Nelwyn Elaine Shepherd Hebert
Nelwyn Elaine Shepherd Hebert
Nelwyn Elaine Shepherd Hebert died Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014, at the Heart Hospital of Lafayette after a brief illness. Her son, Earl Hebert Jr. and granddaughter, Annie Cormier, were lovingly at her side when she passed. She was 79 years old.
Nelwyn was born in Morgan City in September of 1934, the adored youngest child in a close-knit family. She had a joyful childhood. She wrote her first play in fifth grade and went on to write and edit the Morgan City High School newspaper where she met her future husband, Earl Hebert.
Nelwyn’s lifelong passion was music. For many years, she took piano lessons from Mr. Harvey Webb, a blind piano teacher and well-known local figure whom she loved and revered. She was an active band member at Morgan City High and at LSU where she attended nursing school in the early 1950’s. Nel was an adept and accomplished pianist, filling her home with music long after she was married and had five children. Neighborhood Christmas sing-a-longs were her specialty, though when she played for herself the music she chose tended toward the classics and the romantic songs of her youth like “Deep Purple” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone.!”
Nelwyn dedicated most of her life to her family and her home, caring for her children, her husband and her beloved parents. Additionally, she helped found and run Mitch’s Flowers in Berwick with her son. She was an attentive and active landlady, if something needed to be done you could count on Nel to see to it and quick.
When she was not busy maintaining the household, Nelwyn kept her mind sharp by playing word games. She was nearly unbeatable at Scrabble and crosswords. Her laughter during family games rang throughout the house and will never be forgotten. Wit, intelligence and honesty were hallmarks of her character. Her closest friends and community, from the 1960s right up until the end, were the ladies of Golden Farms. Nelwyn’s deep faith carried her through the difficult days and brought her peace and joy throughout her life.
Nelwyn is survived by her children, Julie Hebert and her husband, Kenn Norman, of Los Angeles, Earl Hebert Jr. and his wife, Ronna Leonard, of Baton Rouge, Janice Hebert of Portland, Oregon, and Brad Hebert and his wife, Trudy, also of Baton Rouge; her grandchildren, Stephan Williams, Alexis Petrakis, Mallie Hebert Bowers, Blake Hebert, Annie and Lily Cormier, Chelsea, Ben, and Stephanie and Gracie Hebert; and three great-grandchildren, Bella, Satie and Odile.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Earl Hebert Sr.; her son, John Mitchell Hebert; her parents, Percy C. and Lottie (Price) Shepherd; and her sister, Shirley Shepherd Pyfrom.
In lieu of flowers please send donations to the Mitch Hebert Scholarship Fund, c/o the Nicholls Foundation. Nelwyn and her family created this full scholarship at Nicholls State, in honor of her son. (Nicholls Foundation, P.O. Box 2066, Thibodaux, LA, 70310), www.mitchhebertscholarship.com.
Visitation will be held today, Friday, Aug. 8, 2014, beginning at 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Twin City Funeral Home and will resume at the funeral home Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, at 10 a.m. until the time of service at noon. Nelwyn will be laid to rest in the Morgan City Cemetery.