Remembering Saundra Lee Belaire

Saundra Lee Belaire

A funeral mass for Saundra Lee Belaire, age 85 of Ruston, LA will be held at 12:00 PM, Saturday, January 28, 2023 at Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Lake Charles, LA with Father Sam Bond officiating. Burial will be in the Orange Grove Graceland Cemetery in Lake Charles.

Saundra was born January 31, 1937 in Lake Charles to Raima Inez and Morris James Belaire, and she passed peacefully from this life January 14, 2023 at her home in Ruston. She grew up in Lake Charles and attended St. Charles Academy and graduated from Lake Charles High School in 1955. Saundra attended her degree at the University of Southwestern Louisiana before commencing what she considered to be her greatest role in life, that of becoming a mother to three children and raising them with devotion and great love. That same love and devotion would carry on to be shared with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and she will forever be endeared to them as their “Mommie.”

Many years after raising her family, Saundra returned to college to complete a degree in education from McNeese State University. After graduation, she moved to Ruston to be near family, most especially her grandchildren. From there, Saundra would pursue a career as an outstanding educator at Cedar Creek Elementary School. During those years, she touched the lives of many children and shared with them her love of history, art and music.

She was an active member of St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church during the 30 years that she resided in Ruston. Saundra was preceded in death by her parents: Morris James Belaire, Sr., Inez Wilson Belaire and Juanita Taylor Belaire; brother Morris James “Bobby” Belaire, Jr.; sister Renee’ Belaire Terrell; and grandson Thomas Gray Stephens.

Saundra is survived by her son Bryan Cook and wife Suzanne; daughters Julie Cook and husband Steve Rogers and Susan Cook and husband Gray Stephens; grandchildren: Michael Rogers, Erin Rogers Blackburn, Jeffery Cook and wife Hillary, Anna Stephens and husband Steven Godfrey, John Stephens and wife Ashley, Laura Cook and husband Rob Lawrence and Katherine Stephens and husband Jesse Lambert; eleven great-grandchildren; sister Deborah Ann Belaire; and a host of nieces, nephews, family and friends.

The family wishes to extend a special gratitude to friend and caregiver Willie Mae Howard of Ruston.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the St. Vincent de Paul Society in your community or to a charity of your choice.

Visitation will be 11:00-12:00 PM, Saturday, January 28, 2023 at Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Lake Charles. To leave an online message for the family, please visit