A memorial service for Ms. Deidre Ann Cruse will be held at Mulhearn Funeral Home in Winnsboro at 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, February 29, 2012. A private interment service will follow. The Rev. David Shirley, cousin of the deceased, will officiate, under the direction of Mulhearn Funeral Home of Winnsboro.
Ms. Cruse, 65, died on February 21, 2012, at her home in Plaquemine. Born on December 5, 1946, in Winnsboro, she was the daughter of Mrs. Jaime Taylor Cruse and the late James Monroe Cruse. Her maternal grandparents were the late Roy M. Taylor, Sr. and Florence Young Taylor; paternal grandparents were the late Thomas M. Cruse and Edna Erskin Cruse.
Ms. Cruse is survived by: her mother; brother James Christopher Cruse and wife Mollie Perritt Cruse; niece Marguerite Taylor Cruse and nephew William Case Cruse, all of Winnsboro; uncle Roy M. Taylor, Jr., and wife Irene of Ruston; uncle Larry A. Taylor and wife Barbara of Newnan. GA; aunt Marian T. Phillips and husband Ray of Pioneer; and many cousins.
She was preceded in death by a nephew, Christopher Crossgrove Cruse, and her father.
A 1964 graduate of Winnsboro High School, Ms. Cruse earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism in 1968, at Northeast Louisiana College, now the University of Louisiana in Monroe.
Her life was dedicated to her work in journalism, the only career she ever considered. Government and politics became her focus.
At 13 she was a columnist on the teen affairs in The Franklin Sun in her home town; as a senior at Winnsboro High School, she was editor of the school newspaper.
She began her professional career at The Monroe Morning World, later moving to The Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock, AR., and the Baton Rouge Morning Advocate. Her work at the Advocate included assignment to its Capitol Bureau during the era of Governor Edwin Edwards, and earned her a place in both Clyde Vidrine’s Just Taking Orders, and Leo Honeycutt’s Edwin Edwards: Governor of Louisiana.
Ms. Cruse was press secretary for Louisiana House Speaker Bubba Henry in his unsuccessful run for the governorship. She also worked for a time at the Public Affairs Research Council (PAR).
For the past 20 years she has been governmental reporter for The Plaquemine Post/South at Plaquemine. There she achieved an unprecented five Louisiana Press Association Gibbs Adams awards for investigative reporting, the latest in 2010 when The Post/South won LPA’s Division 7 Newspaper of the Year award.
Through the years she has earned numerous state awards, as well as three national awards.
She had a generous and loving heart. Her enjoyment of fun and festivity was
reflected in her year-long search for Christmas gifts, the elaborate Christmas decorations she fashioned for far-flung family and friends, and the elegant gift wrapping for which she was noted.
A second memorial service is planned by friends in Plaquemine on Friday, March 9, 2012.