Violette Elise Braswell Ladd

Published 4:20 pm Monday, January 10, 2011

   On January 8, 2011, Violette Elise Braswell Ladd passed away at her home in Warren, Texas.  She was born in Camden, Arkansas on March 5, 1929 to Smead Elmer Braswell and Juanita Ginn Braswell.  The family eventually relocated to Port Neches, Texas in 1943 when her father began working at B. F. Goodrich refinery.  Vi graduated from Port Neches High School (as it was known then) in 1946 and then continued her education at Lamar Junior College of Beaumont.  She earned a business degree and began working at B. F. Goodrich as a secretary.  While on vacation in Tennessee, she met her future husband, Robert Strange.  Vi and Robert married in 1950 and together they had 3 children in the next few years.

   Vi began her career in education at Woodcrest Elementary where she was the school secretary for several years.  The center of Vi’s life was her 3 children and she continued to strive to provide the best possible upbringing for her family.  While working she continued her education at Lamar State College in Beaumont.  Vi earned her degree in education, received a master’s degree in Special Education and began teaching for Port Neches-Groves ISD.  In the process of getting her education, she was honored with the first full scholarship for Master’s degree in Special Education ever given by Lamar.  Her 35 years of service for PNGISD spanned the spectrum of secretarial service, classroom teacher, diagnostician, supervisor, and director of Special Education.

   After retiring, Vi moved to Warren, Texas.  She continued her dedication to her family by taking care of her mother while still remaining active in the lives of her children and their families.  She became a member of Bethel Baptist Church in Warren.  She was a loving and caring daughter, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother that positively impacted all those that were privileged and graced to cross her life’s path.

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   She is survived by her 3 children.  They are Violette Ann Woodall and her husband, Wayne of Port Neches; Mary Elise Hooks and her husband, Vernon of Port Neches; Robert Tinsley Strange, Jr. and his wife, Cherie of Warren, Texas.  She has eight grandchildren:  Wendy Gray and husband, Robert of Nederland, Texas; Marcie McClellan and her husband, Montel of Newhall, California; Travis Woodall of Mauriceville; Jason Woodall of Houston; Sara Woodall of Port Neches; Chase Strange, Bryce Strange, and Aimee Strange all from Warren.  She has 3 great-grandchildren:  Natasha McClellan of Newhall, California; and Robyn Gray and Abigail Gray of Nederland.  Vi is also survived by her brother, Smead Maxwell Braswell and his wife, Jan of Houston, and their 3 children, Joni, Lisa, and Sherrill, as well as many great nieces and nephews.

   Vi’s life was marked by a dedication to family, education, and devotion.  Those that knew her are better for it and her children will treasure their sweet mama for ever and always.

   A gathering of family and friends will be held at Melancon’s Funeral Home, 1605 Avenue H in Nederland, TX from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 11, 2011.  Funeral services will be held Melancon’s Funeral Home Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 2:00 p.m., Rev. Larry Staggs officiating.  Interment will follow at Oak Bluff Memorial Park in Port Neches.

   Memorial donations may be given to Bethel Baptist Church, 334 FM 1943 W, Warren, Texas  77664.

   Online and guest registry available at