Hurricane Katrina

Helen Lang, 72, Pass Christian

At age 22, Helen Roberts Lang fulfilled her childhood dream of becoming a nun, but in her mid-30s she made a life change and became a full-time elementary school teacher.

Over the years, she taught in Vicksburg, Biloxi and Pass Christian, her longtime city of residence.

"She loved children, but never had any of her own," said her sister, Hazel Roberts Aucoin. "Her nieces and nephews were her children. She was forever buying the little ones something."

Helen met Nelson Lang when she moved back from her Vicksburg teaching job, and in the early stages of their relationship, she helped him renovate a family home. Dancing, children (though they had none of their own) and Mardi Gras were important in their shared life.

"She loved her teaching, and she loved Nelson Lang very much," Aucoin said.

Nelson and Helen, 72, had been married for 25 years when they died together in Hurricane Katrina.