On Tuesday, November 7, 2017, the angel on earth that we knew as Flo was delivered by winged angels to her heavenly home. She was 93, only 2 months short of her 94th birthday. She was born in Alfords, La., and lived most of her life before college as a country girl on Smithfield Plantation, just down the gravel road from the sugar mill and her daddy's country store. She went to Deval Elementary School along River Road, and then graduated from Port Allen High School. She enrolled in college at the age of 16 at Southwestern University (currently ULL), and earned a bachelors degree in education. As a beautiful, petite student teacher in her last semester of college, she was often indistinguishable from her high school students. After graduation, she bypassed teaching and took a job as a secretary at LSU in Baton Rouge in the Agricultural Extension department where she excelled in keeping things organized and people on task, one of her many gifts that served her well for her entire life. A place and method for everything, Her ducks always knew where to line up. In 1946, she married Naylor Matthew Cragin, a country boy from Brusly, La., who although pretty skinny looked very sharp in his U.S. Navy uniform. They settled in South Baton Rouge where they raised a family of 4 children, all of who still think their Mom hung the moon. For most of her life, Flo was a homemaker, making her time with family the center of her life. Every Sunday, after Mass, she prepared the famous ""Cragin Sunday Dinner"", including extended family members on a regular basis. Besides her family, Flo had a list of hobbies which included LSU football, playing cards with family & friends, traveling with friends on bus tours, doing craft projects, having her morning coffee (no conversations before coffee!) and working the daily puzzle in the paper, and decorating her home on holidays, especially at Christmas. A bit leery of all the new technology, she avoided computers and fancy cell phones. But when she was given a hand-me-down iPad at the age of 92, she devoted herself over the next year to learning how to do Facebook. Her success can be verified by her sweet comments EVERY time a FB friend posted something. The only problem she encountered was that some days she got behind on her daily puzzles because she spent too much time on Facebook! In addition to her biological family, Flo had 2 other ""families"" who made her daily life complete: 1) Her card playing friends (Bridge, Rummy, Tripoli -- and Dominoes in a pinch), many of whom she regularly played with for over 40 years. She was still at the Bridge table 3 weeks before her death. 2) Her lady friends in the ""Busy Bodies Exercise Class"", a BREC program for seniors that she attended several days a week for over 20 years. Flo's fun & fellowship with these two groups of ladies for so many years are no doubt what kept her in such good mental and physical heath for so long. Her children wish to thank all of those ladies for enriching their Mom's life and enabling her to enjoy those golden years.
Flo is survived by her four children and their families: a son, Mike Cragin and wife Ronnie of Baton Rouge; a daughter, Pati Cragin Rudisel and husband Don of Baton Rouge; a son, Tim Cragin and wife Louise of New Orleans; and a son, Kelly Cragin and wife, Luanne of Virginia. If she could have done so, Flo would have probably had a talent show at her funeral to showcase her amazing seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. This would have required a swimming pool, stage, orchestra, among other props, and the church was just not big enough. This bunch that she adored included: Stacey and Chris Hebert and their four children: Elizabeth, Cameron, Adam and David of Slidell; Kerry Cragin of Baton Rouge; Holly Rudisel Owens and husband Robby and their two boys, Connor and Carson of Ft. Worth TX; Matthew Rudisel of Baton Rouge; Dr. Allison Cragin Englert and husband Dr. Randy Englert of New Orleans; Patrick Cragin of Los Angeles, CA; and Sally Rose Cragin of New Orleans.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Naylor Matthew Cragin; parents, Walter Joseph Guerin and Leona Major Guerin; her three brothers, Allen, W. J. Jr., ""Dub"", Leon ""Bubba"" Guerin and a host of other family and friends.
Visitation will be at RESTHAVEN Funeral Home, 11817 Jefferson Highway on Sunday, November 12 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Visiting will resume on Monday, November 13 at St. Aloysius Church, 2025 Stuart Ave. from 9:30 am until Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00am. Interment will follow at RESTHAVEN Gardens of Memory.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to a charity of your choice.
Just a note to extend my deepest condolences to you and your family; and to wish you all the best!
Jeff WilkersonNew Orleans,