Melanie Bourgeois Furlough, Ph.D. was born on November 18, 1958, in Franklin, LA, to the late Shelby J. Bourgeois and Marguerite Gobert Bourgeois. Melanie was the third of eight children born into this union. They resided in their family home in Verdunville, LA, and attended Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.
Melanie attended Centerville High School with her siblings, then moved to Monroe, LA, where she attended college at Northeast Louisiana University. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Radiology, and began her career at St. Francis Medical Center. After her family moved to Baton Rouge in 1992, she worked in the heart cath lab at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. While working at OLOL, Melanie earned a master’s degree in Business Administration from Louisiana State University. She continued her education by pursuing and earning her doctoral degree in Gerontology with a focus on Public Policy from Southern University. Melanie began her tenure with the Siemens Corporation in 2004, which led her family to move to Coatesville, PA. She and her husband franchised Seniors Helping Seniors in 2013, while Melanie continued to travel domestically and internationally for Siemens. Having earned the freedom to work remotely, Melanie and her family returned home to Baton Rouge in 2015. When she was at home between business trips, she surrounded herself with family and attended St. Patrick Catholic Church.
While at school in Monroe, Melanie met her life partner and husband, Garry W. Furlough. They wed on July 3, 1982, surrounded by family and friends at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Verdunville, LA. Together, they raised four children, Chiquita (Julie), Chad, Marcel (Sharelle), and Spencer, all of Baton Rouge, LA. Garry and Melanie were known for hosting large gatherings at their home for holidays and other occasions. Melanie believed in spending quality time with those she loved. Her unyielding faith and her strong sense of family values drew her family to her bedside as her illness brought her earthly life to an end. Melanie went to her eternal rest on Saturday, January 13, 2024, in the comfort of her home while surrounded by her husband, children, grandchildren, and other family members.
In addition to Garry and their children, Melanie leaves many to cherish her memory, including two grandchildren: Chandler Furlough and Shelby Mason-Broussard; her mother, Marguerite Gobert Bourgeois; seven siblings: Debra Bourgeois Hogan (Ron), Crystal Bourgeois, Valerie Bourgeois, Rachelle Bourgeois, Renee’ Bourgeois (William), Sebrin Bourgeois (Gladys), and Terryl Bourgeois (Terry-Ann); one brother in law, Andrew G. Furlough; two sisters in law: Denise Furlough Grayson (Roger) and Judiana Furlough Turner (Dennis). Melanie was part of a large family that also includes a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, other relatives, and extended family who will miss her dearly.
Melanie was preceded in death by her father, the Honorable Shelby J. Bourgeois; her in-laws, Andrew J. Furlough and Juanita Carter Furlough; her paternal grandparents, Albert Bourgeois, Sr. and Bessie Pellerin Bourgeois; and her maternal grandparents, Nicholas Gobert and Antonia Vallet Gobert.
Friends and family are invited to attend a visitation in honor of Melanie at Resthaven Funeral Home on Tuesday, January 23, 2024 from 6pm until 8pm. A second visitation will be held on Wednesday January 24, 2024 from 10am until Mass of Christian Burial at 12pm at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, with a graveside service to follow at Resthaven Gardens of Memory.