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Honduras’ Next First Lady from La.

December 2, 1997

PINEVILLE, La. (AP) _ The next time Ben and Ruth Flake visit their daughter in Central America, it will be to see her become the first lady of Honduras.

``I’ll have to find me a designer original now. But this is a once in a lifetime thing,″ Mrs. Flake said.

The Flakes’ daughter, Mary, is married to Carlos Flores Facusse, who on Sunday was elected president of Honduras. The inauguration is scheduled for next month.

The two met at Louisiana State University, where Mary Flores earned a degree in marketing and textiles and her future husband studied industrial engineering.

Married in 1973, they moved to Honduras where Flores Facusse took over a newspaper and became president of the Honduran Congress. He ran for president eight years ago and lost.

Mrs. Flake said her 18-year-old grandson, Carlos, a student at Georgia Tech, was in Tegucigalpa, the nation’s capital, for Sunday’s election and sent hourly e-mail messages to let the family know how it was going.

Mary called Monday night to tell her parents that the second time was the charm.

``It’s been a long, drawn-out thing for them. I think she was tired and relieved,″ Mrs. Flake said.

So, what sort of first lady will Honduras have?

``She’s very reserved, very considerate,″ her mother said. ``Being the eldest of seven children, she just has that kind of instinct.″

Her daughter also seems to have a knack for politics.

About a month ago, Flores Facusse, 47, was injured in a helicopter crash, keeping him from the campaign trail for three weeks. Mrs. Flores toured the country, campaigning hard for her recuperating husband.

In addition to Carlos, the Floreses have a daughter, Lizzy, 23, and a grandson, Carlos Reina, 4.

Although some news reports have described Flores Facusse as aloof and aristocratic, his father-in-law said, ``I don’t find him like that.″

Added Ben Flake: ``I hope he can do something to improve the economy and reduce poverty.″