|St. Martinville Cemetary|
The trip home was a crazy, whirlwind of a trip, but I am so glad I went. This may seem strange, but I want to share my grandfather's obituary. My Aunt Carol wrote it with input from other family members and I really love it. It is a wonderful tribute to a very unique and memorable man in our lives. I have purposely omitted names for privacy reasons.
Octave Otto G., Jr.
April 9, 1923 to April 18, 2013
Octave Otto G., Jr. “Gutie”, died Thursday at his home in St. Martinville, surrounded by his family. Gutie was born in St. Martinville, youngest child of Octave and Josephine. He was preceded in death by his wife; his parents; his siblings; one son-in-law; and a favorite niece.
Although a worldly man, Gutie died in his home a mere block from the front bedroom of his mother’s home, where he was born 90 years ago. His life in between these events was full of uncommon adventures and calculated risk-taking. Gutie graduated from SLI in electrical and chemical engineering, and served during WWII in the Pacific Theater. Following the war, he spent most of his working life in the sugar industry in Dominican Republic and Haiti, with intermediate jobs as manager of the Breaux Bridge Sugar Co-op and the Levert St. John Sugar Mill. He retired as General Manager and CEO of Haitian American Sugar Company outside Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Gutie contributed to his community through various civic organizations such as: Rotary, Lion’s Club, Kiwanis, St. Martin Recycling, Civitan, AARP, American Sugar Association, St. Martin Parish Book Talk, and Farm Bureau Board. He helped farmers complete applications for farm relief, he volunteered at Breaux Bridge Senior High, he gave to any charity that asked and some that didn’t. He recycled, replanted, repaired and re-gifted. No tree was too small to keep, no service too big to provide.
Gutie and Scottie raised their nine children by example to be kind, to be fair, and to think for themselves. His Catholic faith was strong and constant; his expressed hoped was that his children find their own strong faith in God. He imparted his love and knowledge of chess, cards, tennis, and golf to his children, and showed them how to fix appliances, cars, pipes, and electrical connections. He instilled in them his adventurous spirit: over mountains, out to dams, through artichoke fields, to beaches replete with spiny sea urchins, stingrays and strong tides. He provided books, horses, dogs, cats, music, bicycles, laughter, and more books. He disciplined with a snap of his fingers and a “Did you hear your mother?” His rendition of “And the Tears Flowed Like Wine” healed many a skinned knee and broken heart. Family stories of Gutie’s outlandish clothing and outrageous chance-taking will long be told. If he said he was doing “Poorly”, you knew he was doing just fine.
He is survived by his nine children; their spouses; and his nieces. He is fondly remembered by 17 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. The family is grateful for the assistance of St. Joseph Hospice and A First Name Basis. Our gratitude is extended to Daddy’s sitters and his nurse, especially B, N, and C. Family requests, in lieu of flowers, books to your favorite library.
As Gutie would have said, “That’s all she wrote!”