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Memories & Candles

“You are the only person who made me believe I actually had a voice. The angels will be filling Heaven with more beautiful music now that you are...Read More »
1 of 19 | Posted by: Nancy Kennedy - Alexandria, LA

“Emma, one of my dearest friends. We had wonderful moments and wonderful successes. It was such an honor to be a part of your life. Rest now dear...Read More »
2 of 19 | Posted by: Darlene Brooks - Philadelphia, PA

“The Bottrell has you In our prayers. Richard,Sandi,Rhonda,Kelly and Micheal ”
3 of 19 | Posted by: Richard Bottrell - Friend

“Though I did not know her well, I always admired her energy and her striving for quality in everything. Her contribution to Menard back in those...Read More »
4 of 19 | Posted by: Jerry Touchton - Alexandria, LA

“RaeBell, I am so saddened by this news. I send you my deepest sympathy and want you to know that I remember Emma Rae with fondness. She was a "Rock...Read More »
5 of 19 | Posted by: Elizabeth Grigsby Reimer - Alvin, TX

“Wow... you look back at life and realize who had the most influences on you! ”
6 of 19 | Posted by: beth newcomb - Deville, LA

“There are few friends, mentors, coaches and cheerleaders who have graced my life like Emma Rae. She was one of a kind and I can still hear that rich...Read More »
7 of 19 | Posted by: Vikki Scarafiotti - Scottsdale, AZ

“There is hardly a High School memory without you in it! Your presence at Menard was larger than life. You taught us so much and pushed us to limits...Read More »
8 of 19 | Posted by: Terry Villemez - San Jose, CA

“There is hardly a High School memory without you in it! Your presence at Menard was larger than life. You taught us so much and pushed us to limits...Read More »
9 of 19 | Posted by: Terry Villemez - San Jose, CA

“EmmaRae could reveal the very best that you could be as a singer, a dancer, an actor, and as a person because she believed in you... you believed in...Read More »
10 of 19 | Posted by: Stephanie Shores Supple - LA

“Emma Rae was truly a great friend and fun person. She was the music director for the first musical that I was in , " Man of La Mancha " in 1970 . All...Read More »
11 of 19 | Posted by: Mike Marshall - Alexandria, LA

“What a special person: funny, smart, talented, hard-working, imaginative. Emma and I go back a long, long way. We were Rainbow Girls together back...Read More »
12 of 19 | Posted by: JoAnn Kellogg - Alexandria, LA

“Thanks for the memories Ms. Petrus, you will be missed. ”
13 of 19 | Posted by: Linda M. Drake - Kingwood, TX

“I'll never forget you. Your essence will live forever! You are bigger than life. I see you scooting across that stage in so many performances! ...Read More »
14 of 19 | Posted by: Patti Powell Couvillion - LA

“I only had her as a teacher in high school for a year and a half, but learned a tremendous amount about singing and performing!! Those lessons are...Read More »
15 of 19 | Posted by: Adam McNicoll - Denham Springs, LA

“Wishing all the family and friends, Peace and Sympathy. She demanded the best and gave the most. Such a talented woman. We were blessed to have her...Read More »
16 of 19 | Posted by: Toni Distefano Stroud - Dallas, TX

“Marcia and I are so sorry to hear of EmmaRae's passing. I have wonderful memories of all the great fishing trips and fish frys she had in Pineville...Read More »
17 of 19 | Posted by: Joe and Marcia Duval - Clintgon, IA

“We are so saddened by EmmaRae's passing. Another great loss for our music family. The highlight of my life was doing shows with EmmaRae and I am sure...Read More »
18 of 19 | Posted by: Gail H. Roach - Alexandria, LA

“God ended her suffering and she is in a much better place. She is looking her best up in Heaven. When she would come to the beauty shop and I was...Read More »
19 of 19 | Posted by: Marcome Yates - Alexandria, LA


Emma Rae O'Neal Petrus

A Mass of Christian Burial for Emma Rae O'Neal Petrus will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, January 29, 2013, in St. Rita Catholic Church, with Rev. Craig Scott officiating. Interment will be in Greenwood Memorial Park, Pineville under the direction of John Kramer & Son.

Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. Monday and from 8:30 a.m. until 10 a.m. Tuesday at John Kramer & Son. Recitation of the Holy Rosary will be held at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the funeral home.

Emma Rae returned to God's arms peacefully on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at home with her loving husband at her side, after a long illness. Born on October 8, 1937, from a young age she showed a great gift for and love of music playing the piano and singing. Throughout her life, she shared those gifts both as a performer and teacher.

She attended LSU and Louisiana College and was awarded a Music Education degree in 1960. Her teaching career began at the junior high level and she eventually moved to Holy Savior Menard High School where she built an outstanding choral music program from scratch. In her 18 years at Menard, she also began producing and directing musical theater productions that drew large and enthusiastic audiences. Her greatest reward was to see the development of her students as they blossomed through the teamwork, dedication, and effort they put into the shows.

As much joy as she had teaching regular students, she was greatly enriched by teaching music therapy to special needs children at John Eskew Training Center.
As a performer, she sang as a guest soloist with the Rapides Symphony, performed leading roles in numerous Matinee Musical Club operas, and starred in many musicals at the Little Theater. At the theater she wore many hats including stage director, musical director, board member and president.
After retiring from the educational field she started two small businesses, Petrus Lawn and Shrub and Custom Christmas, which she ran until illness forced her retirement.

She was preceded in death by her parents, William Rogers Warner and RaeBelle Warner.

Those left to cherish her memory include her husband of 30 years, Thomas Petrus, her son William Mitchell O'Neal and his wife Rebecca, her granddaughter, Michelle O'Neal Butler and her husband Kirby ,two grandsons, Will and Andrew O'Neal, and EmmaRae's sister, Rae Belle Warner Adams and her husband Kenneth and three nephews.

Pallberers will be Will O'Neal, Andrew O'Neal, Jimmy Touchet, John Rino, Joel Petrus, and Kirby Butler

The family requests that memorials be made in EmmaRae's name to Holy Savior Menard High School, 4603 Coliseum Blvd. Alexandria, LA 71303 for the benefit of a performing arts scholarship in her name.

A special thanks goes to Dr Howard Wold and his staff, Journey Hospice, and to her sitter Mrs. Janice Dorsey, who lovingly cared for her.

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