French Descendants Leave Legacy
by Denise Labrie
This family traces it's origin to Le Beau, Louisiana. Sadly, the first wife of Rodness Goudeau, Lucille Rideau and the mother of his three small children died in 1924. His mother, "Mom Phine" (Josephine Burls) helped to raise his three daughters: Theresa, Sophronia and Bella until he remarried. Rodness and his second wife, Beatrice Labrie Goudeau, lived at Route 1, Box 182 in Washington, Louisiana until their deaths. His father, Theodile (Theo dill) Goudeau was born in France.
It is said that in an effort to avoid traffic, Rodness drove at very fast speeds.
He was also an excellent marksman who could shoot rabbits with a 22 killing 2 to 3 of them running along a fence in the distance for a family meal.
Beatrice was an excellent cook and accomplished quilt maker. She frequently gave one of her beautiful quilts as a wedding present to relatives.
The Labrie's homestead was located in the Rideau Settlement. Felix Labrie was a quiet, mild mannered man who served his country in the Korean War. Several of his relatives an uncle, Felix Curette and his nephew, Nathaniel Labrie both owned barbeque resturants in the Houston, Texas area.
These families were farmers who grew crops like: corn, beans and cotton and raised farm animals to support and feed their families. One of the Goudeau daughters, Sophronia Labrie, was a school teacher at Immaculate Conception School in Le Beau. She was also a Eucharistic minster at the church and even considered religious life as a vocation.
The Rideau family has one member, Sister Marie Rideau who entered the religious order of The Sisters of the Holy Family (the black nuns of New Orleans founded by Henriette Delille) at an early age. Sister Marie celebrated her 50th anniversary several years ago.
Most mid 1900 family members did not speak Creole French, including parents and grandparents. They spoke English and could read and write. They attended Immaculate Conception Church and many of them are buried in the cemetery in Le Beau.
Over the years, several family members relocated to California, New York, Texas and other parts of Louisiana. Some of them returned to Le Beau in their retirement years. Irene Goudeau Malveaux has lived on the original Goudeau homestead and been a member of the Immaculate Conception Church for all of her life.
Today, the Goudeau family shares the ownership of the original homestead consisting of 150 to 200 acres of land and crops are still grown on this property.