ERATH — 41-year-old Erath alderman Robert Vincent passed away October 8th from Muscular Dystrophy. Days later Erath High School posthumously named Vincent the grand marshal for this year's homecoming parade - something principal Marc Turner has wanted since 2015.
"A great guy that's just done a ton of things for our school, for the community. He represents everything a Bobcat is. We've been wanting to do this for a while, but he fell sick, and I couldn't pass up not doing it this year," Turner said.
"Every time Marc wanted to do it, at that time he was getting less and less air, it was getting harder for him to breathe," Jackie Vincent, Robert's mother, explained. "It happened the way to was supposed to. He got his honor, and he knows it."
At age 10 Vincent was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy; his mother Jackie said it never held him back.
"At that age he helped his cousin Warren Perrin co-found the Acadian Museum. He was in casts, he had three surgeries that summer, and he would ride his bike around in casts."
During his high school years Vincent raised $60,000.00 to replace the school's track.
"He did it, even though he could not run on the track, he wanted his classmates to have a nice track. By the time he graduated he had an all weather track," Jackie said.
Following graduation, Vincent became the youngest elected official in Louisiana.
"18 years old, he told me he wanted to run for councilman, or alderman, and i said maybe you should go to college first. And he said, 'No, momma, I need to run now, I need to run.' And he won" she commented.
Vincent died with two years left of his third term as alderman. Tuesday his mother was sworn into office, taking his place. She says it's something Vincent asked her to do before he passed away.
"'Mom, when I die, will you fill my unexpired term?' Jackie says he asked her. "And I'm like, 'Mom doesn't know if I can do that.' But when he died I felt, I have to do this. It's his final wish."
Jackie Vincent will serve as an Erath alderwoman until March, and will continue to honor the numerous things her son did for the community.