Natchitoches Christmas Receives Festival of the Year Award

Xmas Award 2018


Natchitoches Christmas received the Top 20 Festival of the Year Award from the 12-state Southeast Tourism Society (STS) at the association’s inaugural Connections conference April 24 in Myrtle Beach. Arlene Gould, Executive Director of the Natchitoches Convention and Visitors Bureau, members of Southeast Tourism Society and Jill Leo, Natchitoches Christmas Festival Coordinator accepted the award.

Natchitoches was one of 14 winners of Shining Example Awards that recognize excellence in tourism. Louisiana, with four winners, and West Virginia, with three winners, were the most acknowledged states.

Arlene Gould stated upon accepting the award, “Natchitoches Convention and Visitors Bureau is proud and honored to receive this award, along with the City of Natchitoches and the Natchitoches Historic Business Association (NHDBA) and the sponsors and volunteers who work year round planning and putting on this 6-week annual Festival.”

Gould also recognized the city workers at the City of Natchitoches utility department-the men and women that decorate the historic Downtown with the lights and set pieces.

“This is how the festival started over 90 years ago, a city worker made the first set piece and the rest is history,” said Natchitoches Christmas Coordinator Jill Leo, who also thanked the Southeast Tourism Society on behalf of Natchitoches Historic District Business Association and thanked the Louisiana Office of Tourism and Natchitoches CVB for their assistance in promoting the Natchitoches Christmas Festival.

ROTC awards program May 3, commissioning May 11


Northwestern State University’s Department of Military Science invites the public to join them as the 68th Demon Battalion hosts the spring 2018 awards program to recognize outstanding cadets in the U.S. Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.

The awards program will begin at 4 p.m. Thursday, May 3 in the auditorium at NSU’s Teacher Education Center/Middle Lab School. A reception will follow the program.

The Department will host the spring commissioning ceremony at 12:30 p.m. Friday, May 11 in the same auditorium with a reception following. The ceremony, held in conjunction with NSU commencement ceremonies, recognizes the cadets who are graduating from NSU and receiving commissions as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army.

To RSVP for one or both events, call (318) 357-6951.


By Reba


There is a weed found in many pastures that boasts yellow flowers and blooms in the springtime. Driving by you would think they are exquisite, especially when a pasture is covered with them. Upon first look you may not realize that cattle will avoid it unless they have no other choice but to eat it. If the cow is a milk producer then the milk will be very bitter. The milk will be drinkable but not enjoyable. It leaves a terrible after taste in your mouth that will make your cheeks pucker.

Makes perfect sense if you think about it….bitter in, bitter out.

Growing up as a preacher’s kid I have heard countless sermons on unforgiveness and what it does to your soul. Specifically, how your soul may not make it to the mansion in the sky should you chose not to forgive others. We should forgive just as our father in heaven forgives us. I’m quite sure I’ve overlooked these sermons because I always told myself I’d never hold a grudge. I knew better and was taught better. But the older I become I realize that I’ve eaten plenty of bitterweed in my lifetime.

Sometimes we eat the bitterweed bit by bit and don’t even realize how much we’ve consumed until we see the transgressor again. I’d get this instant bitter taste in my mouth when I remembered the sins they’d committed against me, or my children, or even my friends. This bitterness builds up gradually because you can’t pinpoint the exact thing they’ve done to you. It could be just an abundance of small misdemeanors all kept in a memory bank and never dealt with.

This is the bitterweed you eat and no one can tell that you’ve consumed it because typically you still have a smile on your face and can live what seems to be a normal life to casual observers.

There are then the larger crimes committed against you that will have you devouring every bit of bitterweed you can find. It may be that someone contributed to the dissolution of your family through divorce. Someone intentionally mistreated you during a sorrowful time in your life. Someone caused you not to get that promotion you thought you earned. Someone deliberately hurt you or your child. These are the enormous ones that should be deemed justifiable. It would be excusable for you to be bitter against these monsters who brought pain into your life for no reason at all. Right?

This is the type of bitterweed that is worn all over your face in the form of a deep scowl and it oozes out of your mouth with every word you speak. When you live with this form of bitterness it consumes your every thought and creates a sour disposition that everyone you come in contact with can recognize.

