On May 26, 2021, Lelia “Lee” May Breaux Olivier, passed away quietly and peacefully at home with her husband, four daughters and beloved dog, Maggie, by her side.
Born in Morgan City, Louisiana, to the late Camille and Alouise Breaux on February 5, 1938, she was the first of three children, including Harry Edward Breaux of San Francisco, California, and Camille Mary Breaux Smatt of Pembroke Pines, Florida. At the age of one, she was crowned “Little Miss Morgan City”, a title her family and friends endearingly referred to often throughout her lifetime. Her grandfather, Nicholas Henry Breaux, co-owned Norman-Breaux Lumber Company where, as a teenager, she worked under her father who taught her accounting and bookkeeping. She graduated from Academy of the Sacred Heart, Morgan City, where she also played basketball.
After high school, Lelia attended Nicholls State University where she met the love her life, Christian Louis Olivier, III, of Houma, Louisiana. They married on December 26, 1960. In May of 1963, their first child, Evelyn Allyn (husband Henry “Harry” Earl McCulla), was born. She was followed by Ellen Grace (husband Colonel Jeffrey Kent Mosher, USMC (ret.), Roslyn Anne (husband Dexter Anthony Gary) and Kathryn Louise (fiancé, the late David Neal Davis). After a few brief moves, they settled in Houma, Louisiana, where she played an active role in her daughters’ school. For many years, she was room mother, volunteer for fundraisers, PTA leader, office aide and all-around essential player of the Mulberry Elementary School community. As a St. Francis de Sales catechism teacher, she spent many early mornings and late afternoons teaching children about unconditional love and kindness. Her passion for helping children led Lee to Southdown Elementary School. She made many friends there whom she cherished for the remainder of her life. As her daughters moved on to junior high, she was fundamental in reestablishing Houma Junior High’s mascot, the bulldog. She also commissioned the official mascot painting that remains hanging in the school’s main office. Throughout her daughters’ high school years, she supported them in their band and cheerleading endeavors. This continued throughout her life as she enthusiastically attended her grandchildren’s school activities. Her home was always open to friends and became the unofficial hangout for neighborhood children. She adored the unannounced visits that occurred daily and became the confidante of many.
In 1988, Lee and Chris moved to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, where she was a secretary for the St. Augustine Mission. In 1996, Lee was diagnosed with breast cancer. After a quiet, but determined battle, she forever conquered that disease. Always finding ways to embrace life and move forward from its obstacles, she
took up her favorite pastime of bowling. They also used this time to travel the country visiting family members and friends. They happily remained in Mississippi until 2005, when they relocated back to Houma.
The unexpected return to Houma, brought with it many blessings. Among those were her favorite routine Monday night dinners with family and the endless flow of grandchildren who dropped in with friends, reminding her of times when her daughters were young.
Lee quickly reconnected with her joie de vivre friends at the local bowling alley where she joined two leagues and continued to share many laughs and memorable times with them. Their trips to the casinos and bowling tournaments were among some of her most cherished moments.
“Leeya,” as she was lovingly called, is survived by her twelve grandchildren: Cameron Andrew McCulla and Callyn Olivier McCulla; Hayden Olivier Mosher and Madelyn Grace Mosher; Rowan Olivier Whitehurst Stoehr (husband Jacob), Arden Olivier Whitehurst, Dexter Andrew Gary (wife Rebecca), Jordan Robert Gary, Christian Patrick Gary, and Tysen Alexandra Gary; Gavin Michael Duhé and Lelia Marie Duhé.
Her ability to quietly touch the lives of so many people is her biggest legacy. She had an immense, selfless compassion for anyone in need and gave without expectation of personal recognition or gain. In light of her giving spirit, we cannot let her courageous passing go unnoticed. We respectfully request all who knew her to honor her life by quietly “paying it forward” in a selfless, anonymous gesture of kindness for someone in need.
In accordance with Lelia’s wishes she will be cremated, and her life celebrated in a private ceremony with her family at a later date.