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Sunday, October 18, 1998 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Music, Church, Charity Filled The Life Of Lucille Lombard

Seattle Times Staff Reporter

Lucille Douroux Lombard's life began and ended with music.

Growing up in Algiers, La., a suburb of New Orleans, she played piano at church at age 14.

Then in 1979, after the death of her husband of 49 years, Louis Lombard, she was back playing in church again, helping introduce black musicians and gospel choirs to Catholic churches in Seattle, notably Immaculate Conception Parish.

Mrs. Lombard, who could whip up a savory gumbo, donated her musical accompaniment at weddings, funerals and Masses. She frequently played with the Immaculate Conception Gospel Choir, which sang at schools throughout the Seattle area.

"She broke ground in a lot of areas," said her daughter Chermaine Hayes of Seattle. "She worked as a sales clerk at The Bon Marche and at Woolworth's. She was one of The Bon's first black clerks."

She advocated racial harmony and justice through the St. Peter Claver Interracial Center and the Black Catholic Lay Caucus, which encouraged recruitment of black Catholic priests. She also was a founding member of St. Martin de Porres Guild, which raised money for black students in parochial schools.

"But she was not a flashy person," Hayes said. "She was very sensitive and kind. You're just blessed to have a mother like her."

Mrs. Lombard died last Monday (Oct. 12) of complications from surgery. She was 88.

She always had had music in the home and a piano in the parlor.

"Her parents were musicians, her sister Dolly Adams is in the Jazz Hall of Fame in New Orleans, and her uncle, professor Manuel Manetta, was a well-known musician and teacher," Hayes said.

Mrs. Lombard moved to Seattle in 1943. She worked hard and dedicated herself to the ideals of simplicity, humility and charity typified by fellow members of the Third Order of St. Francis of Assisi.

She also taught music, from classical to Dixieland.

"She was amazing," said her daughter Mona Lombard of Oakland, Calif. "When she was in Algiers (La.), she was an organist for silent movies. In Seattle she appeared as an extra in the TV movie on Jackie Onassis.

"And she loved to dance. She said it was impossible to dance and feel sad at the same time."

Other survivors include her children Leonella Mischeaux of Oakland, Randall Lombard and Darrell Lombard of Seattle, and Lawrence Lombard of Kent; her sister, Gladys Fredricks of Los Angeles; 20 grandchildren; and 30 great-grandchildren.

Services have been held. Remembrances may go to St. Martin de Porres Guild, c/o Immaculate Conception Church, 820 18th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122.

Carole Beers' phone message number is 206-464-2391. Her e-mail address is: cbeers@seattletimes.com

Copyright (c) 1998 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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