know whether Christmas Day or Mardi Gras Day drew the greatest anticipation in the Braud household. How fitting that God selected Christmas for Allen’s passing and Mardi Gras for Sophie’s passing.

On Mardi Gras morning, Mom made the most amazing chicken salad sandwiches. When I got the call at 6 a.m. that Sophie had passed, I knew Allen had likely asked her to make chicken salad sandwiches for the parades today in Heaven… after all, that’s what Lovebirds do.

 

 

Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Friday, February 12, 2016 at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Luling. Visitation will be at 10 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, we encourage gifts to the Thomas W. Braud Medical Fund, 608 Willowridge Dr., Luling, LA 70070.

Comments

  1. Ronal Paul Richoux says:

    Dear Gerard, Cindy and the entire Braud family,
    It is seldom that a couple can leave our earthly environment and be remembered by a son who can give us all a great insight into a beautiful life long love affair. Gerard, your description of your mom and dad’s love is one that drove me to tears. Especially the fact that Allen needed company on this Mardi Gras day. They did leave behind a brilliant writer who took us all on a journey of what true love is all about. In doing that they gave us all great insight into the God given genius of how to properly raise children. This day I truly know that they are together and have heard him say “well done my faithful children.”
    Much love and we will never forget Allen & Sophie.

    Ron & Becky

  2. Lisa Holmes Stevens says:

    Dear Gerard,
    Your parents were always so nice to my family. I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. Joanie Acosta Guerrera says:

    Gerard, I hope you don’t mind me sharing this beautiful love story on my Facebook page. My sincere condolences to you and your family on the loss of your mother.

  4. What a wonderful tribute to your parents—and your life of growing up under their tutelage I’m sure they were proud of the man you became. Thank you for sharing—I will keep you in my prayers.

  5. Lisa Carpenter says:

    A wonderful tribute to your parents, Gerard! Your parents were always so kind & gracious to me when I visited during college and Mardi GrasI I have fond memories of Mrs. Sophie’s famous Saturday spaghetti, stuffed mirliton, & gumbo…and that magic green thumb for African Violets! On my last Mardi Geas visit for the Luling parade, I was admiring a tree in the yard and some handy flower pot holders. Mr. Allen had made, and lo and behold a few weeks later I received tree cuttings wrapped in damp paper towel in a ziplock in my mailbox…along with some of those handy dandy pot holders! What a pair, those two! Their legacy lives on in the many memories and stories that will be shared for generations to come! God Bless you all! My prayers are with your family.

  6. Lisa – You know them well. That is such and Allen and Sophie story. Thank you for sharing.

  7. I’m honored that you’d like to share it. Thank you.

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