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The Louisiana Family Forum “End of Week with Gene Mills” is a weekly newsletter, from the desk of LFF’s President, keeping you informed and up-to-date on state and national issues and events important to traditional family values.
April 29, 2016 – Target: We Expect More!
April 22, 2016 – Targeted: Women & Children!
April 15, 2016 – Executive Orders – One Issued, Another Rescinded!
April 8, 2016 – LFF Capitol Update
April 1, 2016 – Legislative Wrap and Respect Gender News!
March 25, 2016 – Resurrected!
March 18, 2016 – He Who Honors Me
March 11, 2016 – Louisiana’s Bad Day
March 4, 2016 – Cruzio?
February 26, 2016 – A Penny, a Primary and an Abortion Free Louisiana?
February 19, 2016 – Higgins “Heathens” and Taxing the Tithe!
February 12, 2016 – Found: Louisiana’s Longest Married Couples!
February 12, 2016 – For Immediate Release: John Bel Edwards’ Psychological Warfare
February 5, 2016 – Wanted: Louisiana’s Longest Married Couple!
January 29, 2016 – Louisiana’s Separation of Powers
January 22, 2016 – Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
January 15, 2016 – A “Bright Light” This Week!
January 8, 2016 – Sanctity of Life and Louisiana Values
December 18, 2015 – Christmas Greetings!
December 11, 2015 – The Honor Code
December 4, 2015 – Historic Senate Vote Defunds Planned Parenthood!
November 20, 2015 – Bless Louisiana Lord!
November 6, 2015 – Printable Voter Guide Available Now!
October 30, 2015 – N.O. Judge “Blesses” Prostitution!
October 23, 2015 – Liberty – A Delicate Fruit!
October 16, 2015 – Download Your Voter Guide Today!
October 9, 2015 – LFF Releases 2015 Online Voter Guide
October 2, 2015 – Nine Martyrs and a Churchill
2016 Top Ten Longest Married Couples in Louisiana
Marriage Hall of Fame
Lawrence and Varrie Player
Married: January 27, 1935
Years Together: 81
Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Player, for 81 beautiful years! The Players are life-long residents on their family’s property in Benton, Louisiana. They met in 1925 and were married by the age of 21 and 15, respectively. They now have eight living children, 35 grandchildren, and 21 great grandchildren. What a legacy! Louisiana Family Forum (LFF) endeavors to remind Louisiana decision makers and couples, young and old, that marriage is a covenant among three parties; the bride, her groom their God! Marriage not only “works” but it has power to produce legacy, loyalty and love for a lifetime.
Will Henry and Virgina Teasley
Married: July 31, 1936
Years Together: 79
Will Henry and Virginia Bounds Teasley were married 79 years ago on July 31, 1936, in Bossier City. He was born in Bryceland, Louisiana and she in Willow Springs, Missouri. They met at the Louisiana State Fair in autumn of 1935 and married the following summer. Will Henry was in the Army Air Force at Barksdale, but shortly after their marriage, he got out then worked 10 hours a day making enough to support his wife and three children: Barbara, Billy, and Rosemary. At that time, the Teasleys used the majority of their income on groceries, spending $6 dollars each week. Living during the Depression brought financial hardships for many families, but this inspiring couple worked hard to preserve the legacy of covenant marriage and family and be a shining example for many young couples today.
The Teasleys have four grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and four great-great grandchildren! They currently reside in the house they built in 1963. For their 50th anniversary, (nearly 30 years ago!), they spent a week in Washington D. C. with two of their children. Will Henry and Virginia traveled to many places in the United States over their nearly 80 years together. Congratulations to Mr. Will Henry and Mrs. Virginia Teasley for being Louisiana’s Second Longest Married Couple!
Minor and Ruth Vinck
Married: July 3, 1937
Years Together: 78
Minor just celebrated his 100th birthday and Ruth her 101st. They married in Texarkana, TX on July 3, 1937. Minor was a local Barnstormer who did exhibition wing walking and delayed parachute jumps in the Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas region.
For their first date he took Ruth up flying and that was her first and last flight in a small plane. The only time she looked down was to see the local cemetery.
The couple moved to Shreveport the day after their wedding and have made it their home ever since. Minor worked as a glass cutter at the Libby Owens Ford glass plant until it closed in the 70’s and then opened his glass art studio creating engraved crystal, hand beveled leaded windows and doors, and sand carved murals and portraits.
Minor and Ruth were always a great team, supporting each other in any endeavor. Ruth would dream it up and Minor would make it a reality. Their home was a thing of beauty and a reflection of all their creative talents. It was a place where all felt their devotion and deep love for one another.
