Marie Keller Pettefer Marie Deneva Keller Pettefer of Lake Charles died on September 12, at age 83. Marie married her sweetheart, Clay Pettefer in 1948, and they have 5 children, all of whom live in the area. Clay passed away last year on Good Friday, April 22.
Family and friends fondly remember Marie’s great smile along with her joyful laughter and positive, encouraging nature. Marie told everyone with sincerity that she was fine even when she was quite ill. She loved bragging about all her kids and grandkids, telling about how great all of them are and what a wonderful family God had blessed her with.
Marie and Clay owned Clay’s Marine in Lake Charles for over 25 years. While she was occasionally called, “Ms. Clay,” by the crew, she definitely had her own identity and was a vital part of the shop’s life and health. She was strong, evidenced by her lack of complaining, and worked very hard to provide for her family and serve people.
During the slow winter season, Marie opened a Christmas tree business in the showroom, and thus was born Trim-A-Tree by Marie. For over 20 years Marie built community and brought beauty to the city as she created wonderful displays and decorated homes for Christmas. When Marie was born, her right arm was partially disabled, but that never stopped her. She could tie Christmas bows with the best of them! She made so many friends at Clay’s Marine and Trim-A-Tree by Marie.
Marie loved Clay. Though she never learned to swim, she often rode in the boat with Clay, joyfully taking in the experience with friends and family. It was a sign of her faith in and faithfulness to her husband, Clay. Clay and Marie’s boating adventures led to traveling, starting when Clay raced boats, then progressing to the many trips they took around the country and world to boat dealer meetings with Clay’s Marine.
Wherever Marie went, her crafts went with her: Christmas bows in the winter and her crochet bag the rest of the time. She made many blankets for her family and others; all her children’s and grandchildren’s homes are adorned today with these tangible evidences of her love.
Marie was a charter member of the Calcasieu Boat Club and volunteered as a Pink Lady at Memorial Hospital.
Marie is survived by son Jerry and his wife Karen, and their children Darrell and Dianne; son Donald and his wife Cheryl, and their children James and Ashley; daughter Eva Thompson and her husband Frank, and children Bro. Joshua, Mary, Bro. Levi and Esther; son Paul and his wife April, and daughters Hannah, Rebecca, Abigail and Elisabeth; son Bill and wife Lynell, and his son Harley. She is also survived by nine great-grandchildren.
Friday visitation is from 5-7 pm with a Rosary at 7 pm at King’s Funeral Home, 1611 Gerstner Memorial Drive. Visitation Saturday is from 8-10 am, and the Funeral Mass is at 10 am at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church, 221 Aqua Drive. King’s Funeral Home is providing funeral services.