What if the only bitterweed you’ve eaten is because of your own actions? What if the only person you need to forgive is yourself? Sometimes forgiving ourselves is harder than forgiving others.

No matter how you choose to eat your bitterweed there are consequences. The sad thing is that you are the only one who suffers when you harbor unforgiveness. Studies have shown that it actually shortens your life and can physically make you ill.

Forgiveness is not saying that it makes it okay that someone harmed you. Forgiveness is merely saying that I release you and I trust God to make this right. One of the hardest lessons to learn is that forgiveness is not a feeling. It’s a choice that you make on a daily basis that you will not carry the hurt any longer.

Once you have chosen to forgive someone you can then begin to feel free from your negative emotions. So now I have committed to living a bitterweed-free existence. I refuse to eat to it and I refuse to eat it on someone else’s behalf as well. The more energy we spend on negativity and dwelling on regrets it robs us of our future and becoming the person that God intended us to be. He has a purpose for each one of us in the life.

I refuse to be bitter and strive for better. Better in…. Better out.

“As far as the East is from the West, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

Psalm 103:12

Dr. Maggio will reign as King of Spring Festival Court this Saturday

King Maggio

Dr. Joseph Christopher Maggio will reign as King of the Spring Festival Court presented by the St. Denis Art League at its 50th annual ball on Saturday, April 28 at the Sylvan Friedman Student Union Ballroom on the campus of Northwestern University.

Dr. Maggio is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Vincent Maggio, Sr. He has been married to the former Jennifer Zeagler for 25 years and they have three children, Melanie Marie, Scott Michael, and Emily Grace.

Dr. Maggio became the 19th president of Northwestern State University in 2017. A lifelong resident of Natchitoches and long-time faculty and staff member at Northwestern State, he was previously vice president for the Student Experience at NSU.

As vice president, Maggio led the Dean of Students and the Offices of Admissions, Recruiting, Financial Aid, Student Activities and Organizations, First Year Experience and Leadership Development, Judicial Services, Counseling and Career Services, Student Life, the Student Activities Board, Student Government Association and Greek Life.

During his first year as President, Northwestern State recorded its highest student enrollment in the 134-year history of the university and received the largest amount of private donations to the university. Enrollment for the Fall 2017 semester was 10,572 students, and the university received twenty-eight $100,000 endowments.

During his tenure at NSU, Maggio served as assistant vice president of External Affairs for University Advancement from 2013 until 2015. He was Dean of Students and assistant provost for Student Success in 2007 – 2013. Maggio was director of Alumni and Development in 2003-2007 and executive director of the NSU Foundation in 2005, and director of Alumni Affairs in 1999-2003.

Under Maggio’s leadership as executive director, the NSU Foundation completed its first capital campaign in Northwestern’s history, exceeding a campaign goal of $18.84 million and raising $31 million to support the university. He has also been a faculty member in the Department of Health and Human Performance for more than 20 years as an instructor, assistant professor and associate professor.

During his career at NSU, Maggio also served as director of Admissions and Recruiting and director of Enrollment Services. He joined the staff at Northwestern State as a track and field coach.

Maggio is a 1985 summa cum laude graduate of Northwestern State. As a senior, he was elected Mr. NSU by his fellow students and was an academic all-conference athlete. Maggio also earned his Master’s of Education at NSU in 1991. He received a Doctorate in Developmental Education from Grambling State University in 2002.

In the Natchitoches community, he is a member of the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, where he serves as a Eucharistic Minister, past president of Natchitoches Regional Medical Center Foundation Board, and served on the Exchange Bank Board of Directors.

His family has been a part of the League’s festivities for many years. His sister, Carmella Maggio McCart, was presented as a Lady of the Court in 1985. His daughter, Melanie, was also presented in 2013. His son, Scott, was a Gentleman of the Court in 2016 and his daughter, Emily, will serve as an usher this year.

King Joseph Christopher Maggio was formally presented at the annual Spring Festival King’s Party, Saturday, March 17th hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Keenan Kirk Kelly at the Prudhomme Rouquier House.



