Anna Marie Blanchard Gleason
Anna Marie Blanchard Gleason passed away peacefully in her home on Saturday, June 15, 2019 at the age of 103. She was born in Belle Rose, LA on September 29, 1915 to the late Edna Arabie and Leonard Blanchard as the oldest of six children. She is also preceded in death by her husband, Herman Anthony Gleason Sr.; her brothers, Lawrence Blanchard (Lela), Edward Blanchard (Gloria) and Willie Blanchard (Camille); and one niece and nephew. Anna is survived by her daughters, Katherine Ann Stevens (Miles Gordon III) and Elizabeth Eugenie Graham (Tom); her son, Herman Anthony Gleason Jr. (Debbie); her sisters, Madeline DeHarde (late Victor) and Olivia “Jeep” Cordes (late George); her grandchildren, Tonya L. Gleason Simpson (Daniel), Tiffany M. Gleason Gifford (Raul), Melissa Kay Graham, Kevin Paul Graham, Emily K. Stevens Hardin (Harry), Amanda M. Stevens Friedlander (Ryan), Caroline E. Stevens Bacon (Michael), Melanie A. Stevens Hoeman (Brent), Mary Catherine Stevens Luxhoj (Carl), Eugenie Monica Stevens and Miles Gordon Stevens IV; 17 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. After graduating from high school at the top of her class, Anna was one of the few people of her time to go to college. She began her college career at Louisiana Normal College, now Northwestern State University; her first teaching job was in a two-room schoolhouse in Burrwood. After many years of teaching full-time and raising a family, she finally was able to complete her Bachelor of Arts degree at St. Mary’s Dominican College in 1954. Anna primarily taught fourth grade at Woodlawn High School and Promised Land Academy in Plaquemines Parish and influenced many young lives over her 51 years of teaching. In 1941, she was invited to join the Upsilon Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, an international honor society for teachers. In 2015, the Chapter celebrated its 75th anniversary, of which Anna was the last surviving charter member. She served as treasurer of this Chapter for 53 years. Over her lifespan, Anna lived through the Great Depression and two World Wars, having been born during World War I. After only 15 years of marriage, Anna was tragically widowed at age 48. She persevered as a single mom while continuing her teaching career to support her three children. She lived most of her life primarily in Braithwaite, LA and eventually moved to Chalmette, where she later lost her home in Hurricane Katrina. She lived out the rest of her life in Metairie with her daughter, Ann, and family. Despite these difficult trials, Anna never lost sight of her strong Catholic faith. In her darkest moments, her prayer life, especially the Rosary and daily attendance at Mass, always gave her the strength to carry on. She made it a priority to instill the same values in her family. Her most beautiful legacy was that of setting aside money for each of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to be able to make a pilgrimage to a Holy Shrine. She, herself, was greatly inspired by her own pilgrimages during her retirement years. The family wishes to thank the following “angels” who took such wonderful care of Anna in her home during the last three years of her life: Laura Robinson, O’delle Oliver, Ethel Mae Fazande, Idalia Cabrales, Eucharistic Minister Helena Hartfield, and Sister Mary Madonna Baudier, M.D. (a member of the Marianites of Holy Cross). Relatives and friends are invited to attend the visitation and funeral mass, held at St. Catherine of Siena Church, 105 Bonnabel Blvd., Metairie, LA 70005, on Monday, June 24, 2019. A rosary was also said where words of remembrance followed. Interment: Mass at St. Vincent de Paul Cemetery No. 3. In lieu of flowers, Masses offered for Anna are preferred or you may make a contribution to the Marianites of Holy Cross, 21388 Smith Road, Covington, LA 70435, in her memory. To view and sign the family guestbook, please visit lakelawnmetairie.com.