Minor and Ruth’s family includes a daughter, her husband, 3 grand-children, and 7 great grandchildren. Their only son was tragically killed by a drunk driver when he was 20. Ruth and Minor responded, “It can make us bitter or better. We choose better!”
Douglas and Genevieve Acosta
Married: June 22, 1938
Years Together: 77
Sometime between carrying Douglas’ textbooks in the basket of her bike, a late-childhood gift from her father, and playing baseball with the boys in her white high heels, Genevieve fell for Douglas and the pair, after dating for over a year, decided marriage was the next logical step.
Working at the nearby sugar mill for much of his teen years, Douglas earned $2 for a 12-hour day, the majority of which he gave to his mother, save 50 cents. That 50 cents went a long way, eventually supporting his now-wife and three daughters – Pat, Loretta and Cynthia – who followed shortly after the couple, 18 and 17 at the time, wed at Holy Savior Catholic Church in Lockport on June 22, 1938. Douglas headed off to war in January 1945, leaving behind his wife, a 4-year-old, 3-year-old and a 1-year-old, in exchange for combat as part of the U.S. Army’s 52nd Armored Infantry Battalion attached to the 9th Armored Division.
Soon after Douglas’ return from the Army, the Acostas welcomed two more children, Paulette and Steve, and all five understood that Douglas, who took up a seven-on, seven-off drilling job with Exxon, was in charge, resuming roles that Genevieve had to fill in his absence. The give-and-take of their marriage continued to work. Genevieve tended to the children and kept the house functioning and Douglas made an honest living, putting food on the table. Eventually, the children moved out and began their own lives. The empty-nest years offered the couple a chance to enjoy a little rest and relaxation.
As kids, the Acostas never imagined they’d live long enough to see the growth of their beloved town. They don’t take it for granted, however. It’s time they’re blessed to have. “If someone had told me when I was in my 20’s that I would still be here when I was 65, I would have said no way,” Douglas explains. “Here I am 96. Back in our day when we were born, our life expectancy was about 70 years, and here we are with about 26 over it, so we’re on borrowed time. We’ll take all we can get as long as our memory’s good.”
“Think positive. Never think negative,” Douglas advises. “That’s no good. Today might be a bad day, tomorrow’s gonna be a good day. If you get into an argument, settle it. The way they do today, ‘I’m tired of being married.’ They get mad at one another and say, ‘Well, I’m leaving.’ You gotta talk it over. We had our problems throughout the years but we always worked it out.”
“Don’t leave one another,” Genevieve continues. “Out of all the years we’ve been married, one time we went to bed and didn’t kiss one another goodnight. Now how many people can say that?”
Douglas and Genevieve have 5 children, 11 grandchildren, and 15 great grandchildren. Their first great great grandchild is due in August, 2016. “My husband said he was going to fill front and back yard up until he got his boy,” says Genevieve.
Courtesy of Melissa Duet, Point of Vue – Houma, Louisiana
Ivan and Marie Bourque
Married: December 5, 1940
Years Together: 75
Ivan Joseph Bourque was 21 and Marie Louise Romero was 18 years old when they were married. They were married on his birthday. The couple liked to go dancing in their early years. As a couple they played cards and also bowled on leagues. The first car they bought was a Ford and cost $840. In 1940. They purchased their first home in 1946 and are still living there now. Even though gas was 0.18 cents a gallon, bread was .08 cents a loaf and milk was .52 cents a gallon, their average yearly income was $2300.00. They lived by the saying, “It is not what you make; it is what you save.” They lived through the depression so they didn’t do much in their early years, but since that time, they have traveled to many different states and countries and also enjoyed spending time at their camp sites with family and friends. They also enjoyed attending many TMA conventions related to Mr. Bourque’s line of work. He was appointed to various Board of Director seats and owned many businesses. Mrs. Marie loved preparing meals for their friends and family. They enjoy life and always say it takes three to make a marriage work: God, husband and wife. Another favorite quote from Mr. Ivan, “You have to give to receive.”
The Bourques currently have 3 children, 9 grandchildren, and 19 great grandchildren.
George and Laura Harris
Married: April 4, 1940
Years Together: 75
After having met through a mutual friend at a crawfish dinner while attending LSU, George and Laura Claire Harris dated 2 years before being married at the old Sacred Heart Church in Baton Rouge on April 4, 1940.