Parish President Rick Nowlin has announced his intention to make appointments and reappointments to several boards and commissions. The boards and commissions are as follows:

Natchitoches Parish Planning Commission
Natchitoches Parish Fire District No. 9
Natchitoches Parish Fire District No. 10
Natchitoches Parish Water Works District No. 1
Natchitoches Parish Tourist Commission
Northwest Louisiana Fish & Game Preserve Commission

Any resident interested in serving on a board or commission should submit an application to the Office of the President. In addition, any current members of these boards and commissions who have expiring terms are encouraged to apply for reappointment. Applications may be picked up at the Natchitoches Parish Courthouse, located at 200 Church Street, or by contacting David Kees, Jr., Executive Assistant to the President, at (318) 352-2714, or by sending an email to

Ponderings with Doug – April 27, 2018

The Conference sent my preacher friend Hadley to the 7th Ward in New Orleans. They didn’t give him land to build a church. They didn’t give him an old church to resurrect. They didn’t give him a place to put a sign saying, “The future site of a United Methodist church.” They told Hadley, “Go and do the work of Christ in the 7th ward.” Hadley went.

Hadley is one of those preachers that you love listening to. He is so full of Jesus that Christ flows from everything he says and does. When Hadley launches into one of his stories, you’d better hang on.

Hadley started a church in a tent. A tent works in New Orleans most of the year. There were some cold days that the tent was not so hot, but most of the time the tent worked.

When you have church under a tent, there is no designed starting time for services. People would show up, mill around, listen to the music playing, and when the time and the crowd were right Hadley would start services.

He had a generator that allowed him to power a sound system and a coffee pot. Those are the two most necessary items in today’s church. Let either fail and you will hear about it from the faithful followers.

One Sunday morning, Hadley arrived at his usual early time and started the generator and the coffee pot. He said a fellow staggered up. He had come from one of the neighborhood bars and was headed home after an all-nighter of consuming adult beverages. He was drunker than Cooter Brown, whoever he or she might be.

Hadley introduced himself and the man returned the favor. He told Hadley that his name was Pokechop. The proper spelling would be Porkchop, but slurred pronunciation came out Pokechop. He also unfolded why Hadley should know him. He was a former New Orleans Saint. Pokechop was very drunk and very loud. Hadley just listened. Then Hadley invited the very drunk man to stay for church.

Pokechop said, “A church that would let me in is not much of a church.”


Hadley convinced the man that indeed he was welcomed at the church and please have another cup of coffee. Pokechop stayed around. As the morning progressed Pokechop introduced himself to the congregation with all the unction of a man who had spent all night drinking. He was a most “active” greeter for the Sunday morning services.

Later that Sunday morning, the drummer called Hadley’s cell phone and told the minister, he would be missing in action for the worship service. Pokechop heard the conversation. He told Hadley. “I play the drums.”

Pokechop was sobering up, but he had not arrived at full sobriety. Hadley inquired about his talents and then asked for a brief audition. Sure enough Pokechop played the drums. He played them well.

Pokechop played the drums for the Sunday morning worship service in the tent.

That morning at the end of the service, Pokechop gave his life to Christ and joined the Methodist church.

“A church that would let me in is not much of a church.”

May our tribe increase.

Open House Sunday – Grand Bayou, Red River Parish

RRPJ-Open House TOP-18Apr25

You’re Invited! Realtor Raylie Hardy is holding open house Sunday in Grand Bayou Subdivision. The open house will be from 2:00 to 4:00 pm at 821 Pine Hill Street. Attend and be entered to win a $100.00 cash prize.

Hardy said, “This beautiful lake front home is located on 1.81 acres with over 200 feet of frontage on Grand Bayou Reservoir. I would like to show you this large four bedroom home with three full baths.” She added, “The home is beautifully landscaped along the front and there are two master suites.”

“There is plenty of room for your family to spread out,” said Hardy. She added, “There are over 2,200 square feet of living area. This is an open house that you will not want to miss.”

Come to the open house Sunday April 29th from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Everyone in attendance will be entered in a drawing for a $100.00 cash prize. This lakefront property is located at 821 Pine Hill Street in Grand Bayou Subdivision. Raylie Hardy, licensed realtor, with Century 21 Elite, offers this home. Call 318-471-8554. Each office independently owned and operated.


