Thursday, February 23, 2017, at 12 noon
St. Joseph Cathedral Parish Hall
Mrs. Donna Hutto Edwards
First Lady of the State of Louisiana
“A Childlike Faith”
Donna Hutto Edwards, First Lady of the State of Louisiana, was born in Meridian, Mississippi. Donna’s family moved to Amite, Louisiana, when she was in middle school. It was then that she met her future husband, John Bel Edwards. Donna and John Bel became high school sweethearts at Amite High School. John Bel graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and Donna graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. Upon John Bel’s graduation from West Point and Ranger School, they married in 1989. John Bel was posted to active duty as an Army Infantry Airborne Ranger, and during that time they served eight years as a military family. Donna volunteered regularly with the wives’ group that supported the families of those serving in the Army. Her service focused on supporting families during the spouse’s deployment.
Donna and John Bel will be celebrating their 28th anniversary of marriage this year. Their children are Samantha Edwards Ricau (Jonathan), Sarah Ellen Edwards and John Miller Edwards. While raising children and being active in community organizations, school and church groups, Donna became a certified teacher. She taught music for over eight years in the same public school system from which she and John Bel both graduated.
Donna was raised in the United Methodist Church and was always active in the youth group. After marrying John Bel, she became Catholic. She taught catechism for 25 years. She was youth coordinator in her parish for three years and took the older youth groups on many trips and retreats around the country. Donna has a deep, abiding love for her faith and seeks opportunities to share her love for Christ. She relies on her faith and prayer to strengthen her and carry her through life. One of her favorite quotes is, “Preach the Gospel at all times and if necessary use words”.
As the first lady, Donna has reestablished the Governor’s Mansion Preservation Foundation. She is involved in many initiatives including foster care, human trafficking, Keep Louisiana Beautiful, and recycling. She continues to advocate for teachers, public education, and music and arts education in Louisiana.
WOMEN IN SPIRIT is an interfaith gathering for women seeking spiritual growth and sharing new and affirming perspectives on faith in everyday life. Offering a welcoming haven from the stresses of office or home, monthly programs include a complimentary lunch with time for networking with other women who represent a spectrum of ethnic origins and religious affiliations. Please let us know you’re coming by emailing email@example.com or calling the Parish Office at 225-387-5928.