Terry James Clément

Tuesday, July 9, 2019
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Terry James Clément passed away July 5, 2019, in his residence.

A Mass of Christian Burial for Terry James Clement, 85, of Evangeline was held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Evangeline on Monday, July 8, 2019, at 11:30 a.m., with Father Paul LaFleur officiating.

A gathering of family and friends was held at Matthews and Son Funeral Home in Jennings on Monday, July 8, 2019, from 9 a.m., with a Rosary recited at 10 a.m. and continuing until his Mass at 11:30 a.m.

Burial followed St. Joseph Cemetery.

Terry was born May 5, 1934, the sixth of nine children for Laurent and Ada Clément.

Terry fell in love with French music at a very early age and in 1949 formed his first band, Terry Clément and his Rhythmic Five, with brother Purvis and brother-in-law, Ronnie Goodreau. He would go on to form the Tune Tones and finally, when younger brother Grant was old enough to join, he formed The Clément Brothers band.

In 1952, Terry and Purvis were riding in a pickup truck to a show in Holly Beach when they decided they were going to make a record. The two of them played around with some catchy tunes and lyrics and the following week, “Diggy Liggy Lo” was recorded in Crowley. They continued to play music around the country and in 1993 they were inducted into the Louisiana Hall of Fame and presented the “Prix De Pionnier” award in 2002 by the Cajun French Music Association.

Terry received a bachelor of science degree in agriculture from LSU in 1957 and was an avid LSU fan. You could often spot him on a Saturday Night at LSU stadium proudly wearing his custom-made Tiger “Fur” sport coat cheering on his “Little” Tigers.

Terry retired from the United States Department of Agriculture in 1989 after 32 years of service as a soil conservationist, often traveling to foreign countries to assist in developing their agricultural programs. He was recognized by the USDA for his outstanding performance above and beyond his assigned duties with a Meritorious Service Award in 1977.

Terry was an avid horticulturist and enjoyed tending to his garden and many fruit trees. He also spent many hours in his wood shop creating a variety of wooden toys and furniture for friends and family.

Terry was a man of deep faith and moral values that he lived out in his daily life. He demonstrated kindness, love, mercy and benevolence to anyone he met. He truly would care for the least of these. Terry was devoted to his children and instilled his values and work ethic in them. He was deeply proud of his family and his family heritage, and passed this down to his children. Not many days went by without him bringing up stories to his children, of his grandfather, Jules. He preserved his legacy and passed this passion to his family.

He was president of the Jules Clement Corporation and fought to preserve the rightful legacy of Evangeline being the birthplace of Louisiana oil. He spent uncountable days digging in the old oilfield adding to his collection of bottles and artifacts, a task his children weren’t too fond of in the Louisiana heat, but all proud of his family legacy.

Left to cherish his memories are son Jules Clay (Sharon); daughters Anissa (Larry), Lisa Mullett (Matt) and Angela LeJeune (Kyle); brother Grant (Diane) and sister Carita Goodreau (Ronnie); grandchildren Bradley, Abby, Jack, Madison and Bennet; plus a multitude of nieces and nephews.

Terry was preceded in death by his parents Laurent and Ada; sisters Audrey, Melba, Thelma (Tilly) and Cecile; and brothers Hubert Sr., and Purvis.