Notice of Death – April 26, 2018

Notice of Death 2017



Rosanna Blake
April 25, 2018
Arrangements TBA

Anita DeLouche LaCaze
July 31, 1923 – April 23, 2018
Visitation: Saturday, April 28 from 9-10:45 am at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Service: Saturday, April 28 at 11 am at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church
Interment: Memory Lawn Cemetery

Willard Jones, Sr.
April 28, 1923 – April 25, 2018
Visitation: Friday, April 27 from 6:30-8:30 pm at Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home in Natchitoches and Saturday, April 28 at 9:30 am at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Natchitoches
Service: Saturday April 28 at 12 pm at the St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Natchitoches

Infant Boy La’Marcus Amir Zeno-Jackson
April 22, 2018 – April 22, 2018
Visitation: Saturday, April 28 at 2:30 pm at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home
Service: Procession immediately following visitation will end at the St. Paul Baptist Church Cemetery in Bermuda for graveside services

Nervie Small
April 18, 2018
Visitation: Saturday, April 28 from 9:30-11 am.
Service: Saturday, April 28 at 11 am at the Evergreen Baptist Church on Hwy. 71 in St. Maurice
Interment: Evergreen Baptist Church cemetery

Louis Esters
April 16, 2018
Visitation: Saturday, April 28 from 9-11 am at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel in Natchitoches
Service: Saturday, April 28 at 11 am at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel in Natchitoches
Interment: Fern Park Cemetery on Texas Street


William Darold “Mac” McDonald
April 14, 1964 – April 16, 2018
Visitation: Saturday, April 28 from 11 am – 12:30 pm at John Kramer & Son Funeral Home in Alexandria
Service: Saturday, April 28 at 1 pm at St. Francis DeSales Catholic Church Cemetery in Echo

Karla Ann Kennedy
February 5, 1962 – April 25, 2018
Visitation: Saturday, April 28 from 9-11 am at the John Kramer & Son Funeral Home
Service: Saturday, April 28 at 11:30 am at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic Church
Interment: Alexandria Memorial Gardens

Vernalea Scroggs Floyd
June 17, 1920 – April 24, 2018
Visitation: Friday, April 27 from 9-10:30 am at First United Methodist Church Service: Friday, April 27 at 10:30 am at First United Methodist Church
Interment: Forest Lawn Memorial Park


Brandon D’Wayne Wilson
July 28, 1976 – April 25, 2018
Service: Saturday, April 28 at 10 am at Kinner & Stevens Funeral Home
Interment: Woodland Cemetery in Jena

St. Mary’s Kindergartner wins Scholastic Art Contest

Drawing 1

Kindergarten teacher, Gracie Hubley, entered her students in Scholastic’s Unimaginary Friend Art Contest. After reviewing thousands of entries that were submitted, they were impressed by the artistic talent on display in so many entries! It was hard to narrow down the entries to 10 Runners Up! But Holt Cedars was named as one of the winners! He will receive a copy of The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, and a great collection of art supplies.

St. Mary’s is very proud of Holt and his work and thanks Hubley for entering her kindergarten students in the art contest and Halie Errington for doing such a great job developing the students’ talents in art class!

Pictured above are St. Maru’s Principal Andrea Harrell, Holt Cedars and Kindergarten teacher Gracie Hubley.

Drawing 2

2018 DemonFest at NSU

By Kevin Shannahan

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Kevin’s Gallery

Northwestern State University’s Iberville Green was transformed into a concert venue for the DemonFest music festival featuring NSU student and alumni performers as well as nationally known top-40 artists. This budding NSU tradition, in its fifth consectutive year, closed a fun filled day with Asher Roth and headliner Big Freedia.

Local author releases self-guided walking tour book of Natchitoches

Brad Dsion Book
Local author Brad Dison has just released a new book entitled “Natchitoches Historic District Walking Tour,” the only self-guided walking tour book of Natchitoches. The walking tour book covers 58 sites in the Historic District. Getting from site to site is easy when using the included maps and pictures. Visit the sites in the order laid out in the book or plan your own route. The book also includes sections on where to eat, sleep, shop, and what to see and do in the Historic District. Sites include the histories of Cane River Lake, Front Street, the oldest general store in Louisiana, a reconstructed fort from the early 1700s, a sports hall of fame, sites of deadly shootouts, the site of a dual, the site believed to hold the tomb of the founder of Natchitoches, historic eateries, parks, historic churches, the oldest cemetery in the Louisiana Purchase, and many historic homes dating from the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries.

