Hurricane Katrina

Marie Knoblock, 63, Bay St. Louis

A miniature African violet sat on her Bay St. Louis kitchen sill, a tiny hint of one of Marie Knoblock's big passions. After her house was no longer wall-to-wall plants, she continued to be a member of the American African Violet Association.

"People would call her up for advice," said daughter Kim Knoblock. "At one time, there were African violets everywhere in the house, in aquariums, on plant stands. That was our mother, extreme in anything she did, be it her art, her exotic reptiles, saltwater fish, her love of chow-chows.

"Whatever she did, she would become an expert at it."

That included nursing. The 64-year-old who moved here from New Orleans came from a long line of nurses --- her mother and aunts --- and continued that tradition with her own daughters. Before retiring, the LPN specialized in private nursing and home health care, and found even more passion and patience with the one-on-one of older patients.

The children persuaded her to move from Shoreline because she was widowed and because of hurricanes. Knoblock thought she'd found a safe, farther-from-the-water, Camille-survivor house on Corinth Drive. Katrina proved otherwise for her and her last African violet.