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Erzulie Damus was the second eldest daughter born to the late Simon Alexandre and the late Eunora Fenelus- Archer on October 26, 1940 in Marchand, Dessalines Haiti. Erzulie attended Sacred Coeur Elementary School in Gonaives and L'Institition de Madame Boison Boarding School in Port au Prince. In 1965, at age 25 she left Haiti in pursuit of higher education, she attended Fashion Institute of Technology and graduated with a degree in pattern making. After completing her education, she returned to Haiti to marry the love of her life Claude Joseph Damus in 1968. They returned to the United States where their first residence was at 1717 Carroll Street in Brooklyn, New York. Later they moved to Uniondale, Long Island in 1974 where they raised their two daughters Nancy Ann and Claudy.
Erzulie worked many years for Ben Elias Fashion House in New York City before deciding to venture into entrepreneurship. On April 30, 1988 Erzulie and Claude Damus opened Claudy’s Beauty Supply in Uniondale, NY. Claudy’s Beauty Supply affectionately known as “the store” has become a staple in the Uniondale Community. Erzulie and Claude were the first Black Owned Beauty Supply in Nassau County; competitors emulated their business model as they were the first minority owned business to partner with Proctor and Gamble Wholesale Line of Clairol Products, a partnership that still exists today. Erzulie believed that success came to those who worked hard and pursued their dreams whether it was in education or entrepreneurship, she insisted that a portion of all sales must be put back in the community through grants and scholarships to the local high school. She was loved by all her customers and was known to give motherly advice quite often. You could always find her sitting by the door talking for hours to frequent shoppers who would stop by just to chat. Over 30 years, she gained several other children and grandchildren as she watched so many of her customers grow up and have families of their own.
Erzulie was a loving and nurturing wife, mother, aunt and grandmother affectionately known as “Nenene Zoule”. She was an avid gardener and had two gardens, one at the store and the other at her home. She would always bring the extra fruits and vegetables to her customers who looked forward to summer as they knew their treats would be ready and waiting. She enjoyed reading her newspaper from front to back, her scratch-offs and crossword puzzles. She loved watching ABC Nightly News, her favorites Cuomo Prime Time, American Idol and The Bachelor.
Erzulie is survived by her Children: Nancy Ann Nemorin, Son-in-Law Edgar Nemorin and Claudy Makelele, Son-in-law Miali Makelele; Grandchildren: Claude-Albert Makelele, Isabella-Raymonde Makelele and Sofia Madison Nemorin and her siblings: Marie Auz Alexandre, Raymonde Alexandre, Euphosy Alexandre- Montas, Margarett Alexandre, Miracienne Alexandre-Denis and a host of nieces and nephews.
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