Brad said he wrote the book because “there is so much history in Natchitoches but accessing that history was difficult. There wasn’t an easy way to learn about the Historic District without reading dozens of books.” He started this project for his own enjoyment and, after sharing some of the stories with his family and friends, it turned into a book.” Brad graduated with a bachelor’s B.A. in history from NSU and earned his M.A. in history from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston. Brad has published several scholarly articles and books on topics of North Louisiana History including Bienville Parish: Images of America, and Whiskey and Blood, the Story of Four Louisiana Law Enforcement Officers Killed by Bootleggers During Prohibition.

The “Natchitoches Historic District Walking Tour” book is currently available at Georgia’s Gift Shop at 626 Front Street in Natchitoches and on


The Good Old Days Weren’t Necessarily the Good Old Days

By Joe Darby


Earlier this week we attended the monthly meeting of the Natchitoches Genealogical and Historical Association.

After hearing a great history talk by Father Chad Partain, we got into our business meeting and we discussed the need for a new small refrigerator for the loyal, hardworking volunteers who staff the genealogical library at the Old Courthouse. One member cautioned that we need to be sure to get a frost-free refrigerator.

Everyone quickly agreed that was important. And that little exchange jogged my memory into thinking of the old days when most refrigerators were not frost free.

What did that mean, some of you younger readers may ask. Well, as the days and weeks went by, ice and frost slowly built up in the tiny freezer compartment that most fridges had in those days. If you didn’t take care of it, it would eventually take over the freezer compartment and turn it into one block of ice.

The way you remedied that was to take a dull knife and slowly chip away at the mass of ice until the freezer was pretty much frost free. Once you got going, the ice would come off in huge chunks. One time when I was assigned the job by Mother, I decided to hasten my chore and used an icepick rather than a dull knife. Of course, the ice pick pierced one of the Freon lines in the freezer, rendering the freezer and the rest of the refrigerator out of action. I don’t remember whether we had to buy a new appliance or we had the damaged one repaired. But it was a lesson well learned.

Also, instead of having a handy water and ice dispenser at your beck and call, the tiny freezers came equipped with two little ice trays. To make your ice, you had to take the tray to the sink, carefully fill it with water, put it back in the freezer and wait a couple of hours for the ice to form.

When you wanted to get ice from the frozen trays, you had to pull on a lever to extract a little gizmo that divided the ice into the handy-sized blocks just the right size for putting in a soft drink or a whiskey highball. Then you filled up the tray and started the process over again. If you were having a party, the ice trays could never keep up with the demand, so someone had to go to an ice house to get some.

Back in those days you couldn’t usually get ice at a handy convenience store so you went, as I said,, to the ice house. No the ice house was not an Eskimo igloo, but a building where ice was made on a commercial basis. Every town had one and in bigger cities, almost every neighborhood had one.

That’s about as far back as I go when it comes to obtaining ice. The days of the true ice boxes, where deliverymen would bring huge blocks of ice to your house daily and put them into your non electrical ice box, were a little before my time.

Of course in the old days, most houses didn’t have air conditioning. We had window fans, ceiling fans, attic fans, oscillating fans and hand-held cardboard fans. All they did was stir up dust.

It’s true The good old days may have had their good points, but we lived a lot less comfortably. I think I’ll talk more about fans and other ways of dealing with life next week.

BOM sponsors Relay for Life event this Friday


BOM is fortunate to sponsor the American Cancer Society’s Relay for life event which will be this Friday, April 27 from 6 pm – 2 am at the NSU Tailgate Field! The Survivor Dinner sponsored by International Paper- Red River Mill will begin at 4:30 pm under the Collin’s Pavillion. The Relay For Life event will begin at 6 pm on the NSU Football Tailgate Field. There are over 40 teams participating this year so you can expect fun for the whole family. There will be plenty of food for dinner and tons of things to keep all ages entertained. In 2017, funds raised through events like Relay For Life allowed the American Cancer Society to provide free services to 80 Natchitoches Parish cancer patients.

