Vermilion

Aug 22, 2013 12:37 PM

History buff Louviere earns Living Legends nod for cemetery efforts

Andy Perrin, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Acadian Museum, announced: On Saturday, September 7, 2013, at the Acadian Museum Café, 102 East Edwards, Erath, LA, at 4:00 p.m., the Acadian Museum will honor Donald Louviere by inducting him into the Order of Living Legends.

Don Louviere, a resident of Houston, Texas, was born on the 21st day of May 1946. Louviere joined the Navy in 1966 where he served as a gunner's mate on board the USS Topeka. In 1971, he received a B.B.A. in accounting from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. In 2003, Louviere retired from Cameron Iron Works where he worked as an accountant.

Louviere's passion for genealogy began in 1971 when he started researching his own ancestry. Together with his cousin, Sheila Louviere Sachitano, they produced three books on the D'Amours De Louvieres family. The books are currently housed in the Mormon [The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints] Library at Salt Lake City and is also available online.

In 2006, he went to the Historic St. Nicholas Church Cemetery in Patoutville to check on the tombs of his ancestors. While there, he noticed a sign placed by cemetery officials requesting assistance in locating descendants of tombs that were in a state of disrepair. He conferred with several relatives and friends in the New Iberia, Patoutville and Jeanerette areas who were interested in genealogy. As a result, a group named the Friends of Historic St. Nicholas Cemetery [FHSNC] was formed to locate descendants of the people buried there in order to help to repair the tombs. The effort was successful and many of the tombs were repaired.

The project encouraged Louviere to take further actions to develop location maps and photos of the tombs in other historic cemeteries. He enlisted the assistance of several members of the FHSNC and began to map and photograph the tombs beginning with the Historic St. Nicholas Cemetery. He then expanded the efforts to other local cemeteries, thus providing other church-owned cemeteries with the much-needed listings of graves and maps.

Since Louviere's goal is the preservation of the photos for future generations, he began to seek a permanent repository for the materials. He discussed the need with a member of the FHSNC who suggested that it be presented to the Acadian Museum in Erath which commemorates and honors the Acadian heritage and Cajun people of Louisiana. Warren A. Perrin, Chairman of the board of directors, presented the project to the Acadian Museum board which agreed to provide an online repository on the Acadian Museum website and an onsite repository in the Acadian Museum in Erath of the photos on USB drives. The Acadian Museum website entry page for the cemetery page is http://www.acadianmuseum.com/cemeteries/cemetery.html. The information developed will be immensely valuable for future generations.

The Daily Iberian featured an article by Barbara Gautreaux called Aging Cemetery Battle. The article states that, "Most of the information supplied to The Daily Iberian about the plots came from Don Louviere of Houston, Texas." Warren A. Perrin said, "Thanks to the tireless dedication of Don Louviere, his genealogy friends, and FHSNC, generations to come will be able to research their Cajun ancestry from anywhere in the world with the stroke of a few keys. More importantly, they will be able to bring their children and grandchildren to these beautifully restored cemeteries to share their rich history like he has with his own family."

Louviere is married to Carolyn Theuber and they have four children: two sons and two daughters with ten grandchildren.

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