Katrina + 10

Connie Frymire, 53, Bay St Louis

It seems taking care of others was more important to Connie Frymire than taking care of herself.

"She was a caregiver for the elderly," said her partner of 16 years, Wilbur Lafleur, "and she cared about the parrot and the dog --- we both did."

Frymire's need to take care of those pets made her stay at the Lakeshore home she shared with Lafleur, and she died there when Hurricane Katrina wiped that Hancock County community clean on Aug. 29.

She was 52 "and would have been 53 on Nov. 3," says Lafleur.

"She liked caring for the grandbabies --- she must have had nine, but then, she had five children --- and she helped me in my nursery business," says Lafleur, who also remembers she was a fan, as he is, of "that good ol' '50s music."

"She was a great partner," he says.

"I tried, some of her friends tried, too, to get her to leave, but she said she didn't want to go through another evacuation."

They found her just days after the storm, and Lafleur says they shipped some of her ashes back to Illinois, where she was from, "and we spread the rest here in our rose garden."