Pictured above from left are Relay Rep Brenda McCain and BOM Washington Branch Manager Gretchen Dauzat.

Relay EntertainmentRelay Events


Mrs. Anita LaCaze Pic

Anita D. LaCaze, born Marie Anita DeLouche on July 31, 1923 went to be with the Lord on Monday, April 23, 2018 just prior to her 95th birthday.

Anita was part of the Greatest Generation born before the Great Depression and lived long enough to witness and experience the digital age. She started working at an early age for the Ration Board during World War II. She later attended Spencer Business College in Shreveport.

She married Samuel (Sam) LaCaze, Jr. in Cloutierville where they lived for many years.

They later moved to Natchitoches where Mrs. LaCaze worked in the real estate business for many years before working for 20 years as Deputy Registrar for Natchitoches Parish Office of Voter Registration.

Mrs. LaCaze was preceeded in her death by husband, Sam, her mother Marie Anita Vercher Delouche (whose name she shared) and her father Numa DeLouche, Sr., and her sister Numalee Pauline DeLouche and brother Numa Jean Louie DeLouche (who both died in early childhood) and sister Fanny Teresa Dorsey.

She is survived by her three grown children Linda Carol LaCaze Kaufman and son in law James V. Kaufman, Jr. of Biloxi, MS, Randall (Randy) Steven LaCaze and daughter in law Deborah Ann Foshee LaCaze of Natchitoches, and Tina Jeanine LaCaze of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Mrs. LaCaze has five grown grandchildren Lisa Toye Kaufman of Biloxi, MS., James V. Kaufman, III (Trey) and wife Sonya Ellis Kaufman of The Woodlands, TX, Randall Steven LaCaze, Jr. and wife Haley Ann Atherton LaCaze of Natchitoches, Holly Rachelle LaCaze Cain and husband Joseph (Jed) Cain of Natchitoches, and Leanne Marie LaCaze Bridges and husband James (Jamie) Oliver Bridges of Pineville.

And, she has lived to enjoy her six great grandchildren ages three to fourteen years Corynn Lea LaCaze, Emerson Elle Cain, Jake Horner Cain, Moss Broussard Cain, Kaitlyn Renee Kaufman, Breanne Marie Bridges, and Bailey Grace Bridges.

And nieces Jacqueline Dorsey Widman and husband Jay Widman of Kingwood and Tenita Janelle Dorsey (now deceased).

Visitation will be held at Blanchard St. Denis Funeral Home from 9:00 until 10:45 on Saturday April 28, 2018 with the funeral service to follow at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church at 11:00. Burial will be at Memory Lawn Cemetery.

Notice of Death – April 26, 2018

Notice of Death 2017

Anita DeLouche LaCaze
July 31, 1923 – April 23, 2018
Visitation: Saturday, April 28 from 9-10:45 am at Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home
Service: Saturday, April 28 at 11 am at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church
Interment: Memory Lawn Cemetery

Willard Jones, Sr.
April 28, 1923 – April 25, 2018
Visitation: Friday, April 27 from 6:30-8:30 pm at Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home in Natchitoches and Saturday, April 28 at 9:30 am at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Natchitoches
Service: Saturday April 28 at 12 pm at the St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Natchitoches

Infant Boy La’Marcus Amir Zeno-Jackson
April 22, 2018 – April 22, 2018
Visitation: Saturday, April 28 at 2:30 pm at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home
Service: Procession immediately following visitation will end at the St. Paul Baptist Church Cemetery in Bermuda for graveside services

Nervie Small
April 18, 2018
Visitation: Saturday, April 28 from 9:30-11 am.
Service: Saturday, April 28 at 11 am at the Evergreen Baptist Church on Hwy. 71 in St. Maurice
Interment: Evergreen Baptist Church cemetery

Louis Esters
April 16, 2018
Visitation: Saturday, April 28 from 9-11 am at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel in Natchitoches
Service: Saturday, April 28 at 11 am at the Winnfield Memorial Funeral Home Chapel in Natchitoches
Interment: Fern Park Cemetery on Texas Street

