Lorraine was born on November 28, 1935, at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana to her parents Vivian and Benjamin Yates. She grew up at their home, 332 Homer Street, Algiers, Louisiana. She was baptized on December 15, 1935, at All Saints Catholic Church in New Orleans and remained a faithful Christian servant all of her life until being called to her heavenly home on the Feast Day of Guardian Angels October 2, 2023.
Her mother Vivian Yates was an insurance agent and Lorraine grew up traveling back and forth to work with her mom and traveling across the city, state and country to visit clients, family, friends. This is probably where she got her huge appetite for travel, shopping and adventure through meeting and talking with people. She was always surrounded by strong women of faith. She spent many days at St. Mary’s Convent with the Sisters of the Holy Family. She met and remained friends with many of the nuns, including Sister Tekakwitha, who at age ninety-five, still called and Sister Marcella Mendes who had just entered the convent when they met as young girls. Both called routinely to talk and pray.
Lorraine’s early years were spent shooting marbles, jumping rope, skipping hopscotch, playing cards, going to the movies, and attending school dances with many of her childhood friends. One of her best friends at that time was Miss Elvena Bijole. They met through their mothers who were both insurance agents for the Louisiana Life Insurance Company in New Orleans. They spent teen years traveling on the public bus transportation system going shopping and catching the ferry to cross the river. They stayed connected throughout the years with writing, telephone calls and visits as Lorraine did with so many others.
Lorraine was baby-sitter for Dr. and Mrs. Benjamin Duncan’s family. Even though she was only two years older than her dear friend, Reverend Otto Duncan, she always held that over his head. She remained close friends with “Rev” and his siblings. She cherished their many phone calls, cards and visits together.
Lorraine met and fell in love with Marshall Bergeron at a school dance just like in the movies. She married Marshall at age 17 when she left New Orleans for a visit to San Diego. Marshall had moved there to work and continue his education after military service. They were married at our Lady of the Sacred Heart on August 28, 1954. Soon after they moved into their loving home on Delta Street, San Diego, CA and began their family. Lorraine was a most loving mother to children Lori, Bernadette, Kenneth, and Stephan. It was said about her over the years that she had four biological children and four thousand by love. She “adopted” boat loads of children over the years, especially after their mothers passed away vowing to take care of her dear loved ones. She was an endearing friend to all of her neighbors and became lifelong friends with early Delta Street and Balboa Vista Drive neighbors: Miss Epi, the Lindsey, De La Cerda, Smith, Devall, Birdsell, Bremner, Tobias, Edwards and Adams families just to name a few.
Lorraine worked at Robert Hall clothing store part-time while her children were young but her true calling began when she became a parish secretary at St. Jude’s Catholic School. She worked for John Doyle, principal alongside many talented and dedicated staff members. She took many young teachers under her wing, guiding them and showing them the ropes. But it did not end there because she opened her heart and home to many of them. She celebrated life with them at parties, happy-hours and get togethers. She traveled to New Orleans for Mardi Gras with one teacher girlfriend Marta, as Lorraine’s Goddaughter, Tina Anderson Trahan was crowned Queen of the Zulu Ball. She stayed close friends with many of the St. Jude, St. Rita, and Holy Spirit clergy, teachers and staff over the years including Sister Mary Justus, Arlene D, Fr. Giles Conwill, Vercie Carmon Johnson, John Doyle, Maggie, Marta, Rick, Shirley, Pam, Charles, Sister Maria, Donna B, and Sister Marcella Slaughter who became her roommate.
Lorraine also worked at the Immaculata Campus for Bishop Brom at the Roman Catholic Diocesan Office where she met and served many of the Catholic Clergy. She began working for Holy Spirit Parish in 1993 as church secretary. Her friendships continued to grow. She worked diligently over the years with Msgr. Lechner, Deacon Marvin Threatt, Linda, Patti, Carmen, Hattie and all the Holy Spirit staff, Chaffee, Martinez, Nguyen, Concepcion and many other families on church affairs and festivals until her retirement in 2004. She worked eleven years as secretary and over 33 years as a member in the parish. She continued to stay engaged with the Holy Spirit community until she was no longer able to attend mass, but she would smile and wave to parishioners from her window after Sunday masses.
While she was working at Holy Spirit Parish, she crossed paths with Mr. Robert Clinton Moss. She always had a smile, took time to say hello and chat with “Clint” her neighbor. Those simple chats grew to friendship and then to love. She married “Mr. M” on December 21, 2002, in Houston, Texas and moved into her Seifert Street home directly across from Holy Spirit Church. She continued to invite family and friends to visit and took many road trips with Clint as they traveled the beautiful California highways. She was a loving wife and caregiver for Clint throughout the remainder of his life even after he became ill and could no longer leave home.
She became friends ANYWHERE AND EVERYWHERE. She was a naturally loving person and NEVER met a stranger. She helped hundreds of people over years answering questions, finding jobs, lending money, sponsoring events, donating her time, making dinners, dancing, laughing with and loving everyone she met. She invited many people to her home where she welcomed them as her family. She “adopted” and “raised” many children over the years especially after one or more of their parents passed away including the Duncans, Ambrose Family, the De La Cerdas, Anna Martinez, Helen Porter, Greg Felder, the Todd Family, Lori and Robert Idlebird, Terri Doster and Yolanda Brooks just to name a few. She became “Nana” to her good friend’s daughter, Ros, after “adopting” her and her twin boys. She worked as a Nanny traveling back and forth to Los Angeles to stay thru the week raising Chase and Gavin Todd through their early years.
