"Oley 'The Sweet' LeDoux" by Doug Fincher

"And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them." Revelation 14:13

October 31, 2023 - Pam's father (Oley Ledoux) was buried in Vinton, Louisiana in 2012. LeDoux is French for "The Sweet") and I did the "eulogy" (Greek for "sweet words") for my sweet father-in-law. He was almost 85 years old, worked for the same company ("Krause & Managan" in Sulphur, La.) for 63 years. Two days before his death, he came to work late, unshaven and without his teeth. It was later discovered that he was wearing four pairs of underwear under his blue jeans. They had to take him home against his will and then to the hospital. Pneumonia and other complications caused his organs to begin shutting down one by one… and within two days he had crossed the Jordan.

Part of his tenure at K & M he served as Secretary of the Company (the only officer not related to the owner-family) and when he requested an outside job he was given an air-conditioned bulldozer that he faithfully operated until two days before his death.

Oley's faithfulness was highlighted in every aspect of his life…his family life, his Church life and his work life. Soon after their marriage, he and Gloria built a modest frame house in the Big Woods Community near Vinton, Louisiana. It would later become the home for them, their three children and at various times the home for his and Gloria's aging parents. It was a home he never left.

There was standing room only at his funeral and his friends from all parts of Calcasieu Parish gathered to tell their memories of his benevolent life. Most of the 70 years in Magnolia Baptist Church he served as a deacon (47 years)… and for 35 years was their Church Treasurer.

Since Oley was not hamstrung with the "Mania for More" syndrome, selecting a gift for him was a near impossible chore for his family and friends. His mania (if he had one) was not a desire to receive but a desire to give. This was the secret of his happy life.

Two weeks after the funeral, Pam and I revisited the home place. As we drove up, his Purple Martins were jetting in and out of their boxes (he had logged in their arrival again this year in his diary)…and a short distance away his multi-colored garden glistened brightly in the morning sun. His car and company truck were still parked there and his tractor and pea sheller seemed to be silently trying to adjust to his absence.

When we opened the kitchen door we spotted his little blue coffee cup in its usual place at the corner of the kitchen table. His familiar recliner was still surrounded with a stack of Lake Charles American Press newspapers and a pair of his work boots. A well-used hurricane tracking chart hung on the wall with a bottle of Cornhuskers lotion nearby.

An unexpected afternoon shower and two of Oley's bluebirds greeted us from the garden fence as we walked to the car. As we drove away, Pam said, "Daddy was what many men never are… He was a good man." "Yes,” I replied. "And as he enriched the lives of so many others, he unconsciously enriched his own."

“His rewards are stored in heaven.”