Entombment was at Holy Family Cemetery.
A rosary was recited Friday at 7 p.m. at Pellerin Funeral Home in New Iberia.
A proud native of Catahoula, and raised in St. Martinville, Mrs. Belanger was born on Feb. 12, 1930. She passed away at 4:45 a.m. on Monday, June 25, 2012 at her home.
Mrs. Belanger graduated from St. Martinville High School in 1950. She was a member of the volleyball and basketball teams, “S” Club, Library Club, Siren Staff, 4-H, class reporter, secretary, treasurer and vice-president.
She was a member of the Homecoming Court, including St. Peter’s College, and the 1949 St. Martinville High School Homecoming Queen. Some of her fondest memories included playing Pop the Whip on roller skates in the St. Martin de Tours graveyard, and working at the Teche Theater with Kenny Bienvenue, Fred Daspit and Don Akers.
She married Maney Belanger on Aug. 23, 1952, and began work at J. Patout Burns Firestone in New Iberia. After their first child was born, her desire to send Cindy to Mt. Carmel Academy began a 47-year continuous tradition of her children and grandchildren being brought through the Catholic School system.
It was there that she met Mrs. Goldie Bujard and requested a position in her Kindergarten classroom. “Miss” Bujard’s requirement of six hours college credit, and our mother’s unwavering quest to better herself and her family, began a laborious 10 year commute to USL, all the while working and raising her three children.
Her reward was a Degree in Education and a lifelong friendship with her commuting partner and MCA colleague, Sharon Lissard Morgan.
After two years teaching third grade at Mt. Carmel, and knowing Laura was a former basketball star, principal Sr. M. Rose Marie O’Carm walked into the teacher’s lounge in the Spring of 1968 and asked if she’d be willing to take the position of Head Coach of the Mt. Carmel Cubs.
Her response was that she would try. After being assured full support from her husband, Maney, and her mentor, Tynes E. Mixon, she began a storybook career at Carmel-on-the-Teche, coaching the Cubs during the 70s heyday of girls basketball. Her record included numerous district and regional championships, State Runner-Ups and two never-to-be-forgotten State Championships.
While many consider her ‘71 and ‘74 championship teams as the high point of her career, it was the love and support of her girls and their families that she and her husband cherished and spoke of so often. With a 331-99 overall record, she left Mt. Carmel in 1982, and taught at Center Street and Daspit Elementary Schools, where she continued to influence the future of New Iberia.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 54 years, Milton Joseph “Maney” Belanger Jr.; her parents, Dorsey Joseph of St. Martinville and Laura Boudreaux Borel of Charenton; brothers, “Tee” Louis, Evrard and Stanley; and sisters, Mabel Theriot Dore, Martha Theriot, Aurelia Guidry and Ruby Bergeron.
She is survived by her sister, Aimee Castille of New Iberia; daughters, Cynthia Ann Belanger and Phyllis Marie Belanger and her husband Dr. Jose’ Arturo Mata, all of New Iberia; son, Milton Joseph “Bo” Belanger III, of New Iberia; four grandchildren, Dr. Jason John Valls of New Iberia, Lacy Marie Valls and her husband, Darrell Wade Morrow of Loveland, Ohio, Emily Jeanne Fruge’ and her husband Dominic Anthony Hood of Chicago, Ill. and Jacques Cleveland Fruge’ III of Lafayette; four great-grandchildren, Manny James and Eli John Valls of New Iberia, and Thomas Craig and Mia Rebecca Morrow of Loveland, Ohio.
She is also survived by two beloved sister-in-laws, Eunice Douet Borel and Patricia Belanger Ford, along with Pat’s daughter and granddaughter, Robin Ford Romero and Reese Loren.
Pallbearers were members of her Mt. Carmel Cubs, Suzy Shea Kimball, Class of ‘72; Michelle Courtois Evans, Class of ‘74; Carole Delcambre Landry, Class of ‘74; Stephanie Jones Gregory, Class of ‘80; her longtime scorekeeper, Michel Ellender, Class of ‘72; and dedicated manager, Patricia Broussard Viator, Class of ‘74.
Her grandsons, Dr. Jason John Valls and Jacques Cleveland Fruge’ III, will escort her into church, followed by her son-in-law Dr. Jose’ Arturo Mata and family friend, Charles Finch Robertson.
Memorial contributions may be sent to The Sisters of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, P.O. Box 1160, Lacombe, LA 70445-1160; and/or The Catholic High Endowment Fund, 1301 DeLaSalle Drive, New Iberia, LA 70560.
The family expresses their deep gratitude and love to Joyce Green, our mother’s friend and caregiver. She was an angel sent to us in a time of need.
To view on-line obituary, and sign guestbook, go to www.pellerinfuneralhome.com.
Pellerin Funeral Home in New Iberia was in charge of arrangements.