Helen Lanneau Eaker

Published 2:34 pm Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Sept. 2, 1922 – Jan. 11, 2024

NATCHEZ – Graveside services for Helen Lanneau Eaker will be at 11 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 22, 2024, at Natchez City Cemetery.

Burial will follow under the direction of Laird Funeral Home.

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Helen Lanneau Eaker, 101, passed away on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024, in Houston, TX. She retired from Rice University in 1993, having taught Latin and Greek there for 29 years.

Helen was born on Sept. 2, 1922, in Natchez, MS. Her parents were Keith Palmer Lanneau and Helen Metcalfe Byrnes Lanneau. She had two brothers, Bazile R. Lanneau and Keith P. Lanneau. Helen graduated from Natchez High School in 1940, receiving numerous academic honors. She subsequently attended MSCW and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, earning her Ph.D. in classics in 1961. She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She is remembered by so many students as an influential and popular teacher, and many students have kept in touch with her many years into her retirement. Helen was also one of the few people in the nation who could translate Sanskrit and other obscure dialects and co-authored several books and papers related to this work.

Helen also had musical talents. She was a member of the Trinity Episcopal Church choir in Natchez until she left for college, and became a member of the St. Martin’s Episcopal Church choir in Houston, TX where she sang for 40 years. Helen was also an accomplished pianist and was an accompanist in various capacities in the church and for a Sunday morning television show in the 1960s.

She married Francis Aldrich Moore in 1950, and had one son, Andre Calvert Moore, in 1956. She was widowed in 1965, and for several years, Helen held three jobs while taking care of her young son. She subsequently was married to a fellow professor, J. Gordon Eaker, in June 1969. She was again widowed in 1998. Helen kept herself busy thereafter with the church choir, keeping up with friends, and visiting with her grandchildren. She also volunteered at the school where her son taught, talking to classes about word origins and helping in judging the spelling bee and poetry contests. She remained active into her 90s. She enjoyed sitting in her backyard in the evenings, with her beloved pets. Subsequently, she had the pleasure of being surrounded by her grandchildren during her later years. She is remembered for her sense of humor and numerous festive pool parties. We will also never forget her sharing her martini olives with Fred, the family pet chicken.

Helen loved to travel and visited various countries in Europe. She made fourteen trips overseas! She also enjoyed car trips within the United States and enjoyed many trips with her son, his wife, and grandsons.

Helen is survived by her son, Calvert, his wife, Janet, and two grandsons, James and Andrew. She is also survived by her nephews, Bazile Lanneau, Jr., and Martin Lanneau, and niece, Renee Lanneau, and their children.

She is predeceased by her grandson, Daniel Aldrich Moore; two brothers, Keith and Bazile Lanneau, and parents, Helen and Keith Palmer Lanneau.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in her name should go to St. Jerome School in Houston.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at lairdfh.com.