GRAND PRAIRIE- It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that the family of John Earl Fontenot, Jr., age 90, announces his passing at his home on Wednesday, August 26, 2015. Funeral services for Mr. Fontenot will be held on Friday, August 28, 2015 at 1 PM at St. Peter's Catholic Church in Grand Prairie. Burial will follow in the St. Peter's cemetery with Father Richard Vidrine, Celebrant.
Earl Fontenot graduated from Grand Prairie High School in 1941 and entered L.S.U. majoring in Agriculture Engineering as part of the ROTC program. The Japanese invasion on Pearl Harbor changed his plans and he was called to serve in the United States Army as part of the Allied invasion of Europe. His service included time in the United States Infantry and as a French interpreter along the Siegfried Line in Belgium. He was discharged from the United States Army in April 1945 and returned to L.S.U. Obligations to the family farm called him back home where he began his career as a third generation farmer and earned the nickname "The Potato Man."
Earl spent his entire career making invaluable contributions to the agricultural industry and the community. During Earl's 70 years of farming, he received many honors and awards from local, state, and national agricultural and civic organizations. The Potato Man was recognized by the Sweet Potato Association, Yambilee Association, Farmer Bureau Advisory Board, Cattleman's Association, Ville Platte Chamber of Commerce and the Evangeline Parish Sheriff's Posse-St. Jude Trail Ride. Earl also served on the Evangeline Parish Soil and Water Conservation Board for 47 years. He strongly believed in agriculture research and supported LSU and Soil Conservations Services. He also showed support to the cattle industry by holding Cattleman's Field Day and other farm related events.
Earl was a hardworking man, as well as a devoted Catholic. He served on the St. Peter's Church Council for many years. His loyalty and dedication to his faith, his country, his community and to the agricultural industry will be remembered for many years to come.
A loving husband, father, grandfather and friend, Earl will be missed by his loving wife of 63 years, Earline Soileau Fontenot, sons, Lonnie Fontenot and wife Denise of Ville Platte, Larry Fontenot and wife Jan of Grand Prairie, Dennis Fontenot and wife Jan of Grand Prairie, John Fontenot, III and wife Connie of Opelousas, daughters, Linda Deville and husband Stefan of Grand Prairie, Lorraine Loup and husband Harrell of Baton Rouge and Laura Fontenot and husband Jerry of Grand Prairie. Also left behind to cherish his memories are his 19 grandchildren and 29 great grandchildren.
He now rests in Heaven with his parents, John Sr. and Edith Doucet Fontenot, brothers, Flornoy Fontenot and Billy Fontenot and sister, Jackie Fontenot. They will be awaiting his arrival with open arms and joyous hearts.
At the request of the Fontenot family, a visitation will held on Thursday, August 27, 2015 at Ardoin's Funeral Home in Ville Platte from 4 PM until 9 PM and again on Friday, August 28, 2015 at 8 AM until time of services. A rosary will be prayed in Mr. Fontenot's honor on Thursday, August 27, 2015 at 7 PM.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Sacred Heart Foundation or St. Peter's Catholic Church.
Arrangements are entrusted to Ardoin's Funeral Home of Ville Platte, La.
Family and friends may view the online obituary and/or send words of comfort to the Fontenot family at www.ardoinfuneralhomes.com.