Richard J. Hebert, Sr.

Thursday, September 12, 2019
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Richard Joseph Hebert, 93, passed away peacefully Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, surrounded by his five daughters, joining his wife and son in eternal rest.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held at Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, at 1 p.m., with Father Charles McMillian officiating.

The Hebert family requests visitation be held Friday, Sept. 13, 2019, from 4-9 p.m., with a Cursillo Rosary at 6 p.m. Visitation will resume Saturday, Sept. 14, from 9 a.m. until his funeral mass.

He will be laid to rest in Calvary Mausoleum with full military rites.

Richard’s most treasured legacies are the lessons and memories of a long and full life distinguished by giving more than receiving. Richard was born in Jennings on June 10, 1926, to the late Annette Houssiere Hebert and Israel L. Hebert, the fourth and youngest son in a family of seven children.

He attended public school in Jennings, followed by high school at St. Stanislaus in Bay St. Louis, Miss., where he graduated in 1943. Richard was drafted into the U.S. Army in September 1944 where he served as a medic at the 248th General Hospital in Manila, Philippines, and with the 148th Infantry Regiment during the Luzon Campaign. Wounded while serving as a field medic in the Battle of Luzon, he was a recipient of the Purple Heart and Bronze Star Medal. He was part of the “Greatest Generation” and, like so many of his time, was proud to serve the nation when called to action and his local community in peacetime. In 2007, he flew as an Honor Air passenger to Washington, D.C., accompanied by Senator Bob Dole.

After his military discharge in 1946 he applied for the GI Bill, only to be informed that test results indicated a religious proficiency and a recommendation to attend a protestant seminary. Instead, wanting to continue in a career of attending to others in need, he chose to attend Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala., intending to pursue a degree in pre-med and a career in medicine. While attending Spring Hill he was active in Catholic mission outreach in small communities surrounding Mobile. It was there that his cousin, Robert Houssiere, recruited him to “chauffeur” and chaperone a young Mobile religious instructor. Bettye Houck soon became his sweetheart, wife and lifelong love. “Courting” continued until his graduation from Spring Hill and Richard and Bettye married Sept. 2, 1950, in Mobile.

Upon applying for medical school, he was informed by the dean that he first needed to complete a few more English credits. Procrastination not being in his vocabulary, he graciously informed the dean that he would be applying to and was accepted into Loyola pharmacy school in New Orleans, where he and Bettye began their family.

Upon completing pharmacy school he returned to Jennings to begin his career. In the mid-50’s he purchased Lynn’s Drug Store, owning and operating the business serving the Jennings community until his retirement in 1981. Following retirement, he continued working as a relief pharmacist across southwest Louisiana.

His life was a neverending devotion to family and faith. Richard was committed to Catholic education, serving on the board of St. Maria Goretti High School. He was a Grand Knight in the Knights of Columbus, past president of the Serra Club and member of the Holy Sepulchre. He and Bettye also served as eucharistic ministers and altar server coordinators for years at his parish of Our Lady Help of Christians.

His love of sports incorporated a combination of Notre Dame Fighting Irish Blue and Gold and the San Francisco Giants Orange and Black, with the world coming to a near standstill at game time. During the off-seasons, he enjoyed the occasional fishing outing with family. This included a memorable fishing expedition to the Lake of the Ozarks in celebration of his 90th birthday, where he was accompanied by his children, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren.

Following emergency cardiac surgery and an extended recovery in early 2018, Richard spent the past year cherishing time with his family and friends. The new lease on life provided by the surgery allowed him to enjoy so many activities, such as traveling to New Orleans to watch his grandson play in the Louisiana state high school championship football game. He regularly attended mass, dined out with family and played cards every Friday with “old” friends. For that, the family is so thankful to the doctors and staff at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center-Houston, LA Hospice and Palliative Care, Harbor Hospice and his wonderful in-home caregivers.

Richard is survived by five daughters, Michelle (Herman) Monceaux of Lake Charles, Anne Louise (Dale) Monceaux of Loveland, Ohio, Dionne (Doug) Sharp of Lawrenceville, Ga., Lisa (Wayne) Reed of Cleveland, Ga., and Laurie (Randy) Fear of Welsh; daughter-in-law, Shelby of Welsh; his sisters, Gertrude Dumesnil of Lafayette and Therese Mire of Lafayette; his 14 grandchildren, Bennett and Brandon Monceaux, Andrea M. Ward, Genevieve M. Smith, Adam, Alex and Catherine Monceaux, Jacques, Madeleine, Emily, Abigail and Maxwell Hebert and Tyler and Harrison Reed; and 13 great-grandchildren, David and Cameron Monceaux, Adrienne, Elizabeth and Joseph Ward, Eibhlin and Keating Monceaux, Zoe and Ethan Missar, Harper and Alex Smith and Gregory and Dylan Colson.

Pallbearers will be grandsons Bennett and Brandon Monceaux, Adam and Alex Monceaux, Tyler and Harrison Reed and Jacques and Max Hebert.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Our Lady Immaculate School Hebert Scholarship and Camp Karol of St. Charles Center in Lake Charles.

To extend online condolences, please visit www.matthewsandsonfuneralhome.net.

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