They rented a small house for their first two years, but when the rent went up $2.50, they decided to build a house where they still live to this day. George did accounting at night for a number of local businesses to save up and buy their first car, an Oldsmobile, affectionately known as the “Old Brown Bomb.”
Together, they belonged to several dance clubs, enjoyed traveling across the country and remember seeing one of the first TVs in a shop window while in New York. With their deep faith and trust in the Lord, they have both been very involved in volunteer work with several Christian ministries and their church, First New Testament, as well as, opened their home to traveling missionaries.
Laura who received her master’s in music in 1938 taught piano in various schools and provided private lessons for over 55 years. She was a charter member of Baton Rouge Piano Teacher’s Association and created a number of piano contests for her and other’s students. She also enjoys painting.
George, who graduated LSU in 1939 in accounting, went back to work for Exxon (45 years) and helped start the Exxon Federal Credit Union (1934) and even did the books out of his house for a short time. He was involved in the national board of Credit Unions and received the keys to the City of Monroe after helping start a Credit Union in the City Monroe.
He spent several years making fancy doll houses to mimic plantations, family homes and other special houses for family and friends. They are very proud of their 3 children, 10 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great children, which are all very close.
Herbert and Jacqueline Hymel
Married: September 18, 1941
Years Together: 74 Years
Charles and Rita Serio
Married: May 6, 1942
Years Together: 73
It has been said, “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” For Mr. and Mrs. Charles Serio, better known as Maw and Paw or Mr. Charlie and Mrs. Rita, a couple married for the past 72 years, this quote has become a lifelong dream come true. For you see, they were childhood sweethearts who fell in love in the sixth grade over a box of sparklers, and still today they enjoy being together honoring the covenant of sacramental love!
Married on May 16, 1942 in Morganza, Louisiana, while Mr. Charlie was on a ten-day furlough from the military, this couple committed to becoming visible signs of God to their family and friends. This loving union of husband and wife speaks loudly of their family values!
Some of their blessings include spending summer vacations at the beach with their three children and their spouses, four grandchildren and their spouses, and their eight great-grandchildren, touring such places as the Caribbean Islands, Alaska, Italy, Sicily, France, Germany, Sweden, Egypt, England, Israel and Jerusalem with family and friends, dancing to their favorite songs of the 1940’s, and hosting family gatherings on Sundays and special holidays! They can often be found teaming up in the kitchen with Maw doing the cooking and Paw washing the dishes. This dynamic duo has a special place in the hearts of many who know them. Their eagerness to share stories of the past with family and friends makes visiting with them truly a privilege and an honor!
This humble couple has been other centered their entire lives. Maw can be found every morning in quiet meditation with her little homemade prayer book which includes special prayer cards and pictures of her children and their families. For you see, she prays for each one by name on a daily basis. Prayers for close friends and other relatives are also included in her little book! Paw served our country during WWII from 1941-45 in the US Army as forward observer in the 995th Field Artillery Battalion. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his bravery.
Mrs. Serio is well known throughout the parish of Pointe Coupee for her meticulous skills in the art of sewing. She can often be found mending, altering or even making garments for local friends and her church parish, while Mr. Serio delights in the skill of carpentry restoring antiques, designing furniture for his children and grandchildren and also helping neighbors with odd jobs around their homes. Both continue to be active in St. Ann’s Catholic Church parish, as well as, the community of the Village of Morganza. They have participated in the Senior Olympics often being gold and silver medalists in their respective categories.
So, what might we say can be identified as the glue in this successful marriage? Well, it is a mixture of prayer, family and a simple life style which allows time for this special couple to continue falling in love time and time again! Maw and Paw, Mrs. Rita and Mr. Charlie, or Mr. and Mrs. Serio, whatever name one knows them by, truly have been an inspiration and great model of the sacrament of marriage to many! May God reign down HIS blessings on them, as they recall the joy of many memories that they have made together over the years!
Arnold and Olga Jones
Married: July 10, 1942
Years Together: 73
Arnold Jones and Olga Wells met in Junction City when he was 18 and she was 16. He was raised in the Hollygrove community, attending Summerfield High School, and she grew up in Junction City, LA. They eloped with another couple, and were married in Norphlet, AR, on July 10, 1942. Their entire married life has been lived on the Stateline Road in Junction City.
Arnold was drafted into the U.S. Army, and served 25 months in the European Theatre. Their son, Arnold Douglas Jones, Jr., was born while he was serving in Europe. Their daughter, Karen, was born a year after he returned home.
