Five generations of New Sarpy native’s family reunite for visit 

Bernadine Duhon spoke with her great granddaughter Kelly on the phone, not realizing what was to come. 

Kelly, along with Duhon’s daughter Stephanie and granddaughter Jessica (Kelly’s mother) were all in town for a surprise visit, with one more very special guest: Kelly’s son Wesley, Duhon’s great-great grandson, was paying his very first visit to his Maw Maw. 

It created a rare and special moment: five generations of a family were all together at once.

“I hadn’t seen (Kelly) in years,” said Duhon. “They had moved to Florida but at one time she lived here … we practically raised her when she was young, she was at my house all the time.”

Wesley James, in fact, takes his middle name from that of Duhon’s late husband Ned.

As Duhon and Kelly spoke on the phone about the logistics of a potential visit, Duhon soon learned that she indeed had several visitors to Summerhouse Ashton Manor in order to see her. 

“They always want me to go see them, but I feel like I’m getting too old for it,” said Duhon. ”I remember traveling for Ida, and that took a lot out of me. So, this was definitely nice to have everyone here together. They definitely surprised me. She called me right before she got here

Duhon was born and raised in New Sarpy before moving to LaPlace after she and Ned were wed. Together, they had four children – two girls and two boys. 

“And they always came first,” Duhon said. 

Indeed they did for the selfless and talented homemaker. Duhon was a stay-at-home mother focused on raising her family. Following her two sons and two daughters, she would see seven more grandchildren – including her great great grandchild – come into the world.

Kelly, along with Duhon’s other daughters, each live in Florida. 

As a homemaker, Duhon loved to garden and became proficient in sewing – skills she would later pass on to others as a founding member of the New Sarpy Homemakers Club along with her sister. Duhon was a member of the club for 41 years. 

“I just learned how to on my own,” Duhon said about sewing and making crafts. “We were very crafty in the group. I didn’t do a lot of sewing (before) but it turns out I really liked it. I bounced back and forth between being president and a member, so many times.”

Even when she moved on from New Sarpy, the members wanted her to stay a part of the group, which she did. 

Today, that’s a hobby Duhon still enjoys greatly – along with the occasional trip to the casino. 

“I have fun there, but I haven’t been lucky enough to really win,” she said. 

Even if Duhon doesn’t always feel that luck, those around her feel very much so to have her in their day-to-day life. 

“I feel very lucky to have Ms. Bernie here at Ashton Manor with us, because she does a lot here,” said Trudy Lopez, activities coordinator at Summerhouse. “She’ll learn new crafts and she makes beautiful bows. I always know she can make anything I need.”


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