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Marion 'Mamou' Hunter was born on January 10, 1915 to the late Caroline and Frederick Burfict in Reserve, LA. Her only sibling was an older sister, the late Orelia Addison.
Marion is the great granddaughter of Joshua Cook, who was brought to New Orleans in 1840 on a slave ship from Alexandria, Virginia, at the age of 23. Although the family research is incomplete, we know that Joshua Cook served in the Union Army as his signature appears in a registry of the United States 1890 Census of Union Veterans and Widows of the Civil War.
On May 9, 1940, she was united in marriage to Stephen Joseph Hunter Jr. at Our Lady of Grace Church, Reserve. Their union produced six children: Nicolette Theresa Hunter; Joan Giron (James); Phyliss Gaines; Caroline (the late Ken Williams); the late Stephen Joseph Hunter III; and Michael Selwyn Hunter. She is also survived by eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
She has been a member of Corpus Christi Catholic Church for 75 years where she was the oldest member. For many years, Mamou got up at 4am on weekdays to attend the 6:30 rosary and mass. In addition she attended silent devotion on Saturday, plus rosary and mass on Sundays. In recent years when she was unable to navigate on her own, numerous members of CCE assisted by picking her up and delivering her home.
Marion Hunter was the recipient of numerous awards including the Golden Senior Award from the New Orleans Council on Aging and the Order of St. Louis Medallion from the Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans. She was also an active member of the Mercy Endeavors Senior Center for over eleven years. Memberships included CCE Altar Society, CCE Eucharist Minister, CCE Senior Sodality, Council of Catholic Women, CCE Food for Families/ Food for Seniors, Legion of Mary, Ladies Auxiliary of the Knights of Peter Clavier, 3rd & 4th Degree (66 years), Mercy Endeavors Senior Center, CCE Monday Evening Rosary Group, CCE Senior Citizens Group, and Sodality of The Blessed Virgin Mary.
Mamou stated that one of her proudest moments was twice voting for President Barack Obama. She subsequently had the pleasure of meeting him at a reception at the MV home of family friend Professor Charles Ogletree. On the occasion of her 100t Birthday, she received a personal letter the President, in addition to two proclamations from Pope Francis.
Starting around her 90th birthday, the family began hosting an annual birthday celebration beginning with Sunday mass. In lieu of any gifts, Mamou always asked that money be donated on her behalf to her church and senior center. We modestly estimate that more than $10,000 has been donated in her honor since that time.
It may be surprising to learn that Mamou was a convert to Catholicism and her devotion to her faith was established early on. In fact, in 1936 at the age of 21, she actually applied to become a Holy Family nun. She was unsuccessful only because she did not have the required funds. On another occasion, in1957, she wrote to St. Augustine's Seminary, offering herself for missionary work. The sum of the life of Marion Mamou Burfict Hunter, and all of her endeavors and organizations, is a testament to a life of commitment and service to others.
Relatives and friends of the family are invited to attend the Visitation at DW Rhodes Chapel, 3933 Washington Ave. on Sunday, July 17, 2016 from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. A Funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Corpus Christi Epiphany Catholic Church, 2022 St. Bernard Ave. on Monday, July 18, 2016 at 10:30 am. Visitation will begin at 7:30 am. Interment: Mt. Olivet Cemetery. Arrangements by DW Rhodes Funeral Home, New Orleans, LA. Please visit www.rhodesfuneral.com to sign the online guest book. In lieu of flowers, family request that donations be made in her honor to Corpus Christi Epiphany Catholic Church.