Olga is a homemaker, taking care of the home and family, and Arnold pursued a career in the sawmill business. He worked at Reynolds Draper Lumber Company, which became Georgia Pacific Lumber Company for 43 years. As manager, he became well-known for his expertise in his field. He developed a method for drying export lumber, gaining recognition in the European market.
The family is active in First Baptist Church of Junction City. Arnold serves as a deacon, and is still the go-to person when anything needs to be done at the church or parsonage. He has been a member of the city council for 16 years.
Arnold enjoys caring for the home, cutting grass, trimming trees, and taking care of needs at the church or city. Olga enjoys keeping the house and cooking wonderful meals. Her family looks forward to her dumplings and hot water cornbread.
Their son, Doug (Donna), lives in Little Rock, and daughter, Karen Smith (Melvin), lives in Junction City. They have four grandchildren, and four great grandchildren.
It is a joy to see the love and devotion that is present after 73 years, and the admiration for this couple by friends and family.
Charles and Helen Simon
Married: August 2, 1942
Years Together: 73
Charles Simon and Helen Dupuis met at a gathering spot for teenagers called the “Pop In” located in Mansura, Louisiana. On Sunday nights, they would gather to visit with friends and dance where the girls were chaperoned by their mothers. Charles finally asked Helen to dance under the watchful eye of her mother, eventually dancing with no one else as the weeks progressed.
They were married at St. Paul’s Catholic Church on August 2, 1942. Charles was drafted into the U.S. Army in October, 1942. Four years later, Charles was discharged and returned home. Together they raised eight children; five boys and three girls. The hardest part of their lives was losing two of their children to illness.
In addition to their eight children, Charles and Helen have 22 Grandchildren, 43 great grandchildren, and 2 great great grandchildren. Charles and Helen continue to live in their home which was purchased in 1957.
2016 Honorable Mentions
Mr. Wilson and Mrs. Percy Duhon
Married: Jan. 30, 1943 (73 yrs)
Mr. Joe and Mrs. Eloise Marler
Married: May 1, 1943 (72 yrs)
Mr. Don Louis and Mrs. Mildred Broussard
Married: July 20, 1943 (72 yrs)
Mr. Kenneth and Mrs. Alma Honeycutt
Married: April 27, 1944 (71 yrs)
Mr. Charles and Mrs. Caroline Gurganus
Married: May 14, 1953 (62 yrs)
Contact Information: Gene Mills, President, Louisiana Family Forum
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 13, 2016
Baton Rouge, La. —Today is a sad day as we mourn the passing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Appointed by President Ronald Reagan, Scalia was 79 and served on the Court since 1986. His presence on the court and his constitutional fidelity will be sorely missed. “LFF prayers are with the family of Justice Scalia and the as well as the country he loved and served so honorably,” said Gene Mills, President of Louisiana Family Forum.
“With the passing of Justice Scalia, the future of the Court and of America hangs in the balance. The U.S. Senate must resist any effort to accelerate confirmation of a nominee to the Supreme Court. The Senate must also demand that confirmation hearings not take place until the people have selected the next U.S. President. Unfortunately, America seems more fixated on Presidential theater rather than the substance of issues before the U.S. Supreme Court. This election of the next President has now taken on critical importance. The future of America depends on the principled actions of the U.S. Senate. May God have mercy on the Scalia family and may God have mercy on America,” said Mills.
Louisiana Family Forum, the “Voice for Traditional Families in Louisiana,” is dedicated to preserving faith, family and freedom in Louisiana through research, communication and networking. The organization is a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible non-profit and is the statewide affiliate of Focus on the Family.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 12, 2016
John Bel Edwards’ Psychological Warfare
Baton Rouge, La. — Gene Mills, President of the Louisiana Family Forum, had this to say of Governor Edwards’ state of the State address yesterday:
“TOPS is subject to legislative appropriation. The Governor has no authority to cut TOPS. Even if Gov. Edwards uses his unilateral authority to reduce the State General Fund by 3% and statutory dedications by 5%, the legislature can appropriate money in a supplemental bill in the regular session to fully fund TOPS. The Governor may line item veto it, but the legislature will override that veto.
“John Bell’s actual strategy last night came straight out of Donald Trump’s playbook. It is a classic bait and switch: tell them the sky has fallen on TOPS, and while they are fussing about it and the end of college football, force the largest tax increase in the history of Louisiana!
“Keep your eyes on the spending – see John Kennedy’s plan to rectify Louisiana’s shortfall!”
