On Thanksgiving Day 2005, a day before she was to turn 83, the exuberant, adventurous Lulu had done all she ever set out to do. She was born on Thanksgiving and celebrated her birthday on the holiday each year, marking one last milestone before she passed away last week.
Some years ago, Lulu's devoted husband Paul ran across a poem by Irish poet Thomas Moore, written to Moore's wife.Â It struck him as appropriate for Lulu, and he memorized it and recited it to her at Thanksgiving dinners.
Of all my happiest hours of joy,
And even I have had my measure,
When hearts were full, and ev'ry eye
Hath kindled with the light of pleasure,
An hour like this I ne'er was given,
So full of friendship's purest blisses;
Young Love himself looks down from heaven,
To smile on such a day as this is.
Then come, my friends, this hour improve,
Let's feel as if we ne'er could sever;Â Â
And may the birth of her we love
Be thus with joy remember'd ever!
Lulu sang and danced her way through life, and her smile could brighten a room in seconds. It's been said she knew the words to a thousand songs and scriptures, and she also had a passion for the opera.
Lulu loved art ' especially sculpture. In 1976 she was responsible for one of Acadiana's first privately commissioned public sculptures at 1001 Pinhook Road. She recently helped pave the way for the creation of the new Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum, donating $3 million toward construction of the building. She never intended for it to bear her and Paul's name; she was much too humble for that.
Lulu loved tennis. She won the Texas Ladies Championship at age 16 and later did volunteer work by setting up tennis clinics in disadvantaged neighborhoods in Houston. She was instrumental in founding the Houston Ladies Tennis Association, which today has several thousand members.Â As tennis coordinator for the Houston Parks and Recreation department, she would rustle up racquets from pros to auction off to raise money for the program. In recognition of her contributions and leadership, the HLTA holds an annual tennis tournament called the "Lulu Belle." When she moved to Lafayette, Lulu continued the charitable work, founding the Tennis Association of Lafayette Ladies.
Lulu loved to travel. And she was always excited to return home with her great pictures and even better stories, like the one about her riding an ostrich in South Africa and dancing with women in the Zulu tribe.
Lafayette banker Rusty Cloutier recalls a bank meeting shortly after the Hilliards returned from a trip to China. She leaned over and put her little red head on the ground and quickly went into a headstand to show everyone what she'd done against the Great Wall of China. "She had us in stitches," Cloutier says.
And that's just what she hoped to do. "It was her way of breaking the ice," Paul says, "especially if the people around her were too somber or serious to suit her happy nature." She did her headstands all over the world, in Moscow across from the Kremlin, in the Beijing airport "because we had flown from Moscow to Beijing with the Chinese girls volleyball team but on a miserable Russian airline, and everyone was dead tired," Paul remembers.
Lulu loved her husband and family. She had two sons and a daughter and was stepmother to Paul's four daughters. The extended family now numbers 51, including 21 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
She loved life, and she celebrated it for 83 years. Lulu Hilliard taught us to live life to its fullest and do a few headstands along the way.
We can safely assume incumbent Chief K.P. Gibson isn’t too worried about this challenger.
Nationally, Republicans must gain six seats to win Senate control. The most competitive races, many in states where Obama lost in 2012, remain too close to call.
The Baton Rouge Republican has repeatedly battled a perception within his own party that he perhaps wasn't the best choice to carry the GOP banner.
Even if Jimmy Graham's production dips while the star tight end recovers from a shoulder injury, it looks like Drew Brees won't have much trouble finding other targets.
A former campaign manager for Senate candidate Rob Maness is striking at the Republican contender's tea party support, saying Maness only sought to appeal to conservative organizations because he needed money for his campaign.
Ninety-two percent of public school teachers were rated either effective or highly effective in a report the state issued marking the second year of a new statewide evaluation process.
Corporations spending in state elections; Kenny G and Hong Kong; states resist gay marriage and more national and international news for Thursday, October 23, 2014.
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
School board members Mark Babineaux, Hunter Beasley and Tehmi Chassion can vote to fire Cooper — because we all know that’s exactly what they’ll do.
District 2 school board candidate Simon Mahan is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent and former Carencro Mayor Tommy Angelle in the Nov. 4 election.
District Attorney Mike Harson is showing his desperation by falsely attributing quotes to his opponent and blocking journalists from his social media.
The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.
President Barack Obama is turning to black radio listeners to plead for midterm votes, a targeted approach to drum up Democratic support at a time when many candidates don't want him around in person.
"I am extremely disheartened by the political machines that are attempting to hijack my efforts along with others that advocate for children."
Landrieu, who is fighting to keep her seat for a fourth term, said that Ebola is serious and precautions should be taken, but she accused Republicans of using the virus outbreak in West Africa to "create fear" here at home.
Law enforcement agencies are participating in a "Louisiana Heroin Summit," designed to address the recent rise in heroin use and drug-related deaths around the state.
State education officials are preparing to release performance scores for public schools and public school districts.
Saints coach Sean Payton is starting a new week by emphasizing, repeatedly, the many good things he noticed during New Orleans' latest loss.
We will be offering our recommendations on the constitutional amendments tomorrow.
The justices did not comment in leaving in place lower court rulings that dismissed the lawsuits against BP and other companies involved in the worst U.S. offshore oil spill.
White registration is down by 7,700 voters while black registration has shot up by 7,100 voters.