In her later years of life, Lorraine enjoyed travel to and from New Orleans, Las Vegas, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Monterey, Oakland, San Francisco, Walnut Creek, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, New York, Hampton, Cozumel, London, Rome, several cruises and more. To the end, she enjoyed “GOING.” She always had her purse and suitcase and was ready to go! She enjoyed eating out all over San Diego’s numerous restaurants, cafes, and bakeries. Ice cream remained one of her favorite things. She met Robert Wills when taking a computer class in 2008. They became good friends after they each became widows. She and Robert enjoyed getting together for ice cream and in his last days at the hospital, Lorraine met and pulled his family into her heart also. She continued to stay in contact with them over the years and met with them many times. Even after her stroke she would go out with the family many places, enjoyed meals and in grand finale of their day trips, go to Neiderfrank’s Ice Cream Parlor in National City with her additional family Joy Wills, Hope Wills, her husband Paul Eyklen, and their children.
Lorraine suffered a devastating stroke and brain hemorrhage on December 23, 2015. She was given three days to live by the medical team. Despite that event, she was strong and deeply faithful. She went through many episodes and trials. She was admitted and released from many hospitals, Castle Manor Nursing Home, Paradise Valley Stroke Rehab programs and several home health routine therapy programs and finally began Hospice treatment in January 2023. She had a kind and loving personality throughout it all and asked for return visits to see medical staff and friends she had met while in various places. At her beautiful home on the hill, she enjoyed phone calls, watching David Muir-ABC news, sunsets, and her Friday visits with her niece Debbie Garrett and BFF Nettie Elliott, visits from her friend Pia who always brought home-made Italian Frittata and cookies, and her dear treasures, Helen and her husband, Merle Porter who came routinely, picked her up for drives up the coast, grabbing a bite to eat, shopping, special talks and more. Helen was one of her many caregivers and loved her deeply over the years.
Her children and loving others meant everything to Lorraine. She could frequently be heard saying, “How are YOU doing” and “I love you with ALL my heart.” She made everyone feel like when she was talking to you, you were the ONLY one. She meant it. She had numerous relationships with children, family, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, friends and loved ones all over the world. She was known as Mom, Mama Lorraine, Miss B, Mrs. Bergeron, Aunt Lo, Aunt Lorraine, Auntie Love, Mrs. Moss, Mama B, Lo-Lo, My Little Sister, Tee, Sweet Lorraine, Lo, Aunt Reeny, Nana and Grammie! The truth is we all loved HER with our whole hearts. We know she has her angel wings now. We hope she will pray and put in a good word for each of us.
She loved daily mass, bringing communion to others, saying the rosary, driving, dressing up, shopping, flowers, hats, scarfs, dancing, talking on the phone, Mardi Gras, collecting nick-nacks, crosses, tea pots, angels, EVERYTHING purple, Creole food, Country music, Creole music, Christian music, music in general and many other things. She spoke English, Spanglish, Creole French, and a bit of broken Vietnamese. She loved life. She loved people. She loved giving and serving. The Bible, 1 Corinthians 13:13 states, “Now Faith, Hope and Love remain…and the greatest of these is Love”. Lorraine was the picture of Love.
Thank you to ALL the family, friends and loved ones who cared for, called, prayed, read to, brought food and visited Lorraine over the years. A special Thank You to all the Clergy, Medical Staff, Caregivers and Eucharistic Ministers who rose above and beyond in their assistance serving Lorraine over her most difficult times. Most sincere appreciation goes to: Pastor Dickens Remy, Bishop Blair and Pastor Helena Holloway, Chaplain Phil, Dr. Dorothy Hairston, Dr. Donna Crowley, Paradise Valley Medical Therapists: Jen and Carlyn, Guardian Angel Staff: Scott, Lindsey, Ming; Together and Lorian Hospice teams: Fabiola, Kaylie, Alexis, Private Practice Caregivers: Mari, Lia, Jetta, Icilma, Cheryl, IHSS Members: Liz, Bonnie, Personal Caregivers: Jaryba, Helen, Debbie, Robin, Eucharistic Ministers: Andy, Bonnie, The Allen, The Porter families and the many extended family members and other amazing individuals who were not mentioned by name but visited and provided support over the years.
She is survived by:
Children: Lori(Tracy Allen), Kenneth(Julie) Bergeron, Bernadette Bergeron, Stephan Bergeron
Grandchildren: Jovahn Bergeron, Jaylon Bergeron, Jerald(Connie)Lacy, Jordan Lacy, Hope Word, Alysha(Tony) Turner, Miles Allen
Great Grandchildren: Madelyn Lorraine Turner, Kysen Turner
Family: Debbie(Sterling) Garrett, the Duvernay, Cagnolatti, LeFore, Jeanne Families, Cynthia DeCoux, Pat Bergeron and many Bergeron nieces and nephews, Linda Ambrose Thomas, the Ambrose family and numerous other nieces, nephews, and extended family.
Ken Bergeron, Stephan Bergeron, Tracy Allen, Miles Allen, Merle Porter, Greg Felder
Reverend Otto Duncan, Ben Duncan, Roger Tilley, Reverend Ronald Southhall