Annabelle “Gram” Gordon Decuir December 25, 1917-February 13, 2023)
Our beautiful matriarch, Annabelle Gordon, was born on December 25, 1917, in Prairie Basse, Louisiana, and transitioned on February 13, 2023, in Seattle, Washington. She was the fifth oldest child of four boys and six girls. Annabelle had an idyllic childhood on the family farm; her sisters and brothers were her playmates. She attended School at St. Elizabeth’s which was built on the LeBlanc-White-Gordon land by Mother “Saint” Katherine Drexel, a nun and Philadelphia heiress who built schools and churches for people of color throughout the South. Annabelle’s first teacher was her sister, Christiana, who taught her how to read at the age of 3. Annabelle went on to attend St. Paul and became a lifelong avid reader. Annabelle married Herman Harold Decuir, Sr. in August 1938 in Lafayette. He was from a large family, the Ventroys, who also had many educators in their family who worked in Lafayette Parish schools. From their union, they brought four children into the world—Loretta, Andrea, Herman Jr, and Marie. They had their first child, Loretta in 1939 in Prairie Basse because Annabelle wanted to be close to her mother and not in the hospital when she gave birth. In 1943, Annabelle, Herman and Loretta moved to Seattle because Herman got a job at the Bremerton Navy Yard, as a telephone repairman. While living in Bremerton, Annabelle, and Herman had a daughter, Andrea in 1943. In 1946, they returned to Lafayette and into the house, Herman’s mother left him. Also, that year they had a son Herman, Jr. In 1949, Annabelle and her family, Herman, Loretta, Andrea, and Herman Jr. moved back to Seattle when Marie arrived in 1950. They bought a house on 31st and Spring Street as three children attended St Therese and their oldest child attended Immaculate Conception High School. A trained nurse who mostly worked the graveyard shift, Annabelle attended Edison Technical School and became a Licensed Practical Nurse and worked, primarily, the graveyard shift. She had many family members who migrated to Seattle from Lafayette and so holidays were always special when they all got together. Annabelle and the family stayed in Seattle until Loretta graduated from high school in 1958. Upon returning to Lafayette, as Herman Sr. became the first Negro licensed electrician in the state of Louisiana and opened an electrical contracting business; Annabelle worked at Charity and Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital and always had colorful stories to tell about the patients, doctors, and the other urses. When Herman Sr. got a civil service job with the Navy on Guam, Annabelle became a stay-at-home mom. She made friends from different parts of the states and in Guam’s Catholic Church community on the Navy base. Annabelle, Herman Sr., Herman Jr., and Marie lived in Guam until 1965 when they returned to Seattle for Marie to start high school. Herman and Annabelle eventually bought a home in Burien. They parted ways in 1979. Upon retirement in 1981, Annabelle returned to Lafayette to live with her sister, Christiana. She and her sister went on a tour of the “Holy Land”. In 1982, she married, Willie Broussard, who lived in New Iberia on his family farm. During this time, Annabelle and three sisters, her sister-in-law, and two nieces traveled to Rome for the canonization of Mother “Saint” Katherine Drexel who built the school on the LeBlanc-White-Gordon land and schools throughout the South for People of Color. After her husband, Willie died in 2000, Annabe
Annabelle’s memorial service will be held at St. Therese Catholic Church, 926 35th Avenue, Seattle, Washington on February 25, 2023 at 10:00am.