Remembering Ludovic ‘Bibi’ Blain, Jr., carpet mechanic and beloved Grandpa

Blain was known as the “Grandpa” of his grandson TiLu’s elementary class at the Sylvia Mendez Elementary School.

Ludovic “Bibi” Joseph Blain, Jr. Credit: The Blain family

Ludovic “Bibi” Blain, Jr. was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on July 27, 1936. He left Haiti in the early 1960s, traveling first to Jamaica to learn to speak English, and then to the United States. He died on July 2 at age 84.

Bibi fell in love and married Cheryl Anglin from Harlem, New York; they made their home in the Bronx. Their one child, son and namesake Ludovic Joseph Blain III entered their lives in 1970. The couple divorced in 1976. He remarried to Remedios “Joji” Villacorta in 1978 and the couple lived in Greenwich Village. Ludovic Jr. became a naturalized American citizen in 1979. Bibi worked as a carpet mechanic, laying carpet with precision and pride for decades.

Joji died in 2013 and Bibi became a widower. Stepdaughter Gina Villacorta-Cuff took great care of Bibi for two years. In 2015, at the behest of family, Bibi agreed to leave his beloved New York. For six months, he lived in Haiti with his brother, Naudi, and his wonderful partner, Gladys. While there he was able to say goodbye to his ill sister Winnie. While Bibi was in Haiti, his son, Ludovic III, daughter-in-law, Maria Gracia, and grandson, Ludovic “TiLu” IV visited and had an epic experience, which we fondly know was a special moment with the three generations of Ludovics in Haiti together. Bibi eventually moved to Berkeley to live with his Berkeley family. 

During his six years in California, he was proud to be able to help care for his family, while also receiving the care he needed. When new friends asked what he did, he responded, “I look after my grandson.” He walked TiLu to school most days, bonding with the students, the parents, the librarian, the farmer, the custodian, the principal, the teachers and the bus drivers. He was known as the “Grandpa” of his grandson TiLu’s elementary class at the Sylvia Mendez Elementary School. TiLu had Grandpa time every day for over six years. Despite his declining health, entering hospice care and needing a wheelchair Bibi was motivated to make it to Tilu’s elementary school graduation. On June 2, outdoor, socially distanced and masked, we were blessed to celebrate that milestone as a proud multigenerational family unit. He beamed with pride that day and relished seeing so many friends that he had sorely missed during the isolation of the pandemic.

Ludovic Joseph Blain, Jr. is survived by his siblings, including Nadine and Arnaud “Naudi”; his son, Ludovic J. Blain III (Maria Gracia); grandson, TiLu; stepchildren, Ed Villacorta (Vicky), Danny Villacorta and Cecile (Antonio Tong); stepson-in-law, Robert Cuff (Gina); and step-grandchildren, Miguel, Richard, Patrick, and Christine; nephews, Jean (MariJose), Ronald (Lucinda), Reginald (Mandy), Patrick, Roland, and Guy-Serge; nieces, Raina, Sabrina, Jocelline, Jacqueline, Jozianne and Jessie; grand-nephews Derek, Brandon-Pierre, Tiago and Matthieu; and grand-nieces, Morgan, Brigitte, Savannah, Arianne and Briana.

Bibi was predeceased by his ex-wife, Cheryl, wife, Remedios “Joji” Blain, brother, Roland Corvington, sisters, Rolande Bazile and Winnie Pompilus, and stepdaughter, Gina Villacorta-Cuff.

The family will host a virtual online funeral on July 31. If you would like an invitation please email ludovicspeaks@gmail.com. Condolences can be mailed to The Blain-Galvez Family:

2916 Lorina Street
Berkeley, CA 94705