VILLE PLATTE - Funeral services for Beverly Veillon Burnham, 87, Will be held at 10AM Saturday, August 12, 2017 at our Lady Queen of all Saints Catholic Church, with burial to follow in the Sacred Heart Cemetery. Father Mitch Guidry will officiate.
Mrs. Burnham a resident of Ville Platte passed away Sunday, August 6, 2017 at Heritage Manor nursing home.Beverly was a life-long teacher having taught in both Calcasieu and Evangeline Parish Schools. She retired from Evangeline Parish after being instrumental in setting up and teaching in the local Reading Lab. Reading was an avid passion and love of hers. Her lawn and flower gardens were well known in the area for their plushness, color, and beauty. Complete strangers would stop by requesting a clipping or a bulb. Of course,the inevitable questions on ‘how to’ would follow. Bev was an incredible cook who was able to make a hot dog jambalaya taste like a gourmet treat! But, her biggest passion was the love she had for the six children she raised as a single parent. The pinnacle came when she threw herself a graduation party after her youngest graduated from LSU. She had achieved her lifelong education goal of having all six of her ‘chicks’ earn a university degree. She was as kind as she was generous as her many friends would attest to. All those who knew her loved and respected her. A life that was well lived as an inspiration and mentor. Her sage wisdom and loving guidance will be missed. Beverly was the consummate host and a true Southern Belle.
She will be missed by her son James B. Shipp and wife Brenda of Ville Platte; daughters Martha S. Miller and husband Keith of Ville Platte, Paula S. DeShetler and husband Scott of Colorado, Juliana S. Darbonne and husband Randy of Texas, Rosemary S. Benoit and husband Ben of Lafayette, stepdaughter Annette Aucoin; brother Michael Veillon of Ville Platte; sister Barbara Friedman of Bunkie; 15 grandchildren Daniel Shipp, Hope Shipp Fontenot, Kevin Shipp, Heather Shipp Dupre, James Miller, Jeremy Miller, Zachary DeShetler, Katherine DeShetler, Anne DeShetler, Justin Lafleur, Dr. Elizabeth L. Pritchett, Lia Soileau, Amy Murphy, Sarah Mowery, Tyler Stephens II, 7 step grandchildren; 31 great grandchildren, five step great grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her parents Lindsey and Gladys Miller Veillon, husband Gerald Burnham Sr., daughter Susan Lafleur, stepson Gerald Burnham Jr., brother Charles Veillon, grandchild Christopher Shipp, step grandchild John Burnham.
Visitation will be held Friday, August 11, 2017 from 5 PM to 8 PM, with a rosary being recited at 6:30, and will resume again Saturday, August 12, 2017 from 8 AM until the time of services.
The guestbook can be signed online at www.lavillefuneralhome.net
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Evangeline Parish library or the Sacred Heart Foundation.
Being a Mom: The most important job Beverly Burnham ever had
The most important job Beverly Burnham has had in her entire life is being a mother.
Beverly will tell anyone that her family is the center of her life.
"I felt that being a mother was the most important job in the world. Mothers mold their children and have so much influence on what they become," Beverly says with a big smile on her face.
"My mother always told me it was so hard to be a good mother. After I had my children, I realized that was so true," she adds. "Ville Platte is a good place to raise a family," the retired school teacher continues. "People helped me so much. I believe that it takes a village to raise a child." "We have a close family," she said. When one is injured, they all hurt."
Beverly loves family get-togethers. "We do that often," she grinned with excitement. "My family is so supportive."
The Ville Platte native is the former Beverly Veillon. She left her hometown at the age of 16 to attend college in Natchitoches and finished her studies at Grand Coteau. With her degree in elementary education, Beverly went to work in Calcasieu Parish and later taught in Pine Prairie, at James Stephens and Ville Platte Lower. "I loved working in the reading lab." she smiled as she reminisced back to those teaching days. "It was beautiful teaching in there," she adds.
At the age of 20, Beverly married Blake Shipp and the couple had six children: Jim Shipp, who resides in Ville Platte; Martha Miller of Slidell; Paula DeShetler of Denver, Colorado; Susan LaFleur of Ville Platte; Julie Darbonne of Kingwood, Texas; and Rosemary Benoit of Lafayette.
She has 16 grandchildren and eight step-grandchildren. Next month, Beverly will become a great-grandmother.
In 1965, after Beverly and Blake were divorced, she moved back to Ville Platte with her children. "We were living in Maplewood, near Lake Charles," she explains. "I was teaching there."
Ten years later, in 1975, Beverly married Gerald Burnham. He had two children: Junior Burnham and Annette Aucoin. "We had to add a big room onto the house, so there would be enough room for everyone," Beverly grins. "I have no regrets about having a big family," she emphasizes. "I'd do it again tomorrow if I had the chance."
Beverly's second husband passed away five years ago. "The only description I can give you is that he was a true gentleman. I just can't say enough about him." "I was blessed to have him." "There's so many rewards in being a mother," Beverly admits. "It's just wonderful."
Since her retirement from the school system, Beverly says she has two loves loves. "My kids are older now and I have plenty of time to do all the things I always wanted to do. But, I'll never enjoy anything more than being their mother," she says seriously.