In Memory of




Obituary for Laura Mae Hardester

Dr. Laura Mae Hardester, age 89, professor emeritus of Biology at Southern University at New Orleans, entered into eternal rest on Sunday, January 22, 2023. Laura Mae was the first born to the union of the late Anthony, Sr. and Mary Antoine Hardester on January 13, 1934 in New Orleans, LA. She attended Medard H. Nelson Elementary School and Joseph S. Clark Senior High School. She continued her education at Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA, where she obtained her bachelor's degree in Biology in 1958. She attended Tuskegee University, formerly known as Tuskegee Institute and received her Master's Degree in Biology in 1965. She concluded her academic studies at the University of Pittsburgh and was awarded a Ph.D. in Biology in 1974. Laura Mae joined the faculty at Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO) as one of the first female instructors in the Department of Biology in 1961 and retired in 2008. As an advocate for education, especially higher education, Laura Mae devoted herself to ensuring that African American students received equitable educational opportunities. Laura Mae was a devoted member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated for 66 years. As a Christian woman, she was a lifelong member of Mount Zion United Methodist Church. Laura Mae is survived by loving and devoted siblings, Marion Hardester and Anthony Hardester, Jr.; niece, Tassin J. Idewu (Wakeel Sr.); great-nephew, Wakeel I.A. Idewu, Ph.D. (Roslyn); great-niece, Toyin N. Idewu; great-great-nephews, Corban, Titus and Ezra Idewu; great-great-niece, Moriah Idewu and a host of other relatives, friends, former students and sorors. In addition to her parents, Dr. Hardester is also preceded in death by her sister, Annabell Hardester Jourdan. All relatives, friends and church members; former and current faculty, staff and students of Southern University at New Orleans and Southern University Baton Rouge; Members of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated; Employees of Lighthouse for the Blind, Inc., Orleans Parish Criminal District Court and New Orleans Public Schools are invited to attend the funeral. A Home Going celebration honoring the life and legacy of the late Dr. Laura Mae Hardester will be held at Mount Zion United Methodist Church, 2722 Louisiana Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70115 on Saturday, February 4, 2023 at 10 am, Reverend Ronald J. Southall, Officiating. The Omega Rho Ceremony will begin at 8:30 am. Visitation will begin at 9 am in the church. Interment Lake Lawn Metairie Cemetery, 5100 Pontchartrain Blvd., Metairie, LA 70124. Due to Covid variants, face masks and social distancing strongly encouraged. Please sign online guest book at Charbonnet Labat Glapion, Directors (504) 581-4411.

Published by The Times-Picayune on Feb. 2, 2023.