As Black History Month continues, we would like to pay tribute to Mrs. Thelma L. Goudeau who was well known, respected and loved in the McNair community and by her church family.
Mrs. Thelma Lucille Friend Goudeau was born to Felix and Catherine “Rena” Friend on November 4, 1920 in Ames, Texas. She was raised by her grandmother, Mrs. Felician Fretty. She and her husband, Mr. Thomas Goudeau married and settled in the all-black community in McNair Station.
Mrs. Goudeau was a founding member of Holy Family Catholic Church, where she as a charter member of the Holy Family Church Altar Society, Rosary Group, and Legion of Mary. She was an extremely religious woman who woke up every morning around 4 a.m. to say her Rosary and would attend weekday masses at Holy Family Catholic Church. You could always find Mrs. Goudeau busy working at the Church, attending various church events, baking her famous pound cakes, sewing, quilting, gardening, and spending time with her family and friends.
Mrs. Goudeau and her husband Thomas, raised a large family. They had eight children, Amy Jones, JoAnn McKnight, Gregory Goudeau, Catherine “Sylvia” Williams, Glenda Lang, Grenda Guidry, Vanessa Goudeau and Veronica Anderson. At the time of her death, she had 12 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and a host of loving nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends. Two of her special friends were Mrs. Lena Carrier and Mrs. Ophelia Collins Landry.
Mrs. Thelma Lucille Friend Goudeau went to be with her Lord and Savior in Heaven on Oct. 25, 2008.
One of her daughter’s, JoAnn McKnight recalls her mother’s last words before she expired as being “God is good.” There is no doubt in my mind that this extremely religious woman is in Heaven with her Lord and Savior. I and many others truly believe that because of the way she lived her life while being on this earth. What a remarkable woman she was. She had a Catholic funeral mass at Holy Family Catholic Church in McNair on October 30, 2008 – Reverend Fr. Rodney J. Armstrong, S.S.J. – Officiant. She was laid to rest at Sterling-White Cemetery in Highlands, Texas. Her final arrangements were entrusted to Frazier Funeral Home in McNair.
J. Warren Singleton is a local historian and resident of Baytown