Life and Liberty Awards are given each year to legislators who successfully authored key legislation or initiative that promoted life, family and liberty:
Contact: Gene Mills, President, Louisiana Family Forum
For Immediate Release: 01/11/2016
Baton Rouge, La.—Today is a great day for Louisiana! In a refreshingly non-partisan vote, the members of the House averted a disaster by electing a conservative as Speaker of House. Republicans have exercised their constitutional prerogative as a 3rd branch of government and said no thank you to a pro-choice Speaker. The election of Representative Taylor Barras as Speaker of the House will have positive implications for pro-life and pro-family public policy for our state. This decision will help Governor Edwards keep his honor code to be a pro-life and pro-family governor.
Louisiana Family Forum is grateful for the work of Representative Cameron Henry in bringing this vote forward. Without his leadership and tenacity, a liberal, Rep. Walt Leger, would now be the Speaker. It was truly an unselfish act when he removed his name for consideration in the runoff vote, thus paving the way for Rep. Barras to get a majority of the votes (56 votes out of 105).
LFF also is thrilled to see our friends Beryl Amedee and Rick Edmonds take their oath of office as new members of the House.
Gene Mills, President of Louisiana Forum offered this observation on the vote: “Today is a great day, for Louisiana, for pro-life, and pro-family, today is a good day for limited constitutional government. LFF celebrates this first great act of the Louisiana House of Representatives.”
Join Louisiana Family Forum on Monday, September 14, as the faith community and public servants commemorate a Statewide Day of Prayer for Law Enforcement (#Pray4Blue).
Governor Jindal will host a public prayer time on the steps of the Louisiana State Capitol at 11:30AM to ask God to restore His hand of protection over the Louisiana law enforcement. State and local police, public officials and faith leaders will be present to honor the service and sacrifice of our officers and pray for the men and women who selflessly give to our communities every day. The public is invited.
Governor Jindal also encourages communities across the state to organize their own events and join him in prayer on this day.
WHO: Governor Bobby Jindal, Louisiana Law Enforcement, Public Officials and Faith Leaders
WHAT: Public prayer rally for Law Enforcement
WHEN: Monday, September 14 @ 11:30AM
WHERE: Louisiana State Capitol (Front steps), 900 N 3rd Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802
A debate has been scheduled for this Thursday, November 12, 2015, between Rep. John Bel Edwards and Sen. David Vitter. This debate is sponsored by local churches in Baton Rouge as well as the Louisiana Baptist Message and the Louisiana Family Forum. This debate will cover social and economic issues important to people of faith and will be moderated by Lewis Richerson, Lead Pastor at Woodlawn Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, and Will Hall, Editor of the Louisiana Baptist Message in Alexandria, Louisiana.
Sen. Vitter has confirmed his attendance at this meeting, but as of this post, Bel Edwards’ campaign has yet to respond.
|For Immediate Release…|
Contact: Gene Mills – 225-344-8533
Baton Rouge, La.- Louisiana Family Forum (LFF) applauds Governor Jindal for his pledge to protect the religious liberty of those who believe marriage is between one man and one woman, despite an adverse vote in the House Civil Law committee. Although the outcome of the committee vote was 10-2 unfavorable, Gov. Jindal has made it clear that he will “ be issuing an Executive Order shortly that will accomplish the intent of HB 707.”
LFF presented testimony in the committee hearing on HB 707, the Louisiana Marriage and Conscience Act. Rep. Mike Johnson (R-Benton) introduced HB 707 and explained its necessity in Louisiana. Nearly 150 Louisiana pastors, business owners, public officials and individuals went on record at the Capitol in support of The Marriage and Conscience Act.
The Civil Law committee voted 10-2, on a questionable motion made by Chairman Abramson (D-New Orleans) to return the bill to the calendar, leaving the bill unamended and its outcome in question.
“We are very disappointed in the fact that Rep. Neil Abramson did not even extend the courtesy of allowing Rep. Johnson to place his amendments on the bill,” Gene Mills, President of LFF, “Rep. Johnson did everything possible to answer the spectacular claims of the opponents and to make his bill clear and concise, but the Chairman, aided by Rep. John Bel Edwards (D-Amite), motioned to return the bill to the calendar before the author could amend his bill.”
“By voting with the Chairman today, the House Civil Law committee effectively ignored two-thirds of Louisiana voters, endorsing both the state’s ability to discriminate and the LGBT advocacy groups. The website www.LA4Liberty.comhas registered over 500 businesses and 1,000 citizens in Louisiana in support of the bill. These voices were ignored by today’s committee vote,” Mills concluded.
To view the complete press release click here.