Kim Anthony Guillory
May 12, 1958 – April 23, 2018
Visitation: Thursday, April 26 from 12-2 pm in the Kramer Chapel
Service: Thursday, April 26 at 2 pm in the chapel of John Kramer & Son Funeral Home

Catherine “Katie” Cataldie Nasello
May 5, 1928 – April 23, 2018
Visitation: Thursday, April 26 from 8:30-9:30 am at the John Kramer & Son Funeral Home
Service: Thursday, April 26 at 10 am at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic Church
Interment: Greenwood Memorial Park in Pineville

James Edward Shipman
May 14, 1937 – April 24, 2018
Visitation: Thursday, April 26 from 9-11 am at Life Church in Winnsboro
Service: Thursday, April 26 at 11 am at Life Church in Winnsboro
Interment: Coax Baptist Church Cemetery


Patsy Vines Hemphill
October 31, 1946 – April 23, 2018
Visitation: Thursday, April 26 from 10 am – 2 pm
Service: Thursday, April 26 at 2 pm at East Winnfield Baptist Church
Interment: Zion Baptist Church Cemetery in Georgetown

Natchitoches Parish Veterans and Memorial Park Searches for Gold Star Families

Memorial Day ceremonies will be held on Monday, May 28 at 3 pm in the Natchitoches Parish Veterans and Memorial Park. This year they will honor Gold Star Families. Family members of the servicemen listed below have been located and will attend the special service:


Eddie L. Barberousse
George S. Lambert
Ernest Milton Perot


Rosevelt Monette
James Louis Youngblood


William Anthony Gunter, Jr.
James E. Metoyer
Charles William Rachal

Organizers are interested in finding any other immediate family members of Killed In Action Veterans for Natchitoches Parish. Contact Donna Masson at (318)379-2707 with the names of any living immediate Gold Star Family Members.

Delta Sigma Theta Natchitoches Alumnae Chapter’s 2018 Beautillion Showcases Area Young People

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Kevin’s Galley

There was nary an empty seat at Natchitoches’ Ben Johnson Auditorium as the Natchitoches Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. hosted its 28th annual Beautillion. Eleven young men from the area vied for the title of Mr. Beautillion 2018. The show featured entertainment ranging from a trumpet solo to a dance team. The young men and their escorts also delighted the crowd with several superbly choreographed pieces. The evening’s keynote speaker was former NFL player Mr. Marcus Spears who delivered an inspirational talk to the young men, their families and the audience.

The young men are an impressive group. They are all active in their churches, schools and community, exactly the quality young men of whom we all can be proud.

The Natchitoches Parish Journal is donating the event’s photography. Copy protection is off, and anyone may download any they wish. If you do download a photograph, please consider a donation to the Natchitoches Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. This group of accomplished ladies sponsor several scholarships and are a force for good in our community. Let’s help them help our children! It was a delightful evening.

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High school seniors receive scholarships from the Natchitoches Lions Club

Lions Club April 23

The Natchitoches Lions Club presented two high school students with scholarships for their outstanding academic and civic accomplishments.

Ja’Von Ma’Lik Hall is the recipient of the Raymond Gilbert Scholarship. He is a senior at Natchitoches Central High School. He will attend NSU to major in computer science.

Lauren Vienne is the recipient of the Will Taylor Scholarship. She is a senior at St. Mary’s Catholic School and will attend NSU in the fall. She will major in biology and wants to be a physical therapist or an occupational therapist.

Those also pictured are Peggy Gilbert and Dr. Cheryl Stoker.

APHN holds successful Arts & Crafts Festival at Melrose Plantation

By Jessica Poole

_Melrose 2018 (1)


The 42nd annual Melrose Arts and Crafts Festival was held by the Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN), April 21-22. On Saturday the weather was great and many vendors said they stayed busy all day long. Visitors waited in lines for ice cream, lemonade, and caricatures as they enjoyed the sunny weather.

On Sunday it was overcast and rain from Saturday night made the grounds muddy. However, people still came out to have a good time. There were over 100 vendors, including Russell’s Cajun BBQ sauce and pure Louisiana honey from 2 Guys Honey. Russell’s Cajun BBQ sold homemade BBQ sauce and pulled pork sandwiches. Other vendors included handmade fudge, clothing, unique jewelry, plants, and more!