Andre Gabriel Francois Delacroix, beloved Family Man, Chef and Friend, passed away to his heavenly home July 22, 2023
Andre was born December 28,1951 to Gabriel Leon Henri Delacroix and Louise Kotzinba Delacroix in Tricot, a small village located in northern France.
Fondly called DeDe by family & friends, he was baptized into the Catholic faith at Assumption of Our Lady Church in Tricot; and later, in that same church, reaffirmed his faith & served as altar boy.
Never one to care for classroom studies, DeDe became an apprentice into the world of French cuisine at the early age of 14 and he never looked back. At age 18, he served his one-year enlistment in the French army, assigned as specialist de cuisinier, of course!
Obviously, the world of food was the right path for him as he was plainly meant to be a chef. His love of travel & adventure found him working & playing in exotic locations around the world – places like Italy, Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean & Africa. It was in Tangiers, Morocco that fate intervened; he met his future wife Sandy there in 1977. They married in Houston in 1978 – a loving match that continued for 45 years. He was unable to legally work in the States until he met a few visa requirements; one of those was speaking English so he went right into classes & did a great job! Soon after, he started work with the Four Seasons Hotel-Houston and continued there for a number of years. Weekends so often found him in Burton at the Tiemann family farm - those were his favorite times, especially after the birth of Christian & Sophie; family time spent fishing, gardening, just enjoying outdoor life and yes, even dining out at the Brazos Belle!
Fate once again intervened when he asked a local realtor to find a small piece of Burton farmland to purchase; just by chance she mentioned that the Belle is for sale – wouldn’t you like to look at it ?
Of course, he was interested and actually made an offer that same day! The purchase of his beloved Brazos Belle finalized in 1989. He opened his restaurant in 1994 but he also continued to work in Houston for a number of years. He worried that he could not support his family with a weekend only restaurant. So, he worked in Houston Monday thru Thursday; and headed for Burton Thursday afternoon taking along all the special foods & supplies he needed, plus favorite dog, Bayley. Once there, he worked Thursday night thru Sunday night, then headed back to Houston to start the whole thing over again. He did this for years until finally he realized it was okay; it had worked - he had made a popular and successful restaurant! The rest is his very unique history which is well-known and loved by so many.
Andre had a passion for the outdoors. He knew every tree on his Burton farm, including his beloved olive grove. He cultivated plants & gave them as gifts. His immaculate vegetable & herb gardens provided wonderful seasonal produce for his menu and family. He was a snake hunter extreme, releasing most but never a copperhead! Numerous beloved pets filled his life, especially his horses, dogs, and chickens. He loved the birds living in Texas, in particular bluebirds, purple martins, woodpeckers, scissortails, hawks and more recently, the bald eagle pair that nested annually in his trees. In his younger years, he was an expert skier in the French Alps & Colorado. He loved to sail & water ski. He was a windsurfer even before it became popular in Texas. A daily walk about his land happened every evening except when the Belle was open. And he was often accompanied by a combination of wife, kids, dogs, nosy horses, and more recently by grandson Jack.
But, above all else, Andre had the love of family within him. It was important to him that Christian & Sophie knew their French family and that they speak French; many summer vacations were spent in France doing just that. The birth of Jack Andre added another layer of love & they had such a close bond. Over the years, he was a father figure to many young people (my kids as he called them) who worked alongside him at the Belle, learning the importance of a good work ethic. His was a wonderful life, so well-lived. He was a kind man with a big heart, an open mind and always a beautiful smile.
He is preceded in death by his parents and a brother Francois, and by his beloved in-laws Clarence & Frances. He is survived by his wife Sandy, son Christian, daughter Sophie & husband Justin, grandson Jack Andre, two sisters, Marie-Line & Marie-France; brothers-in-law James, Terry & Patrick; numerous nieces & nephews. Long-time friends include Steve and Carmen, Paige, Kay & neighbor Dago; and of course our devoted Belle family members Jackie, Chelsea, Karen, Hannah, Lizzie, Rachel, Avery, Karris & Tyler.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 11:00 am at St John’s United Church of Christ, 516 North Colorado St Burton, Tx 77835 on Saturday, August 19, 2023 Visitation with the family @10:00am; prior to service.
Andre’s wish was to be cremated with his ashes returning to places he loved in France & on his Burton farm.
Special thanks to the amazing staff of Hospice Brazos Valley for the love, care & compassion shown Andre & family over the past weeks.
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials be made to either:
Hospice Brazos Valley www.hospicebrazosvalley.org
True Blue Animal Rescue www.t-bar.org