Cover photo for Sarah Domingue Wingo Spence's Obituary
Sarah Domingue Wingo Spence Profile Photo
1933 Sarah 2024

Sarah Domingue Wingo Spence

May 14, 1933 — April 1, 2024

Sarah was born in Lafayette, Louisiana on May 14, 1933, to Oran Antoine Domingue and Nola Richard Domingue, who pre-deceased her. Her husbands Dr. Maurice Ross Wingo and Lee Russell Spence pre-deceased her as well as her brother, Gerald Domingue; her sisters, Etta Domingue Barber and Nettie Domingue Trahan; her great-granddaughter Luna Marie Allen; and her step daughter-in-law, Serena Spence.

She is survived by her six children, Diane Wingo, James Byron Wingo (Theresa Mysing), Camille Wingo, Melanie W. Hughes (Randy), Maurice Ross Wingo II (Eleesa Almand), Stella W. Hillegass (Carl). She is also survived by twelve grandchildren, Sarah B. Melody (Dave), Stewart Burns (Charlotte), Molly A. Gentry (Robby), Samuel Allen (Jenn Bocardo), Marissa H. Bottcher (Sean), Monica H. Smith (Charles), Hampton Hughes (Hannah Camilleri), Maurice Ross Wingo III (Lauren Brown), Eleanor Wingo (Alex May), Ronald Carl Hillegass III, Sarah Margaret Hillegass, and George Hillegass. She is also survived by her fifteen great-grandchildren: Callie Beth, Sadie, Emma, Madeleine, Caroline, Abigail and Hannah Gentry; Oscar James Melody; Mikaela and Madison Bottcher; Abby and Lucy Smith; Oliver Hughes; Lillian Wingo and Cullen May. Additionally, she is survived by her brothers, Richard and Ronnie Domingue. Three stepchildren survive her: Lynn S. Vandenesse, Thomas Spence, and Cary Lee Spence (Elizabeth); nine step-grandchildren survive her: Kevin Spence (Casey); Dallas Spence (Regan), Lydia Spence, Grace Spence, Anleigh Caldwell, Ashley Dickerson, Arthur Vandenesse (Raquel), Alexander Vandenesse, Max Vandenesse, and seven step great-grandchildren.

Sarah graduated as valedictorian of her class from Scott High School and attended Southwestern Louisiana Institute (now ULL). Later in life, Sarah returned to school and completed a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in English at Southeastern Louisiana University as well as a Master of Arts in English Education at University of New Orleans. She took a Doctorate of Philosophy at Louisiana State University.

 In December of 1951, Sarah was married to Dr. Maurice Ross Wingo. Sarah and Maurice lived in Scott, Louisiana, then moved to the Wingo Family Ranch in Plainview, Texas, and subsequently to New Orleans, Louisiana. During this time, they welcomed their first five children. The family then moved in 1960 to a family home, Windom, on Scenic Drive on the Gulf of Mexico in Pass Christian, Mississippi, where they welcomed their sixth child and where the children were raised. Sarah and Maurice were particularly fond of hosting Sunday evening tennis matches for their friends and neighbors, and Sarah’s lifelong love of the game was born. After Hurricane Camille and the death Maurice in 1969, Sarah and Lee R. Spence were married and continued to live in the Pass until they moved to Louisiana in 1977. There, Sarah taught at Southeastern Louisiana University as an Associate Professor of English and was active in the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, for which she served as president. She was a charter member of Pi Delta Phi, the French Honor Society and served as its first president. Sarah was active in the yearly conferences of the South Central Society of Eighteenth Century Studies where she presented papers annually. She retired in 2008, after twenty-eight years of teaching and also serving as a Department Chair for a number of those years.

After her retirement, Sarah continued teaching English at St. Joseph Seminary College in Covington, Louisiana. Her work there held a special place in her heart, and she enjoyed hosting the young seminarians to her home each Christmas season for dinner. Sarah was active at St. Anselm Catholic Church in Madisonville, where she was a lector and a member of the choir. She belonged to the writing group, Inklings, for years and was also a member of the Northshore Literary Society. In 2017, she published a novel, For the Duration, a work of historical fiction set in WWII southern Louisiana and France.

Sarah and Lee enjoyed boating on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Tchefuncte River and Lake Pontchartrain, where they entertained family and friends. They were avid tennis players for fifty years, participating in tennis camps many summers. They enjoyed traveling, both in Europe and the American West, always seeking out a ballroom for dancing whenever possible.

Following the loss of Lee in 2021, Sarah moved from Mandeville, Louisiana to Dallas, Texas, the home of many of her children and grandchildren and their spouses – as well as great-grandchildren. The last two years of her life were filled with newfound friends, family visits and numerous activities that kept her young. She served as director of the Library at The Forum at Park Lane, keeping her charge well-organized and well-dusted. Sarah stepped on to the tennis court for the last time a week before her passing and was working on a memoir at the time of her death.

A Vigil Service will be held at Christ the King Catholic Church, 8017 Preston Road in Park Cities, Dallas at 1:00 pm on Friday, April 5. Due to the Easter calendar, the Church cannot accept flower deliveries; please do not send flowers. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the American Heart Association at in the name of Sarah D. W. Spence. A graveside service and burial will take place on Wednesday, April 10 at 3:00 pm at the Wingo Family Plot at Live Oak Cemetery, 399-301 St. Louis Street in Pass Christian, MS.

Bradford O'Keefe Funeral Home, 15th Street, Gulfport, is honored to serve the family of Sarah Spence.

***Due to inclement weather, services for Wednesday, April 10, 2024 have been cancelled.***
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sarah Domingue Wingo Spence, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Starts at 3:00 pm (Central time)

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