Betty Lou Trahan Brownlee

Published 4:25 pm Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, March 13, 2021, for Betty Lou Trahan Brownlee.

Mrs. Brownlee passed away on Saturday, February 13, 2021 after a brief illness.

A 1:00 p.m. Funeral Mass at St. Catherine’s Church will be concelebrated by Rev. Kevin Badeaux, friend of the family, and assisted by Rev. Rodell Faller, Pastor of St. Catherine’s Church.

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Entombment at Greenlawn Memorial Cemetery in the Mausoleum ‘Peace’ will follow.

The family will then receive visitors at a covered outdoor ‘Celebration of Life’ at Clayton Thompson Funeral Home at 5200 39th Street in Groves, TX beginning at 3:00.

Mourners are encouraged to wear their finest patriotic attire to honor the deceased.

Survivors include her children: Marianna Brownlee Parks, husband Vince, children, Matthew, Collin and Kathleen (Magnolia, TX); Donna Brownlee Hunter, husband Tommy, children Travis, fiancé Rachel, and Allison (The Woodlands, TX); Robert C. Brownlee, Jr., wife Tammy, children Laney and Chasity, husband Matthew, son Graham Robert (St. Amant, LA); Susan Kathryn Brownlee (Houston, TX). Survivors also include sisters in law, Claire Brownlee Barras (Port Arthur, TX) and Margaret Trahan (Lafayette, LA).

She was preceded in death by husband Robert C. Brownlee, brother James Trahan, and parents Clarence B. Trahan and Margaret S. Trahan.

Betty Trahan Brownlee graduated Mt. Carmel High School in 1956.

She attended the University of Southwestern Louisiana, Lafayette where she met and married the love of her life, Robert C. Brownlee in April of 1961.

After concluding her two year course of study, Betty worked as a legal secretary, supporting Bob through the remainder of his college career.

In Lafayette, they began their family of three daughters and one son.

Upon Bob’s graduation they took a job with DuPont in Kinston, North Carolina.

Later they transferred to DuPont’s Seaford plant and then finally to Sabine River Works in Orange, Texas.

The latter employment allowed them to move their family to Port Arthur, near extended family.

Betty and Bob were ardent advocates of Catholic education and supported their children through St. Catherine’s Catholic School, Bishop Byrne High School and Msgr. Kelly High School.

Betty worked as a kindergarten aide at St. Catherine School for six years once her children were in college.

She and Bob became honorary Aggies once the kids entered their college years, attending many games and yell practices, and always providing a hot meal for whomever met them at the 50-yard line rendezvous spot after the game (or fish pond!).

Once the grandkids appeared, she and Bob attended dance recitals, Scouting honor courts, school spelling bees, Easter Egg hunts, graduations and Friday night high school football games to cheer on their grandchildren.

She never missed an opportunity to be an active and integral part of her children and grandchildren’s lives.

Betty and Bob’s favorite pastime was dancing the night away at the Pompano, with a table full of friends.

Betty was a past member of Mardi Gras Krewes of Aurora and Bon Temps where she enjoyed many years of Mardi Gras parades and social events.

She and Bob worked tirelessly for Sertoma as well.

Her latest passion was to volunteer her Tuesday afternoons at the Museum of the Gulf Coast where she enjoyed meeting new people and regaling staff members and visitors alike with stories of Port Arthur’s past.

Betty was very much interested in genealogy and she was actively involved with Daughters of the American Revolution, Captain William Sanders Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy and Daughters of 1812.

After the death of her beloved Bob, she threw herself into DAR work where she served as the Registrar for the chapter, actively recruiting new members.

It wasn’t uncommon for her to stop a friend, visitor or stranger and begin a conversation asking their family name and from where they hailed – and then invite them to a DAR meeting.

She once started this process at the nursing home while visiting family, much to the surprise of her daughter.

Both Betty and Bob were fierce patriots and took every opportunity to celebrate this great country. She and Bob made many trips in their camper including to her birthplace in Strasburg, Virginia, to reconnect with family members and watch Cedar Creek Battle Reenactments.

Betty generously shared her time.

She was loving and attentive to her parents, caring for them until their end of life. Betty thrived on family bonding and interaction.

She had many a conversation with her mother-in-law, usually over biscuits and hot tea.

She and sister-in-law Claire shared bowls of gumbo or pimento cheese sandwiches while cheering on the Aggie Football team on television.

She maintained the connection with her extended family in Louisiana and Virginia long after her parents were gone.

After Bob passed away, she showed special empathy to those who also lost a spouse.

Mom, you made us proud!

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Catherine Catholic School, 3840 Woodrow Dr., Port Arthur, TX 77642 in the name of Betty Trahan Brownlee.